web analytics
December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Herzliya Conference’

Italian FM: Israel First on Path to Secure Middle East

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Italy appears to be standing strong with Israel regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

On Wednesday, during the Herzliya Conference, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata told a packed audience that even if Iran acted rationally with nuclear weapons they would pose an unacceptable global threat.

“Under its own nuclear umbrella, Tehran would be free to raise and lower the volume of regional tension as best suits its national interest…” and that “with a nuclear Iran, the rules of the Middle Eastern game would not only change overnight; they would change irreversibly,” stated Terzi.

The Italian Foreign Minister went on to suggest that “in the end, however ‘regional’ the trigger, a nuclear crisis will always have a global impact…Should Tehran acquire nuclear capabilities, others would follow and the Middle East –at the very doorstep of Europe— would enter this new regional nuclear race.”

The Italian Foreign Minister also addressed the ongoing bloodshed in Syria. “We can no longer afford delays in our action. No example is better than Syria to remind us that the Assad regime and its allies do not necessarily act under similar constraints. We are witnessing the emergence of fast-rising economic and military powers, in different regions, which pursue their interest with the power of a State and the flexibility of a non-state actor.”

Terzi concluded by pointing to Israel as a regional stabilizer, stating that “Israel not only lies at their geographical center. It is also at their frontline. As the dust settles, and room grows for new ideas, Israel will be the first and foremost engine of a new path towards a more secure and peaceful Middle East.”

Iran has been an important topic at the Herzliya Conference, the annual forum for addressing Israel’s national agenda by bringing together Israeli and elite international policy makers. Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, Rudy DeLeon, also announced on Wednesday that President Barack Obama is not bluffing regarding Iranian nuclear attainment. However, DeLeon emphasized that all other options had to be explored first.

“Precisely because America is strong, we are not afraid to talk to our adversaries,” he stated.

Israel Creating Virtual Embassies in Middle East

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Israel is utilizing new media technology to developing innovative ways to extend hands of friendship to countries in a volatile Middle East.

“We are exploring government, people and societies … trying to skip over the borders and using the new media to create virtual embassies,” which speak directly to those in the Arab world, said Foreign Ministry director-general, Rafael Barak, at the inaugural ceremony of the 13th annual Herzliya Conference on Monday.

Addressing the regional trends impacting Israel, Barak related that “we live in a region in a state of constant instability, and it is our assessment that this instability will continue for many more years.” Despite this, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to locate potential friends in the region, while trying to find “frenemies” among Israel’s enemies and exploring how different governments relate to one another.

Barak remarked that Israel must not only be aware of the threats that exist in the region, but also of certain population sectors that seek friendship. “We must contend with the people around us, looking at the new strategic threats, including the large concentration of chemical weapons in Syria, Hizbullah and Hamas activity, as well as Kurdish populations and other minorities looking for our friendship and trying to draw close to Israel,” he stated.

Regionally, “the characteristics of peace have almost disappeared” said Barak. However, he stressed that the situation with Jordan was better, noting that Israel has an embassy there and is “doing a lot of things with visibility… and under the radar.”

“We always look for opportunities [in the region] … We hope an opportunity will come from Syria…[and] are trying to open doors wherever possible and provide humanitarian assistance wherever possible.”

In regard to the situation in Egypt, Barak emphasized the necessity for Israel to “maintain peace agreements with Egypt in light of the instability and internal situation.” He said that the Foreign Ministry was maintaining a “mobile ministry” which traveled to and from Egypt weekly, rather than maintaining a permanent embassy in an unstable and dangerous area.

We Didn’t Even Notice

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

         Israel has stopped representing the Jewish nation, and we didn’t even notice.

 

The parliament was transferred from the Knesset to the Herzliya Conference, and we didn’t even notice.

 

Israel’s leadership was transferred from the prime minister to the president, and we didn’t even notice.

 

In his recent article, philosopher Ohad Kamin highlighted the connection between International Holocaust Day and Israel’s lost status as the representative of the Jewish nation. International Holocaust Day is a new phenomenon. Until just a few years ago, nobody had heard of it. Until then, it was clear that the mother of the Jewish nation – the State of Israel – determines its birthdays and memorial days. Nobody would have thought of designating a Holocaust Day other than what the State of the Jews had already designated.

 

But former chief justice Aharon Barak has already explained that he does not see the State of Israel as a Jewish state, but rather a state of all its citizens. Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, explained that all we are is a Hebrew-speaking Singapore. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu retreated from his just demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and returned to his “Place Among the Nations.” As such, it is rather surprising that it took the world an entire 62 years to understand that Israel really is not a Jewish state and to set its own Holocaust Day – not the one that the Hebrew-speaking Singapore commemorates.

 

The transfer of prestigious deliberations from the Knesset to the Herzliya Conference is a symptom of the same process. The parliament of the rabble in Jerusalem has been abandoned to all sorts of marginal and insignificant MKs. The people who really make the decisions try to keep away from the popular representation in the Holy City, preferring to conduct their deliberations in the elitist bubble in hi-tech Herzliya. To speak there, one has to be a champion of the leftist agenda or a senior official who is not a Jew – or one has to pay a lot of money. If you are the prime minister, they may allow you to speak – but not necessarily.

