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EU Boycott Contributes To Israeli Decision on Peace Talks

In an Al-Monitor interview, Peace Now chair Yariv Oppenheimer says the Israeli public must force Netanyahu ''to take a historic step forward" and implement the vision of a two-state solution.
Labour party leader Shelly Yachimovich addresses supporters at her party's headquarters in Beit Berl, north of Tel Aviv January 23, 2013. Hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged the bruised winner of Israel's election on Tuesday, claiming victory despite unexpected losses to resurgent centre-left challengers. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) - RTR3CTBJ

Last week’s official announcements about the renewal of the diplomatic process on July 20 put the chair of Peace Now, Yariv Oppenheimer, into emergency mode. He has spent the past 10 years as head of the veteran, left-wing, extraparliamentary movement. During seven of those years, talks with the Palestinians were either gridlocked or completely frozen.

Oppenheimer is facing a difficult test. He has to lead a campaign to win public support among Israelis for the implementation of a two-state solution. He hopes that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be swept up in this wave of support and be prodded to take a historic step forward. And he is organizing this campaign even though the Israeli peace camp has become something of a pariah among some of the leaders of the political center, headed by the Chairwoman of the Labor Party Knesset member Shelly Yachimovich.

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