Woman posting note on board dedicated to Schalit.(photo credit:Ariel Jerozolimski)

If Gilad were home: Gershon Baskin and the “War of No Choice”

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If Gilad were home, it’s hard to know how he would be voting today, had he come home in time. It is doubtful that he would be casting has ballot for any of the politicians who have been in on the secret of the contacts with the enemy concerning the Schalit deal. Upon hearing the true story, it is quite possible that Schalit would in fact be voting for the Green Movement-Meimad, of which one of the founders is Gershon Baskin.

For the past two years and more, the co-CEO of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information has put his energy and his connections with some of the heads of Hamas at the disposal of the Schalit family.

Baskin relates:

“Two week” relates Baskin, “before the war,..I passed along to the prime minister, the defense minister and the foreign minister a proposal that I had received from it to open a direct and secret channel with Hamas. The proposal was aimed at advancing agreement with regard to renewing the cease-fire for a long period, opening the crossing points, including Rafah, and Schalit’s release in return for the release of Palestinian prisoners. None of them responded. Two days before the ground operation began I transmitted the proposal to them again, and again I was not granted a response
.”

Since then, Baskin has been living with the feeling that the Gaza war was not really a war of no choice aimed at protecting the inhabitants of the south. He is not the only one. Very senior people in the professional echelons who were in on the secrets of the process of the decision to attack Gaza are prepared to tell a commission of inquiry that the government did not make any real effort to renew the cease-fire. And that is putting it mildly.

Excerpted from “Perfect English or not, Netanyahu shares no common language with Obama” Originally Published at http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/perfect-english-or-not-netanyahu-shares-no-common-language-with-obama-1.269819

Gershon Baskin

Gershon Baskin

Gershon Baskin is one of the most recognizable names in the Middle East Peace process. His dedication to creating a culture of peace and environmental awareness, coupled with his impeccable integrity, has earned him the trust of the leaders of all sides of the century old conflict. Few people have such far-reaching and positive impacts on promoting peace, security, prosperity and bi-national relationships.
Gershon is an advisor to Israeli, Palestinian and International Prime Ministers on the Middle East Peace Process and the founder and director of IPCRI, the Israeli-Palestinian Public Policy Institute. He was the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel between Israel and Hamas for the release of 1,027 prisoners – mainly Palestinians and Arab-Israelis of which 280 were sentenced to life in prison for planning and perpetrating various attacks against Jewish targets that resulted in the killing of 569 Israelis in exchange for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit. Gershon is actively involved in research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, environmental security, political strategy, peace education, economics, culture and in the development of affordable solar projects with the goal of providing clean electricity for 50 million people by 2020.
Gershon Baskin