Looking Forward:
May 2005 Town Hall Conference Calls

This Sunday, May 22 at 1:00pm EDT *New Time*
Current Israeli Policies in and Plans for Jerusalem

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. (Full bio follows below.)

Next Sunday, May 29 at 11:00am EDT
Challenges and Successes of the Palestinian Authority since the Elections

With Yasser Abed Rabbo, member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's executive committee and key Palestinian architect of the Geneva Accord. (Full bio follows below.)

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.

Presenter Bios

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.


Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
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Phone: (312) 341-1205
Fax: (312) 341-1206

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