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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Uncle Shimon goes to New Haven

Until the space shuttle Columbia crashed killing Israel's real first astronaut, Ilan Ramon z"l, there was a popular joke in Israel that Shimon Peres was our first astronaut. The reason: his feet were never on the ground. In other words, Peres lived in a different universe than the rest of us, a universe in which there is no problem that cannot be solved by money.

Peres visited Yale University last night, and delivered a speech that typifies that world view:
During his address, Peres - who shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with Yitzchak Rabin and Yasser Arafat for their work on the Oslo Accords - said globalization and increasing economic interdependence worldwide are ushering in a new era of diplomacy.

"We live in a world of global relations," he said. "Globality is becoming more and more [the] life and style of your generation … Governments are pushed out of the economy because they can't become global governments."
The problem is that Peres continues to want to turn Israel into a web site:
In the modern world, countries need ideas, not land, to stimulate economic growth, Peres said. He said he believes Arab states do not need land from Israel to increase their welfare but instead need to focus on technological innovation. [But Peres will be happy to give them all the land they want. CiJ]

"There are no reasons for having another war," Peres said. "You can't conquer wisdom from war. You can't bring innovation with armies." [But if you don't keep yourself in a position to defend yourself from wars, you won't have the opportunity to be wise or to innovate. CiJ]
It was left to Yale sophomore Alexander Dominitz to express a more realistic viewpoint:
But Alexander Dominitz '09 said capitalism and its benefits will not dissuade those who oppose Israel ideologically.

"I think overall he's an idealist," Dominitz said. "His plan for integrating Israel into this nebulous global network will cause Israel to lose much of its strength, the strength of its own unity. You cannot have spirit and patriotism with corporations."
Dominitz is a staff columnist for the Yale Daily News. I hope he's considering aliya after graduation. We could use some clear thinking over here.


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