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The Jerusalem-Project is a Swiss-Israeli-Palestinian initiative for the creation of new, unexpected perspectives, which should create a Win-win situation for Israelis and Palestinians. First activities began in 2003; after a preparation for years a systematic cooperation of three essential partners was initiated in October 2008 for a time period of 20 years.
The International Peace and Cooperation Center (IPCC) with seat in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of French Hill is a Palestinian co-operative organization, that was founded in 1998 by Dr. Rami Nasrallah who is the current executive head of the organization. Its mission is to support the development of a highly informed, competent and active Palestinian civil society which participates in urban democracy and is capable of defending its social, economic and political rights. The IPCC is active in the fields of policy research, urban planning, zoning and development, civil society and community engagement, and the media. The IPCC received £400,000 in 2011 and 2012 from the British Foreign Office. The IPCC has claimed that Israel’s policy in Jerusalem aimed “to segregate and paralyse the urban fabric," and that "the motive behind Israel’s security barrier was to redraw the municipal borders of Jerusalem."
The Futura-Institute (FI) was founded by Professor Shlomo Hasson as a think tank to discuss issues concerning the future of the State of Israel from a geopolitical, social, economic and cultural perspective. This policy institute was inspired by a vision of Theodor Herzl, which he outlined in his novel The Old New Land (1902).
The Lassalle-Institute (LI), based within the Lassalle-Haus, was founded by Pia Gyger and Niklaus Brantschen. It works with leaders in business, politics and other sectors of society. By means of lectures, seminars, research, coaching and corporate consulting, the institute advocates ethics rooted in holistic consciousness. In 2003, it obtained consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Jerusalem – Open City for Learning World Peace is the most important project of the Lassalle-Institut.
The vision of the Lassalle-Institut for Jerusalem is based on biblical prophecies (Book of Micah and Book of Isaiah), that are holy to the three major Abrahamic religions and speak of Jerusalem as "The Holy City of Peace". These texts deliver what can be seen as guidelines for Jerusalem and all humankind:
- «They shall beat their swords into plowshares» Book of Micah 4:3 – Disarmament and transformation of arms
- «Neither shall they learn war any more» Book of Micah 4:3 – Training and building of a culture of peace
- «All people will walk every one in the name of his god» Book of Micah 4:5 – Interreligious and intercultural dialogue based on mutual appreciation.
In the future, Jerusalem should be:
- a unique capital of two states: of the state of Palestine and the state of Israel
- an open city: politically divided, physically undivided
- a city in which people and goods circulate freely between the different sectors and the surrounding areas
- a city of peaceful coexistence
- a functioning, versatile town with high quality of life
- a cosmopolitan city which constitutes a universal centre of peace and conflict resolution as a part of the global network of cosmopolitan cities
- a city which connects the strengths of its cultural and religious heritage with tourism, financial services and information technology
- a city which becomes a place of peace between mankind and the earth – thanks to renewable energy, sustainability in urban planning and an environmentally friendly lifestyle of the population
Hasson and Nasrallah have developed a joint vision for Jerusalem as an open city. The authors promote a two-state solution with two capitals, living side by side in peace. The main idea is that Jerusalem should be politically divided but physically, economically and socially should function as one open city.
Contact with the United Nations (UN)
In January 2009, the Lassalle Institute associated the partners from East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem with representatives of the UN, including the Swiss ambassador Paul Seger. In 2009 and 2010, the Lassalle Institute linked up the IPCC and the FI with the offices of the United Nations Development Programme and the European Commission in Jerusalem.
Activities in Jerusalem
In January 2007, the Lassalle-Institut set up an office in Jerusalem. The leaders of the Jerusalem-Project within the Lassalle Institut, Niklaus Brantschen and Pia Gyger, live in Jerusalem twice a year for several weeks for networking.
Activities in Switzerland
The Lassalle-Institut in Bad Schoenbrunn and in particular its Jerusalem office are continuously evolving the project, establishing it in Switzerland, preparing conferences at the Lassalle-Haus, visiting Jerusalem and the United Nations Headquarters in New York, doing fundraising and other activities.
Conference: Jerusalem: The Global Challenge
From October 14–16, 2010, the first annual international conference on the issue of Jerusalem and the challenges it faces was held under the title Jerusalem: The Global Challenge in the „Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem Centre“ in Jerusalem. It was organized by the Lassalle-Institut, the IPCC and the Futura Institute, with the support of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the office of the European Commission in East Jerusalem. The purpose of the conference was to make the Jerusalem-Project known in Jerusalem and to form a network of engaged Israelis, Palestinians, and international community representatives who would promote the vision and the activities of the Jerusalem-Project. There was a mutual recognition that Jerusalem should be politically divided according to the principles of the two-state solution but physically, socially and economically united.
- Projects working for peace among Arabs and Israelis
- Alternative dispute resolution
- Israeli–Palestinian conflict
- Conflict resolution
- Conflict resolution research
- Homepage Lassalle-Institut. Jerusalem Project. Retrieved 2011-11-21
- The International Peace and Cooperation Centre. Mission. Retrieved 2011-11-17
- United Nations, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, occupied Palestinian territory. Special Focus, April 2009: The Planning Crisis in East Jerusalem: Understanding the Phenomenon of "Illegal" Construction, pp. 14-16. Retrieved 2011-11-21
- Investigate UK Funding of Palestinian NGOs
- Futura Institut. Retrieved 2011-11-17
- Lassalle-Institut. Mission Statement. Retrieved 2011-11-17
- United Nations Economic and Social Council. List of non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council as of 18 September 2008, p.48, Retrieved 2011-11-18
- Jerusalem – Open City for Learning World Peace
- Lassalle-Institut. "Offenes Jerusalem. Retrieved 2011-11-17
- Homepage Lassalle-Institut. Vision
- Hasson, Shlomo & Nasrallah, Rami (2010). "Jerusalem Open City. From Vision to Program". Retrieved 2011-11-14
- Homepage Lassalle-Institut: Staff members
- Jerusalem: The Global Challenge. Annual International Conference, October 14-15 2010, Conference Program. Retrieved 2011-11-18
- E-Newsletter of International Geographical Union (IGU): Report of October 2010 from Prof. Giuliano Bellezza pp. 23-26
- International Peace and Cooperation Center (IPCC), East-Jerusalem
- Futura-Institut of Prof. Shlomo Hasson, West-Jerusalem
- Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center, East-Jerusalem
- Interview with Rami Nasrallah and Shlomo Hasson. „If the enemy is your friend“ („Wenn der Feind ein Freund ist“). Swiss TV, August 30, 2010
- Jean-Michel Berthoud. "Swiss group pushes for peace". Swissinfo.ch, December 27, 2010
- Shlomo Hasson: Supporting Jewish-Arab Relations – The Case of Jerusalem. Near East Quarterly, April 30, 2011