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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

President's Conference liveblog

I'm at the President's Conference trying to do three things at once, including watching a simulcast of the panel on the Arab spring (which features Meir Dagan and Dennis Ross). Unfortunately, all the panel rooms are full and I did not get into one despite a promise to let 'media' in.

Two things I want to point out. First, I had raised in an earlier post the issue of observant Jews being on the panels. The panel on Israel being a Jewish or democratic state (which was the main target of that quip) includes Adina Bar Shalom (Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef's daughter) and Dudi Zilbershlag, who certainly have religious backgrounds and have the qualifications to discuss that issue (that was the panel I actually wanted to hear in this slot).

Second, at the plenary session this morning, Ayaan Hirsi-Ali warned that we would not see peace in this generation. Everyone else ignored her.

So now I'm watching the Arab spring panel and of course they're saying that we need to make peace with the 'Palestinians' and with the Turks. If only either of those were possible on non-suicidal terms. Meir Dagan now speaking and basically refers to Netanyahu as an irrational hawk and claiming that's why Netanyahu can't get along with Jordan's King Abdullah. Dagan also refers to 'illegal settlements.' He sounds as harsh as any of our critics (and of course is being applauded for it). Who is defending Israel on this panel?

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