JESS Manville admits, somewhat ironically, to not knowing of the existence of Palestinians during her formative years.
However, for the 29-year-old Mancunian daughter of Caron and Rikki Manville, the situation is different.
The former Manchester’s King David Primary School pupil, who lives in Jaffa, but works in Ramat Gan, is director of foreign relations for the Geneva Initiative.
The organisation aims to provide realistic and achievable solutions on all issues involving Israelis and the Palestinians, based on previous official negotiations, international resolutions, the Quartet Roadmap, Clinton Parameters, Bush Vision and Arab Peace Initiative.
In addition to presenting a detailed blueprint for Israeli-Palestinian peace, it also aims to bring peace closer by showing the way and preparing public opinion and leadership to accept, support and promote the real compromises required to solve the conflict.
The organisation is actually the coming together of two separate NGOs — the Palestinian Peace Coalition and HL Education for Peace.
Jess recalled: “My understanding of Israel developed at home and at school — I don’t think I was even aware that there were Palestinians until around 16 or 17.
“When you’re at school, you’re shown the outline of the Israeli map, and you don’t know what part of that is the West Bank and what part is the Gaza Strip or that there are other people there.
“I always had a devout, strong kind of identity in my house for Israel.
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