A brief history of the Group

The jewish-palestinian Discussion Group in the Basle-Area exists since 1989.

A first meeting of a few Palestinians and Jews who wanted to know each other in order to overcome traditional prejudices lead to regular meetings. Gradually, more interested people joined the group and since 1990, there is the nucleus of a palestinian-jewish group that has remained nearly unchanged till today and that has always welcomed guests. The sense of these meetings was always the exchange of political and human experiences in order to reduce mutual prejudices and fears and the discussion of the actual political situation. Quite often, these discussions were controversial and basically different interpretations showed up through the respective emotional involvement.

Despite of the difficult political background (the Gulf-War, attacks on both sides, the assassination of Prime-Minister Yizchak Rabin, the change of government in Israel, the settlement-construction and the halt in the peace-process), the group stayed permanently active in a common wish of peaceful coexistence of both people with equal rights.

After a stage of orientation and after looking for like-minded groups - e.g. meetings with members of a similar initiative in Strassbourg - and after a public discussion in Muttenz (near Basle), the members of the jewish-palestinian discussion group have taken quite a time to digest the history of the palestinian-jewish conflict. 

Now, they have decided to publish the principles they had elaborated as a Declaration and they hope that as many Palestinians and Jews, men and women in the whole world and all people who can accept these principles as binding, will join us.

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Around 2005, the group decided peacefully to cease it's regular meetings activities. . The frustration about the realities of the Near East went in the opposite direction of what we had discussed and hoped for, became too painful.