World

Disillusioned former Israeli peace negotiator looks online for hopeful future for Middle East

  • Members of the Yala Young Leaders group, an Internet-based peace movement of Middle Eastern and North African youth, sit at the group's headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, July 2, 2015. Four years ago, disillusioned former peace negotiator Uri Savir launched a Facebook group aimed at bringing together moderate voices from Israel and across the Arab world. Now he’s celebrating his vision with a near million-strong online movement stretching across the Middle East’s most hostile borders. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

    Members of the Yala Young Leaders group, an Internet-based peace movement of Middle Eastern and North African youth, sit at the group's headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, July 2, 2015. Four years ago, disillusioned former peace negotiator Uri Savir launched a Facebook group aimed at bringing together moderate voices from Israel and across the Arab world. Now he’s celebrating his vision with a near million-strong online movement stretching across the Middle East’s most hostile borders. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Member of the Yala Young Leaders group, an Internet-based peace movement of Middle Eastern and North African youth, sits at the group's headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel. Thursday, July 2, 2015. Four years ago, disillusioned former peace negotiator Uri Savir launched a Facebook group aimed at bringing together moderate voices from Israel and across the Arab world. Now he’s celebrating his vision with a near million-strong online movement stretching across the Middle East’s most hostile borders. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

    A Member of the Yala Young Leaders group, an Internet-based peace movement of Middle Eastern and North African youth, sits at the group's headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel. Thursday, July 2, 2015. Four years ago, disillusioned former peace negotiator Uri Savir launched a Facebook group aimed at bringing together moderate voices from Israel and across the Arab world. Now he’s celebrating his vision with a near million-strong online movement stretching across the Middle East’s most hostile borders. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Member of the Yala Young Leaders group, an Internet-based peace movement of Middle Eastern and North African youth, sits at the group's headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel. Thursday, July 2, 2015. Four years ago, disillusioned former peace negotiator Uri Savir launched a Facebook group aimed at bringing together moderate voices from Israel and across the Arab world. Now he’s celebrating his vision with a near million-strong online movement stretching across the Middle East’s most hostile borders. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

    A Member of the Yala Young Leaders group, an Internet-based peace movement of Middle Eastern and North African youth, sits at the group's headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel. Thursday, July 2, 2015. Four years ago, disillusioned former peace negotiator Uri Savir launched a Facebook group aimed at bringing together moderate voices from Israel and across the Arab world. Now he’s celebrating his vision with a near million-strong online movement stretching across the Middle East’s most hostile borders. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)  (The Associated Press)

A former Israeli peace negotiator is celebrating his vision of coexistence in the Middle East with a nearly million-strong online movement stretching across some of the region's most hostile borders.

Four years ago, Uri Savir launched a Facebook group aimed at bringing together moderate voices from Israel and the Arab world.

His "YaLa Young Leaders" program held an online conference Thursday attended by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, chief European Union diplomat Federica Mogherini and others.

Savir, 68, was Israel's chief negotiator in 1993 Peace Accords with the Palestinians.

He says peace needs "passion and patience" and that he sees YaLa as a vital part of a process to create a new generation attuned to coexistence.

YaLa members from Iraq, to Sudan, to Israel engage in online chats about peace.