Press Release

May 17th, 2010

Groundbreaking Website Fosters Syrian Israeli Peace Dialogue

Prominent Syrian and Israeli bloggers identify and resolve top obstacles to peace

A groundbreaking website, OneMideast.org, is bringing together prominent Syrian and Israeli bloggers seeking to propose solutions to break the impasse of the stalled peace process.  This website is the first joint Syrian-Israeli online dialogue of its kind.

Analysts say that peace negotiations between Syria and Israel may represent the best chance to reinvigorate the Middle East peace process and provide a pathway to regional security and stability. On at least three occasions over the past twenty years, negotiations between the two countries have come tantalizingly close to a deal, and yet, obstacles emerged each time to scuttle the process and send it back to square one.

Facilitating dialogue that would otherwise be impossible through traditional means of communication, the project, which began one year ago, brought together a number of active Syrian and Israeli bloggers  – academics, political analysts, journalists, and consultants – who participated in debate and discussion in a private online forum. During the first phase of the project, the participants generated an extensive list of all possible objections to peace from both sides, and then voted for what they considered to be the twenty objections most commonly encountered in Syrian and Israeli societies. Once they had settled on the objections, the group collectively set about attempting to produce the most effective counter-arguments to each objection.

The results of the project are available for download (as text and as a series of podcasts) on the OneMideast.org website. During its next phase, OneMideast.org will invite experts and opinion leaders from both countries to discuss the challenges associated with the Syrian-Israeli peace process, and to submit constructive feedback for publication on the site.