It’s interesting that a panel on Jewish-Arab co-existence features two Jews and four Arabs. It reminds me of those NPR reports on Jewish settlements which feature a debate between a PLO official and a journalist from Ha’aretz. Even handed…
And who is missing from the panel on co-existence? Obviously, folks like you and me on either side of the debate, religious Jews and religious Muslims. We are not in the conference’s narrative. But in reality, the only meaningful exchanges on Jewish-Arab co-existence have been conducted between men of God on both side.
It’s a good thing that numerically we’re going to be the only ones around in 20 years, but not if you were to ask this conference’s organizers.
The conference will kick off with its trademark “My Recipe for a Better Tomorrow” plenary session, in which Google’s Schmidt, world champion swimmer Keren Leibovitch, Israel’s minister of defense Ehud Barak and Nobel Prize laureate Professor Daniel Kahneman will each present their own unique ingredients for a “better tomorrow.”
Personally, I would have grave doubts accepting from Ehud barak his recipe for French fries, much less for a better tomorrow. As to Google, as long as they continue to locate Jerusalem as an independent entity in Asia, no relations to the state of Israel, I have grave doubts about Eric Schmidt’s and my idea about tomorrow.
Among other sessions planned for Facing Tomorrow 2012 are “Europe – Between Unity and Division” (hope they’ll invite a European person to speak); “Israel’s Security in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring” and “The Brain – Can Machines Improve Humans?”
Yes they can, and eventually those improved humans will grow up to run presidential conferences.