Online peace conference brings thousands together

JERUSALEM (AP) ? Organizers of an online Mideast youth peace conference say thousands of Israelis, Palestinians and other Arabs have participated in the Facebook forum.

Uri Savir, former Israeli peace negotiator and founder of the “Yala Young Leaders” group, hopes the online meetings will help break stereotypes and encourage participants to be active peacemakers.

On the Yala forum, one “conversation” showed a Palestinian, Israeli, Pakistani and Italian chatting.

Nearly 50,000 people have signed up for the group since it was launched last June. About 12,000 joined during this week’s two-day conference, which ended Tuesday.

The conference got a celebrity boost with recorded greetings from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, actress Sharon Stone, Barcelona football coach Pep Guardiola and others.