OneVoice Israel poster, part of their new campaign focused on the Arab Peace Initiative, reads: "Bibi, meet Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, emir of Qatar: In exchange for a divided Jerusalem, he offers us normalization, diplomatic relations, and peace. He calls it the Arab Peace Initiative. So what do you say? Worth it?”
New York, April 3, 2012—OneVoice Israel unveiled a new campaign last Wednesday, intended to highlight the Arab Peace Initiative (API) to the Israeli public and raise it within the political agenda.
Ten years ago at the Beirut Summit of the Arab League, the API was proposed as a regional attempt to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while ending the wider Arab-Israeli conflict as well. It offered a comprehensive and peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the normalization of relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors. The API represented an abrupt about-face in the regional political field: from the Arab League's refusal to negotiate or recognize Israel, the API ushered in a new era in Middle East relations and the potential for regional stability and cooperation.
In a press release published in Hebrew on their Facebook page, OneVoice Israel outlined the intention of the campaign: "The Arab Peace Initiative embodies the spirit of the Arab moderate camp [...] For the past 10 years, successive Israeli governments have refused to address it formally or negotiate based on its content. The Arab Peace Initiative is still alive, though, and we believe that Israel's leaders need to respond to the initiative with a resounding 'Yes'."
The campaign, designed to put the initiative back on the peace-process map, will be unrolled in three phases: the first phase consists of raising public awareness about the initiative and the historic opportunity for compromise it embodies; in the second phase, this awareness will be turned into mass mobilization around the initiative as a means of restarting the fledgling peace process; the campaign will conclude by channeling the public's demands for a government response to the API to Israeli politicians.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, addressing the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, said: "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then what is it? That's right, it's a duck — but this duck is a nuclear duck. And it's time the world started calling a duck a duck." The strategic threat a nuclear Iran presents is not the only political issue being misinterpreted; "the Arab Peace Duck," wrote OneVoice Israel Executive Director Tal Harris in an op-ed piece, "has been waiting for Israel for 10 years now. It is time it too receives the appropriate response."
To mark the beginning of the OneVoice campaign, 80 toy "Arab Peace Ducks" were sent to Members of the Knesset and senior media correspondents along with the text of the Arab Peace Initiative — a friendly reminder that a potential partner for peace has yet to be given a real chance.
Playing on Netanyahu's reference to Iran as a nuclear duck, OneVoice Israel inundated Israeli MKs with 'Arab Peace Ducks' and copies of the Arab Peace Initiative to get them to see the API for what it really is: a historic chance for peace.