Disillusioned ex-Israeli peace negotiator finds hope online

AP News
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Posted: Jul 02, 2015 11:17 AM

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — A former Israeli peace negotiator is celebrating his vision of coexistence in the Middle East with a nearly million-strong online movement stretching across some of the region's most hostile borders.

Four years ago, Uri Savir launched a Facebook group aimed at bringing together moderate voices from Israel and the Arab world.

His "YaLa Young Leaders" program held an online conference Thursday attended by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, chief European Union diplomat Federica Mogherini and others.

Savir, 68, was Israel's chief negotiator in 1993 Peace Accords with the Palestinians.

He says peace needs "passion and patience" and that he sees YaLa as a vital part of a process to create a new generation attuned to coexistence.

YaLa members from Iraq, to Sudan, to Israel engage in online chats about peace.