 

And as Hagai Segal explained last week in the Makor Rishon newspaper, the prime minister no longer dares to make a move without the backing of the real ruler, the visionary of the Palestinian state: Shimon Peres.

 

The rug is being pulled out from under the feet of the Jews and – not coincidentally – from under the feet of democracy.

 

The media reported that the man who threw a shoe at Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch was severely beaten by security officials after he was arrested. Isn’t the brutal beating of a handcuffed man who is in official custody a more serious crime than the actual throwing of the shoe? But nobody asks any questions.

 

We have already become accustomed to the fact that the rule here is not the rule of the people. By the way, what do you think would happen if an average person would call the police because somebody threw a shoe at him? Would the police show up within seconds and cart off the perpetrator, holding him until the end of court proceedings?

 

Israel is not democratic and Jewish. It is democratic because it is Jewish. When we neuter the state of its Jewishness, we neuter its democracy of all meaning. Ultimately, the loss of Israel’s Jewish identity brings about the loss of its international legitimacy.

            “We dreamed of a place in which the new Book of Books would be written as a stage in world redemption, because you are a chosen nation. We had expectations, and look what you have
done” (British academicians explaining, in Makor Rishon, to the deacon of Israel’s Sapir College why they are so angry at Israel).

 

But poetic justice is alive and well. The glittering speakers who ran away from the Jews in Jerusalem to the cosmopolitan glass walls of Herzliya now have arrest warrants waiting for them in London.

 


 

Manhigut Yehudit Applauds Soldier Achiya Ovadia


 


After he was court-martialed and served a jail term for raising a sign against the expulsion of Jews, the soldier Achiya Ovadia was summoned to a hearing. At the hearing, his commanders demanded that he apologize and renege on his previous position or face suspension from the Hesder program and a three-year assignment in a non-combat position. Ovadia informed his commanders that he would prefer to sit in jail and study Torah for three years, and that he would not submit to their political directives.

 

Ovadia is among the few who have shown responsibility and leadership in the face of the government’s tyranny. He has done a tremendous service to Israel, and Manhigut Yehudit salutes him.

The Justice/Security Connection

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

      If the ideas put forward at the recent Herzliya Conference are any indication, both the classic Right and religious Right are captive to the Oslo paradigm and the consciousness that produced it. Neither has any alternative to the proposals of the Ehud (Olmert) & Ehud (Barak) government.

 

      From Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech, it seemed that he had memorized Shimon Peres’s book, The New Middle East, before ascending to the speaker’s podium. Netanyahu spoke of joint industrial parks to help the Gazans become wealthy and extinguish their desire to fight. The catch is that this solution has already been tried. The abandoned industrial parks in Atarot and the Erez Crossing, both refurbished to fulfill Peres’s dream, should be sufficient proof that joint economic ventures are not the solution.

 

      Since Oslo’s inception, the Left has taunted the Right with the fact that it has no non-Oslo alternative. Foreign Minster Peres’s pointed question to Opposition head Netanyahu during the Knesset’s Oslo debate, “And what is your alternative?” made clear from the very start that the classic Right had no answer to Oslo. Netanyahu’s speech at the Herzliya Conference simply highlighted that fact. Is it any wonder that when the Right rises to power in Israel, it is still the Left that actually rules?

 

      But why should we complain about Netanyahu? The religious Right is also captive to the consciousness of the Left. “We must safeguard Nasrallah as the leader of Hizbullah and not attempt to eliminate him,” religious-rightist General Yaakov Amidror said at the Herzliya Conference.

 

      When Yasir Arafat was on his deathbed, I published an article entitled, “Quick! Kill Him Before He Dies!” On the surface, the call to kill the admired arch-terrorist when he was about to die anyway was patently illogical. Why should Israel set itself up for a violent Arab reaction when the contemptible scum was about to do the world a favor and make his exit on his own?

 

      The answer is simple. There is an intrinsic bond between justice and security. True, a good army, modern weapons and sophisticated intelligence are all prerequisites for security. But nothing will help a country that is not armed with justice. When Israel signed the Oslo Accords, it signed away its most vital armament. Rabin’s White House lawn handshake with the head of the Palestine (all of it) Liberation (from all the Jews) Organization was an announcement by Israel that it accepts the justice of the Arab claim on the entire Land of Israel. Oslo relegated Israel to the role of Jewish colonialists who want nothing more from the “native” Palestinians than to do a little business.

 

      My call to eliminate Arafat did not stem from pragmatic considerations. It was a desperate attempt to restore Israel’s sense of justice. I didn’t think that we should kill him because it would effectively stop terror in the short term. I called to kill him because that was the just thing to do.

