Israeli Lawmakers Meet Secretly With Arab Counterparts

Sunday, March 30, 2014 |  Yossi Aloni

The “Prague Forum,” a new body made up of parliamentarians from Israel, the Palestinian Authority and a number of Arab countries, has launched an initiative to hold a joint event in Jerusalem under the auspices of the AJEEC - Negev Institute and the Center for Democracy and Community Development, a Palestinian NGO.

Cooperation between the Israeli and Arab lawmakers, some of whom hail from countries which do not have official relations with the Jewish state, began during a series of secretive meetings in Prague back in February. That series of meetings was the initiative of the Czech government.

The purpose of the Prague Forum is to promote regional peace based on the principles of the Saudi-authored Arab peace initiative, and to foster discussion between parliamentarians from all countries in the Middle East. Another meeting is scheduled to take place later this year.

Moli Dor, chairman of the Negev Institute, had this to say: “The forum includes Knesset members from various parties, some of whom have already participated in meetings with MPs from Arab countries. The goal is to rekindle interest in the [Saudi] peace initiative, which has already won the support of the Arab League.”

Dor noted that the “security, economic and social benefits of peace are enormous for both peoples, and many polls show that Israelis support an agreement based on these principles.”

[Ed. note - Polls also show that most Israelis reject some of the specific terms of the Arab peace initiative, such as dividing Jerusalem, surrendering not only 100 percent of Judea-Samaria, but the Golan Heights, as well, and opening the Jewish state’s gates to millions of so-called “Palestinian refugees.”]

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