Seth J. Frantzman
22 September '10
Posted before Chag
The shocking, but comical, news that the Palestinian Authority’s two most powerful politicians had withdrawn their support for a US-funded coexistence campaign encouraging average Israelis to be “partners” in peace is part of the larger failure of misguided coexistence projects.
The latest story goes something like this.
As a background to the peace talks now under way, USAID, a US government humanitarian and economic assistance organization, supported a Geneva Initiative ad campaign aimed at encouraging Israelis to support peace. The campaign created 30-second video clips of Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat asking Israelis, “Are you my partner” and purchased 280 billboards across the country. The billboards are modeled on Facebook and show a photo of leading Palestinians asking people to accept their “partner request.”
On September 7 it was announced that Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad had asked not to be associated with the peace partner campaign because it was “too Israeli.”
Fayyad complained that the Geneva Initiative had not gotten his consent to be used in the campaign and according to reporter Avi Issacharoff, “Fayyad also reportedly noted that it wasn’t clear to him why the campaign did not also feature Israeli figures addressing the Palestinian public.”
This is a question others have raised.
(Read full story)
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