 

      The Oslo pragmatism that surrenders the concept of justice from the outset has wreaked havoc on Israel’s security. Today, it is in the worst state that it has been since the War of Independence. Israel’s civilian population has become a legitimate target for daily shelling. Post-Oslo Israel has allowed the Arabs to arm themselves with tens of thousands of missiles, covering all of Israel with conventional and non-conventional ballistic weapons. In just a short time, Iran will complete the development of the icing on the cake. But an Israel that lacks faith in its own justice is incapable of explaining to the parents of its soldiers why it must go to war to eliminate the existential threat. It will clearly not gain world support to attack Iran – because Israel has already admitted that there is no real justification for its own existence.

 

      Maybe those Israeli leaders who are detached from their Jewish identity no longer view justice as an absolute value. They may consider it a primitive artifact of times past, irrelevant to the post-modern era. “We will give them honor and they will give us peace,” Peres and his Oslo cohorts repeated time and again. From those who want no connection to their Jewish identity, maybe that’s all we can expect. But when the religious Right repeats the Oslo mantras, all of our early-warning systems should be blinking. More than anything else, such statements proclaim Israel’s desperate need for authentic Jewish leadership that is confident in the justice of the Jewish nation in the Land of Israel.

 

      (Translated from the article that appeared in the Makor Rishon newspaper.)

 

      To learn more about Moshe Feiglin and Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership), and their plan for Israel’s future – and to order Feiglin’s newest book, The War of Dreams- visit http://www.jewishisrael.org.

Title: Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

         This is a book we all need to read because of its message. Even though it’s the debut novel of a young writer (she was 18 at the time) and perhaps more for a teenage reader, the heartbreak of the destruction of a 30-year dream, that was destroyed in a few moments, is guaranteed to pull at your heartstrings.

 

         Something unbelievable happened and, if we don’t learn the lesson, this story threatens to be repeated in many more Israeli communities where Jews have settled and forged meaningful lives. The danger may come, not from our enemies, but from our own governmental decision-makers.

 

         The author was born in America, and lived with her family in Neve Dekalim until 1992 until the tragic Disengagement in 2005. She loved her life in Gush Katif, where she spent her childhood and teenage years with her parents and six siblings.

 

         The story is written as a novel, with a fictitious family comprised of parents Yoram and Miri Yefet and their two teenage children, Efrat and Yair. The father is a farmer inspecting dunams of vegetables to ensure they are bug-free. At first their lives and concerns are typical of Israelis all over the country, even though the firing of mortars and rockets is often a nightly occurrence.

 

         We learn of intermittent tragedies such as the murder of a beloved teacher, Miriam, in a terrorist attack. Sadly such events have become commonplace in Israel as the Intifada shattered lives and families that can never be whole again.

 

         The community’s foreboding strengthened when Prime Minister Ariel Sharon gave a speech at the Herzliya Conference. He stated clearly that he intended – if he didn’t find an Arab partner – to withdraw unilaterally from the Gaza Strip and part of Northern Samaria (Shomron) even though it meant dismantling settlements.

 

         Thus the residents of Gush Katif realized that their only hope was to raise national awareness of what their communities actually were and the kind of idealistic people who lived there. They decided to mount a massive campaign to convince citizens to vote against Sharon’s plan should it come to a national referendum.

 

         The Yefet family began by choosing a city and going door-to-door to talk with any residents who were willing to listen. Some were. Many, however, felt that “the settlers” were the stumbling block to peace and would be no loss if disengagement should eventuate.

 

         These were usually ones who did not know that Gush Katif boasted 21 thriving communities of 8,000 settlers, religious and secular, Israeli-born, as well as immigrants. They lived there despite 11,000 terror attacks and 4,000 mortars and Kassam rockets. In a short time, the entire Gush joined the “Face to Face” campaign, handing out pamphlets, vegetables that were grown there, and CDs of their beautiful, endangered communities. Many strategies were originally employed, including wearing an orange star. However, public pressure caused an end to this campaign with its echoes of the Holocaust.

 

         Much of the book is written in the form of Effie’s diary entries, which I suppose are typical of the way a young girl might record her thoughts. There are also extracts translated from various articles in the Hebrew press in 2005, as the Disengagement built towards reality, with mass demonstrations, blocking of roads, civil disobedience and prayer vigils, which we know with hindsight, were all in vain. Efforts were made to try to convince soldiers to disobey orders, which presented a moral predicament for them.

 

         In the final pages, you will find your cheeks wet with tears as you finish the book – fiction that so tragically became fact. Read it – and remember!

 

         The book is available from Mazo Publishers, P.O.B. 36084 Jerusalem 91360 Israel; or info@mazopublishers.com  Tel: Israel 054 7294 565 USA: 1 815 301 3559 .

 

         Dvora Waysman is the author of 10 books, including Esther – A Jerusalem Love Story; The Pomegranate Pendant and its new sequel: The Seeds of the Pomegranate also available from Mazo Publishers. She can be reached at: ways@netvision.net.il 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/title-grains-of-sand-the-fall-of-neve-dekalim/2007/07/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: