Just beneath the radar of formal diplomacy and strategic talks, the largest peace conference in the history of the Middle East took place Monday and Tuesday on Facebook.
Thousands of Palestinian, Israeli and Arab youth joined together for the virtual peace summit where real world leaders, like Hillary Clinton, Shimon Peres and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, congratulated their efforts.
YaLa, the Young Leaders movement on Facebook with over 50,000 participants, is sponsored by the Peres Center for Peace with the goal of motivating Middle Eastern youth through social networks and technology to feel a stake in their region’s future.
The Facebook site was the brainchild of Uri Savir, a former chief Israeli peace negotiator who is president of the Peres Center. “If we leave peace to the current leaderships, we will go nowhere,” he said. “We have to give an opportunity to a much younger generation on social networks. I want to translate Tahrir Square, the social process (of the Arab Spring) into a peace process.”