It's been a while since Ghaith and I have been out proselytizing for the Geneva Initiative but we had the opportunity earlier this week in Pittsburgh, and we will do so again, today at 6:30, on a live webchat. Ghaith Al-Omari and myself met at the Taba negotiations in January of 2001 when we were both officials representing our respective sides, the PLO and Israel. From 2001 to 2003 we led the drafting teams in the unofficial talks that produced the Geneva Initiative. Ghaith went on to become a senior policy adviser to President Abbas until a few months ago when we joined forces at the New America Foundation to spread the word on this side of the pond. I always feel honored and lucky to work with Ghaith -- anyone who has come across him will understand why.
Today, from 6:30-7:30 pm, Ghaith and I will be speaking on a live webchat sponsored by the Arab American Institute. Join us if you can. Earlier in the week we were guests of the Middle East Peace Forum in Pittsburgh speaking at the Carnegie Mellon University, debating on this local talk show hosted by Lynn Cullen - who was great fun.
I am unapologetically biased on this one, but, rereading the Geneva Initiative this weekend, I was struck that one really does not need to reinvent the wheel on this one. It is doable, and it really is a question of political will and courage. If you have not done so yet and have a moment, here are the Initiative maps and text.