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November 1, 2016

The Yitzhak Rabin Foundation announces support of Yozmim -- the Israeli Peace Initiative (IPI)

Taking the Initiative: The Yitzhak Rabin Foundation announces support of Yozmim -- the Israeli Peace Initiative (IPI)

Promotes regional strategy paradigm, furthers Rabin’s legacy

We are pleased to officially announce that the Yitzhak Rabin Foundation (YRF) has provided a grant to the Israeli Peace Initiative ("IPI"). IPI is an NGO based in Israel dedicated to advancing a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian conflict by involving regional partners IPI was founded by Israeli businessman Koby Huberman and Yuval Rabin, son of the late prime minister and honorary chair of the YRF.

The strategy emanates from the 2002 Saudi Peace Initiative, which became the Arab Peace Initiative following its unanimous endorsement by the Arab League, but then never gained the further traction it deserved. IPI believes that while Israel may not agree and accept the Arab Peace Initiative in its entirety, the basic principles can be used as a springboard and basis for discussion. The assumption is that bi-lateral negotiations have not been successful to date and therefore IPI believes that by including stakeholders in the region, especially those with mutual interests, an agreement can be reached with the Palestinians. An agreement would be based on strengthening security and providing economic pillars, which would foster peaceful relations between Israel and the Palestinians. It would turn a corner in preventing further deterioration of current relationships and help avert increased extremism and terrorism in the future.

Many prominent Israeli officials from the defense establishment, business leaders, diplomats, academics and social activists have signed on in support of the IPI. In addition to getting broad recognition among many Israeli leaders, IPI has established relationships with key leaders in the Arab world. Until now, IPI has operated under the radar screen, avoiding publicity, not taking credit for its achievements and avoiding undermining its efforts by associating with political labels, Left or Right. It takes a pragmatic approach, using its resources and the relationships it has cultivated to enable any and all political leadership to advance the peace process. Its resources have gone toward polling, research and travel reinforcing the relationships necessary for consensus building.

In a special session sponsored by the IPI during the June 2016 Herzliya Conference a day-long discussion for the first time brought together the Ambassadors of Egypt and Jordan and Elias Zananiri of the Palestinian Authority, who reports directly to Abu Mazen. This rare discussion between these individuals at the conference demonstrates the strides IPI has already made with Arab players in the regions.

In reaching out to the Israeli leadership and policy-influencers in government, IPI includes a diverse group on all sides of the divide. The hope is that the innovative blueprint they have provided will lead to the establishment of acceptance, trust and confidence in a process that will advance things to the next level.

Motivated by patriotism and Zionism, IPI’s strategy reflects many of the principles associated with the Rabin legacy. By moving forward with a new and different paradigm or approach, Israel can establish economic leadership benefiting itself as well as the less radical countries in the region. Further, by initiating a process that includes the vested interests of all players, Israel will achieve greater legitimacy and support from the international community. The IPI believes that there is a limited window of opportunity with time of the essence. Arab leaders, such as el-Sisi of Egypt, King Abdullah of Jordan, King Salman and his heirs of Saudi Arabia, the four rulers of the Emirates as well as Mahmoud Abbas “Abu Mazen” of the Palestinian Authority are likely to engage in negotiations. IPI challenges the current Israeli leadership to take a proactive role and make a real commitment to reach a comprehensive agreement.

The YRF’s support of IPI is consistent with its mission to preserve and educate future generations in the spirit of Yitzhak Rabin’s legacy. It takes pride in establishing a partnership with IPI.

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