Three young boys write their suggestions for a peace framework during the "Help Bibi" campaign outside Independence Hall in Tel Aviv on July 27.
New York, July 28, 2011—OneVoice Israel is hosting a three-day block party outside Independence Hall in Tel Aviv as part of their “Help Bibi Complete the Israeli Peace Initiative” campaign from July 27-29. The movement is dishing out food, music, and politics—a trifecta for change.
The campaign comes less than two months before the Palestinian Authority’s UN bid for statehood in September. The intention of the campaign, which is simultaneously happening on Facebook, is to open the eyes of the Israeli public as to the lack of initiative from the Netanyahu administration.
“As long as we get excuses we will be struggling through the status quo,” said Tal Harris, executive director of OneVoice Israel. “Netanyahu only explains his problems and doesn’t try to solve them. If this continues, our chance for peace won't be more than a dream.”
The backdrop to the campaign features two “Help Bibi” billboards, a DJ providing music and entertainment, and free food and drink. The public is encouraged to write suggestions on the billboards as to what a viable Israeli peace framework should look like or incorporate.
Members of the Knesset including MKs Yitzhak “Buji” Herzog (Labour Party) and Ilan Gilon (New Movement-Meretz), as well as Kadima members Meir Sheetrit, Yoel Hasson, and Shlomo Molla came out in support of OVI’s campaign. Israeli actor Moshe Ivgy also stopped by.
Herzog had some harsh words for Netanyahu’s inability to forge a peace framework.
"Public discourse …is very important, but the prime minister's stupidity [and] irresponsibility [of] not responding to the Obama initiative narrows the gap with the Palestinians for negotiations," he said.
Sheetrit agrees. "I see a clear link between the deadlock in the negotiations and the social and economic state [in Israel],” he said. “Security and the need to preserve it are indeed important and necessary, however they [become reasons] not to deal with social issues - and this danger is an existential threat to Israel. The government of Israel should accept the Arab [Peace] Initiative as the basis for new negotiations with the Palestinians."
Perhaps the deduction of a child can enlighten the Knesset to the wants and needs of the next generation. Ariel, 11, asked Ido, 12, what he was doing at the billboard. “It’s simple," he replied. "Take a second to think about what the Arabs want from us and what we want from them, [and] write it down [to] tell Bibi.”
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