Prime Minister Salam Fayyad breifs a high profile delegation of international business leaders and philanthropists, led by OneVoice Founder Daniel Lubetzky and actor Jason Alexander, in Ramallah on Tuesday.
Jerusalem, October 25, 2011—Prime Minister Salam Fayyad talked openly with a high profile delegation of international business leaders and philanthropists, led by OneVoice Founder Daniel Lubetzky and actor Jason Alexander, on Tuesday about the difficulty of returning to peace talks.
Prime Minister Fayyad told the group at his Ramallah office that the time was not ripe for negotiations. “The politics are not right – on our side, on their side, and, if I may go above my pay grade, in the US,” he said. “Part of strong and effective leadership is bringing people along with you. Given what Bibi [Prime Minister Netanyahu] and those around him seem to have in mind when it comes to a Palestinian state, it would be very difficult to enter negotiations without clear terms of reference.”
“Why should it take a crisis in order to convince someone like [Defense Minister Ehud] Barak to move from principles to agreement,” Fayyad continued saying, before asking OneVoice to help highlight that the stalemate does not stem from a “lack of agreement in principle.”
Turning to OneVoice’s efforts on the ground, Fayyad said, “I think there's great value in reaching out to elements of society who don't tend to be at the forefront of politics, people who aren't the usual suspects.”
The delegation also met with senior Palestinian officials Nabil Shaath and Mohammad Shtayyeh. Later that night, they attended a networking event in Jerusalem with Israeli and Palestinian business leaders, organized in partnership with the Young Presidents’ Organization and the Israeli-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
On Wednesday, the delegation will travel to the West Bank city of Qalqilya to attend a town hall meeting on the issue of borders and land swaps that OneVoice Palestine is holding with Governor Ribhi Khandakji and Palestinian Authority Minister Maher Ghoneim.