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Olive Tree Initiative

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Olive Tree Initiative to Host Israeli Dr. Gershon Baskin, Responsible for Israeli Soldier Gilead Schalit Release

Olive Tree Initiative (OTI) will host Dr. Gershon Baskin, Ph.D., for an intimate conversation about the Middle East conflict. He will be the first speaker in a speaker series this year that OTI will host. The speaker series will bring speakers to UC Irvine who have been involved with the peace process to talk about 20 Years After the Oslo Peace Accords (1993-2013) What Happened to Peace in the Middle East?

Irvine, CA, January 28, 2013 --( Dr. Baskin is the former Israeli Co-Director and founder of the Israel/Palestinian Center for Research and information (IPCRI) – a joint Israeli-Palestinian public policy think and “do”–tank located in Jerusalem. Dr. Baskin was the lead initiator and the person responsible for the secret back channel negotiations between Israel and Hamas that successfully led to the release of Israeli abducted soldier Gilead Schalit in October 2012. Dr. Baskin has served as the Ministry of Education and as Executive Director of the Institute for Education for Jewish-Arab Coexistence (established by the Israeli Ministry of Education and the Prime Minister’s Office).

Dr. Baskin will additionally speak on the secret negotiations between Israel and Hamas that led to the release of Gilead Schalit; he will discuss the possibility of a two-state solution and he will discuss the lessons learned from the failed Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Date: Monday, February 4, 2013
Time: 5-7PM
Location: UC IRVINE, Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway, Room SBSG 1517

The Olive Tree Initiative is an educational program designed to promote conflict analysis and resolution through Experiential Education by providing students and community with the education, training and experiences needed to better negotiate and solve conflicts. Since 2007, OTI has expanded to six UC campuses (UC Irvine, 
UC Los Angeles, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley 
and UC San Diego) with strong community support groups. 
OTI has chapters at Stanford, San Diego State University and 
emerging chapters at universities in Washington, DC and London. 

OTI has led eight trips to the Middle East, primarily in Israel, the West Bank and Jordan and one trip to Turkey and Armenia.

OTI alumni have written for the Huffington Post, Al Jazeera and Foreign Policy. Over 60% of OTI alumni work professionally in international affairs and in conflict resolution after going through the OTI program.

The event will be co-sponsored by the Center for Citizen Peacebuilding and International Studies.

For more information about Dr. Gershon Baskin, Ph.D., visit

For more information on the Olive Tree Initiative, visit

For more information on the Center for Citizen Peace Building and International Studies, please see
Contact Information
Olive Tree Initiative
Chace Warmington

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