Dr. Gershon Baskin, Israeli CEO of the Israel-Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) has announced he will be running for a place on the Green Movement list for Knesset. Gershon brings with him 20 years of experience working closely with the Israeli and Palestinian public to heighten understanding and stimulate peaceful interactions between the two peoples.
Gershon grew up in the Young Judea youth movement in the United States. He immigrated to Israel in 1978 and lived for two years in the Israeli-Arab town of Kafr Kara – teaching English and organizing social meetings between Arab and Jewish youth. This experience eventually led him to convince Prime Minister Menachem Begin (z”l) and Education Minister Zevulan Hammer (z”l) to appoint him coordinator of joint activities between the Jewish and Arab school systems in Israel. He completed his army service working for the Chief Educational Officer creating and conducting programs to educate Israeli soldiers about the dangers of racism and discrimination – a challenge he continued throughout his 20 years of reserve duty. He completed his Ph.D. studies in international affairs at Greenwich University.
In 1988, in response to the outbreak of the first Intifada and to the recognition of the growing importance of local Palestinians in the Palestinian national movement, he co-founded IPCRI with Hana Siniora. IPCRI describes itself as “the only joint Israeli-Palestinian public policy think-tank in the world; it is devoted to developing practical solutions for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” More on IPCRI’s long list of activities promoting Israeli-Palestinian co-existence is found here. In particular, IPCRI has played a leading role in linking co-existence to sustainable and clean environment for both people. Gershon has received numerous international awards for his work.
From 1993 to 1996, Gershon served as special advisor to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (z”l) on Palestinian affairs, and from 2000-2001 served under Prime Minister Ehud Barak in the expert committee on Jerusalem in preparation for the Taba Summit of 2001. He is a frequent commentator on regional and local concerns in the Jerusalem Post.
The Green Movement welcomes Gershon and the experience and ideals he brings to the Movement. You can read more on Gershon here.