Dr Gershon Baskin
Gershon Baskin, Ph.D., is the Israel/Palestine Director of the Holy Land Bond. Baskin was the initiator and the person responsible for the secret direct back channel between Israel and the Hamas that successfully negotiated the release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilead Schalit. His book on the secret negotiations was published in Hebrew in June 2013 (לשחרר את גלעד) and in English in October 2013 (The Negotiator – Freeing Gilad Schalit from Hamas – Toby Press) from 2012 until 2020 Dr. Baskin served as Country Manager for Palestine in Gigawatt Global developing mid and large scale commercial solar energy projects in those countries.
From 1988 – 2011, Dr. Baskin was the Israeli Co-Director and founder of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) - a joint Israeli-Palestinian public policy think and “do”- tank located in Jerusalem. From January 2012 – March 2017 he served the Co-Chairman of IPCRI’s Board of Directors. He initiated the founding of IPCRI in 1988 following ten years of work in the field of Jewish-Arab relations within Israel, in Interns for Peace where he lived for two years in the Israeli-Palestinian village of Kufr Qara, 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 at Baskin’s initiative).
During the Premiership of the late Yitzhak Rabin, he served as a special advisor on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to a secret team of intelligence officers established by Mr. Rabin. Dr. Baskin was a member of the Jerusalem Experts Committee established by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office during the Final Status Negotiations in 2000-2001.
Since February 2005, he has a weekly column in the Jerusalem Post under the title Encountering Peace. His weekly column is also published in Arabic in the Palestinian daily newspaper AlQuds and in Hebrew on a news and opinion website D’Yoma.com.
Dr. Baskin holds a Ph.D. in International Affairs from University of Greenwich. His dissertation was on Sovereignty and Territory in the Future of Jerusalem, parts of which were published as a book Jerusalem of Peace.
Dr. Baskin has been awarded the Histadrut Prize for Peace in 1996, the Turkish Foreign Policy Institute Peace Prize in 2004, the Tribute of Honor and Courage from the World Movement for Democracy in 2004 and the Search for Common Ground Journalist Award for Middle East Journalism in 2005 and 2007 as well as the Ordine Della Stella Della Solidarieta Italiana. Dr. Baskin speaks Hebrew, English and Arabic. In November 2018, Baskin’s book In Pursuit of Peace in Israel and Palestine was published by Vanderbilt University Press. In November 2020 the book came out in Arabic in Jordan and will and in Portuguese in Brazil. The book will be published in Hebrew in 2022.
Recent Articles, The Jerusalem Post
1. Urban Renewal in East Jerusalem Would Help Thousands of Palestinians, Gershon Baskin, 19th January 2022
2. East Jerusalem Needs Urban Renewal, Gershon Baskin, 22nd December 2021