Gideon Levy & Mitri Raheb in Palme Prize Ceremony

Watch the ceremony of the Olof Palme Prize, awarded to the Israeli journalist Gideon Levy and the Palestinian pastor Mitri Raheb on 29 January 2016 in the Swedish parliament – with speeches by Pierre Schori, the acceptance speeches by the Laureates, the award given to them by Lisbeth Palme, plus wonderful music. At the end you can see my conversation with them both.

The venue was the old second chamber of the Swedish Parliament. In that very same place I heard the late PLO leader Yassir Arafat express his acceptance of Israel and a two state solution for the first time. That was in December 1988 – something that later led to the Oslo process which was supposed to lead to the creation of a Palestinian state by 1999.

Yet a two state solution seems more distant today, when the occupied West Bank looks like a Swiss cheese, with holes left to the Palestinians. Former president George W Bush used this metaphor, while on a visit to the West Bank in 2008, when he said that a “Swiss cheese isn’t going to work when it comes to the outline of a state”. 

Also Mitri Raheb talked about the Swiss cheese. So what does he and Gideon Levy suggest that we do now, after nearly 50 years of occupation, when the holes in the cheese are getting smaller month by month? In this video you can hear their answers to my question during the ceremony. 

Read more about the Olof Palme Award here.