Looking Forward:
May 2005 Town Hall Conference Calls

Daniel Levy, May 15, Where to from Gaza?

Daniel Seideman, May 22, Current Israeli Policies in and Plans for Jerusalem

Yasser Abed Rabbo, May 29, Challenges and Successes of the Palestinian Authority since the Elections

ALL calls will take place on SUNDAYS at 11:00 A.M. EDT.

TO JOIN: Dial 1-702-851-3330 within 5 minutes of the call's designated start time and then enter the access code 123432#. You are responsible only for domestic long distance charges.

QUESTIONS?: Each presentation will be followed by an extensive question and answer session open to all participants. Please send your questions before or during the call to townhall@btvshalom.org with the name of the speaker to whom the question is addressed in the subject line.

Where to from Gaza?
Sunday, May 15th at 11:00 A.M. EDT

With Daniel Levy, one of the lead Israeli drafters of the Geneva Accord and now director of policy planning and international efforts at the Geneva Initiative-Israel. (An extensive bio follows below.)

Current Israeli Policies in and Plans for Jerusalem
Sunday, May 22nd at 11:00 A.M. EDT

With Daniel Seideman, consulting legal advisor to Ir Amim which was founded in order to actively engage in those issues impacting on Israeli-Palestinian relations in Jerusalem and on the political future of the city.

Challenges and Successes of the Palestinian Authority since the Elections
Sunday, May 29th at 11:00 A.M. EDT

With Yasser Abed Rabbo, member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's executive committee and key Palestinian architect of the Geneva Accord.

Presenter Bios

Daniel Levy was the lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Initiative and is now directing policy planning and international efforts at the Geneva Initiative-Israel in Tel Aviv. For over two years Levy led the working-level Israeli negotiating team in negotiating the terms of the Geneva Accord. He is actively involved in promoting and speaking writing about the plan.

Levy previously served as senior policy adviser to former Israeli Minister of Justice, Yossi Beilin, from March 2000 to March 2001. In this capacity, he was responsible for coordinating policy on various aspects of the ministerial portfolio, including issues related to peace negotiations, the Palestinian minority in Israel, civil and human rights, representing the minister on governmental committees.

During the Barak government, Levy worked in the prime minister's office as special adviser and head of the Jerusalem Affairs unit under Minister Haim Ramon.
Levy was a member of the Israeli delegation to the Taba negotiations with the Palestinians in January 2001, and of the negotiating team for the 'Oslo B' Agreement from May to September 1995, under Prime Minister Rabin.

In 2003 Levy worked as an analyst for the International Crisis Group Middle East Program, during which time he authored reports, including "A Time To Lead" the International Community and the Middle East," "Middle East Endgame" - How a Comprehensive Peace Settlement Would Look," "A Middle East Roadmap to Where?", and "Identity Crisis: Israel and its Arab Citizens." He also worked for three years as projects director for the Economic Cooperation Foundation, a Tel Aviv based policy 'think-tank and do-tank' whose mission is to promote regional peace and stability in the Middle East. He served his compulsory army service as an NCO in the Liaison Office with the United Nations Forces based in the region and in the office of the Deputy Coordinator of Government Activities in the territories.

Upon his arrival in Israel in 1991, Daniel Levy was elected chairperson of the World Union of Jewish Students, a position in which he served until the end of his term in January 1994.

Daniel Levy occasionally writes opinion pieces for Ha'aretz.

Yasser Abed Rabbo has dedicated a life of service to advancing the goals of both Palestinian liberation and an Israeli-Palestinian peace. As such he was one of the first within the Palestinian Liberation Organization's leadership to call for an historic reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians through the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel based on 1967 borders.

Abed Rabbo rose to political prominence as a leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, from which he later broke to found the more moderate Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He became a member of the PLO's Executive Committee since 1971, and served as the head of its Department of Information and Culture until 1994 when he assumed the same position in the Palestinian National Authority, a position from which he successfully advocated for the law guaranteeing freedom of the Palestinian press.

Abed Rabbo participated in both the Middle East Peace Conference in Madrid in 1991 and the back-channel negotiations that lead to the Oslo Accords in 1993. He subsequently participated in all negotiations to implement the Oslo Accords and led the Palestinian delegation to what were to have been the Permanent Status negotiations in 1999-2000, and then to Camp David and Taba negotiations thereafter.

In 2001, he sought to pick up where the Taba meeting left off earlier in the year, by resuming the negotiations, albeit informal ones, with Yossi Beilin which yielded the Geneva Accord of 2003. Through the Geneva Initiative, an international campaign to build grassroots support for the Accord, Abed Rabbo appears regularly with Beilin in public forums where together they raise awareness of the need for a negotiated, two-state resolution to the conflict..

Daniel Seideman, founder and legal counsel for "Ir Amim", a non-profit association dedicated to an equitable, stable and sustainable Jerusalem, has been a practicing attorney in Jerusalem and a partner in a firm specializing in commercial law since 1987.

Since 1991, he has also specialized in legal and public issues in East Jerusalem, in particular, with regard to government and municipal policies and practices, representing Israeli and Palestinian residents of Jerusalem before the statutory Planning Boards regarding development issues. Key cases have included: the takeover of properties in Silwan, the legality of the Har Homa expropriation and town plan, the Ras el Amud town plan, and administrative demolition orders. In 2001, he successfully filed suit to the Israel Supreme Court, requiring the Jerusalem Municipality and the Israeli Ministry of Education to provide adequate educational facilities and services to the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem.

From 1994 to 2000, Mr. Seideman served as lead counsel of Ir Shalem, an NGO dedicated to the development of Jerusalem for the benefit of all of its residents, Israeli and Palestinian. In this capacity, he acquired expertise in the functional exercise of authority in Jerusalem, particularly in the fields of planning, residency rights, allocation of resources, property rights, and the subjective perceptions of the various populations of the city in this regard, particularly as these impact the functioning and viability of Jerusalem.

Due to this expertise, since 1994, he has participated in Track II talks on Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians. In 2000-2001, Seideman served in an informal advisory capacity to the final status negotiations; serving as a member of a committee of experts commissioned by the Prime Minister Barak's office to generate sustainable arrangements geared to implement the emerging political understandings with the Palestinians.


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