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Uri Savir on What the U.S. Should Understand About Israel and Palestine
17 December, 2008
Uri Savir is an Israeli diplomat. He served as head of Israeli diplomacy in the critical years, 1993-1996, when he was the Chief Negotiator of the Oslo Accords. In 1999, Savir was elected to the Knesset on the Centre Party's list. Two years later, he left the Centre Party and was a member of the New Way faction for two days. During his time in the Knesset, he served on a number of committees, including the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Savir is currently the President of the non-profit organization The Glocal Forum, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of international relations in pursuance of new balance between global and local forces in today's world. He is also a director of the Shimon Peres Center For Peace. Savir studied International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Savir: I think the one thing that the United States needs to understand paradoxically about the Israelis and Palestinians is how close we are as human beings, how, on a latent level, a common language we have, that what is lacking is political courage to make difficult decisions, difficult for the Palestinians to give up on the right of return, difficult for Israel not to have a United Jerusalem. So, if they understand that, to some degree, the people are more mature than their leaderships, the encouragement towards a courageous leadership on both sides, having the backing of the United States help that courage is the most important point for American future policy.
Uri Savir adjusts America’s lens for viewing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.