Dear followers thank you for joining me at The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference 2015.
My thoughts on The Jerusalem Post Conference are summarized after a day of intense discussion of US and Israeli relations including Israel’s concerns about: “Two States for two people”, anti semitism , the BDS movement and IRAN.
1. As promised, I showed my map of the two states to at least 10 people. There was unanimity. Though most were skeptical, believing there was no willing partner to talk to. They all believed the newly proposed State was doable with land swaps. A Cantor who had been one of the original settlers of Ariel, thought the territory made sense. See my map !
2. Yair Lapid , an Israeli member of the Knesset, recommended the involvement of the Arab Nations in Peace talks including Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia , the Arab League and the PLO as attendees. He further advocates that Egypt host the talks and the US sponsor the talks.
3. Every newspaper I read on 6/8/15, contained the Rand Report on the economic benefits to the Palestinians if they chose a Two State Solution . Their increase in GDP would be dramatic, while the Israeli economy would increase by $120 billion over 10 years. Think long term savings in Security?
4. The new State would be demilitarized . The Israeli’s are concerned about pulling out of territories leaving a power vacuum. They do not want a repeat of Gaza which they consider a failed State.
Next, Jack Lew spoke as an emissary of the US. He tried to explain AMERICA’s position on the Iranian nuclear negotiations. The Israelis and members of the audience were skeptical. Their concern: with “distrust and verify” as America’s mantra, would Iran surreptitiously become a member of the nuclear club? Even if that doesn’t happen, Israel prefers that IRAN’ s behavior changes before lifting sanctions. Israel further wishes Iran to prove that they are less territorial. They want Iran to renounce their support of terrorism by proxy, before sanctions are lifted. Iran plans to spend $500 Billion on infrastructure. I presume that’s a powerful reason to lift the ban on commerce with IRAN. I say, if American companies build infrastructure in Iran, they should commit to build it here first. We need work on infrastructure in our country as well.
Why not a ” Mitzvah Bond” , a performance bond with a bonus? if you create jobs and complete a project in America, the Corporation will reap a higher return on their investment? Their cost of borrowing could be cheaper? I don’t know the exact mechanism , but a similar concept is being considered in Israel. Another topic for debate , when we the people speak ?
Then, Dr. Yuval Steinitz representing, infrastructure and energy in Israel, voiced his opinion about IRAN’s R&D programs. He was concerned they would produce faster centrifuges and lessen their break out time to the Bomb when the Sanctions were lifted and their nuclear power plants were no longer under intense observation.
Amid their very real concerns about Israel’s place in the international community, Ron Prosor, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, said the geo political conflicts in the Middle East has led to a new coalition among the Israelis, the Saudi’s, the gulf States and Jordan. There has been a rapprochement among these Nations as Israel sends their technology and experts to these newly aligned Countries.
In conclusion Israel is very thankful to be a partner with AMERICA on many fronts and praised their continuing good relations with the US. Israel is mainly concerned with their self preservation in a hostile environment. They take anti semitism very seriously and look upon the BDS movement as anti Semitic. Personally, I think the BDS movement is egregious and does not help the local Muslim population either. My opinion, it would be better for the World to stop bashing Israel and the Jewish people and promote fellowship between Israel and the PLO. Give them the chance to work once again on a solution of ” Two States for two people”.
FYI : The conference lasted from 8-5:30 pm, a long interesting , informative and entertaining day. As always, when attending conferences. the attendees are equally interesting! Ronald Lauder , President of the World JEWISH Congress gave the opening statements while the conference closed with a televised message from BIBI, followed by the entertainer, superstar, DUDU FISHER. His rendition of “Bring Him Home” from “Les Miz ” was memorable and deeply moving!
A full day! Thanks for reading dear followers. Please continue to comment and share my Posts. All the best.