Geneva Initiative (H.L. Education)
- Website: www.geneva-accord.org. (Arabic and Hebrew websites.)
- Founded in October 2003 by former Israeli MK and Minister Yossi Beilin, and Secretary General of the PLO Yasser Abed Rabbo. Parallel Palestinian organization is known as the “Palestinian Peace Coalition.”
- Mission: “The GI and our activities are designed to reinstill in the Israeli and Palestinian peoples the hope that it is possible to reach an agreement that will serve their respective national and personal interests and aspirations.”
- Originally registered as a private company, limiting public access to funding reports. Later registered as a “company for the public’s benefit,” which entails more transparency.
- Funding: The Swiss government was the initial funder and supporter of the initiative. In 2010, received €400,000 from Spain, and $250,000 from USAID for an ad campaign in advance of the renewal of peace negotiations (see below).
- Other funders have included the EU (two PfP grants in 2004-2006, totaling €507,877), Norway, and Freidich Ebert Stiftung.
- Palestinian NGO Badil claimed that Switzerland ended its grants “because it refused to support the Geneva Initiative.” But the Swiss government denied the allegation, describing the Geneva Initiative as “an informal initiative supported by the Government, but that it was never official Swiss foreign policy.”
- In August 2010, before Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, Geneva Initiative introduced a public campaign, including billboards, newspaper ads, and video clips of various Palestinian officials stressing the current window of opportunity to reach a peace deal. According to media reports, both Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayad did not agree to participate in the campaign.
- The original version of the Geneva Initiative press release announcing the campaign stated that “The campaign is supported with the generous support of the American people through USAID,” and featured the USAID logo. The statement and logo were subsequently removed. In correspondence with NGO Monitor, Geneva Initiative General Director Gadi Baltiansky declined to explain this development.