By Ted Belman
The morning started out with a panel Can the World live with a Nuclear Iran. Ms Daniella Pletka with the American Enterprise Institute started out. She essentiall said all the talk coming from politicians is BS. Nobody will do anything. Ephraim Sneh, Frm Deputy Min of Def and Ephraim Halevey, Fmr Head of Mossad begged to differ, vehemently. They said what they meant and meant what they said. Iran won’t get the bomb. Brian Katulis, Sr Fellow at the Centre for American Progress, agreed but not so vehemently.
Da’wa to Jihad:The Nexus of Indoctrination and Violence was the second panel. The star of this panel was Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She told it like it is and often clashed with the other members of the panel who seemed to want to paint a prettier picture. Judith Miller, formerly with the NYT and book author on two books on radical Islam was a typical leftist. I was particularly upset with Dr Boaz Ganor the Executive Director of the International Institute for Counter-terrorism who talked about the good parts and the bad parts without mentioning Abrogation.
Next came All our Eggs in One Basket? America’s Place in Israel’s Foreign Policy. Danny Ayalon, Dep Min of Foreign Affairs lead off. Other palelists included Malcolm Hoenlein,Zalman Shoval Fmr Amb of Israel to the US and Gabriella Shalev, Fmr Rep of Israel to the UN. All of them praised the relationship and believed in its durability notwithstanding different interests. The ties that bind, they said, were very strong and extensive. I agreed. The commenters on Israpundit, suggesting that Israel look elsewhere are naive or worse. They also agreed that America was not in decline and would continue to lead the world. Larry Summers, the day before, was of the opinion, that, the US would solve its debt and deficit problem and go on to a robust economy. They agreed. Shalev threw in the gratuitous reccomendation the Israel must make peace now.
The last Panel, The Broader ME Game was also interesting. The Keynote was delivered by the infamous Gen (ret) James Jones. He’s the guy that for years wanted to send an international force to Judea and Samaria and impose a peace. He didn’t disappoint. His whole talk, after he got done telling us how much he loved Israel, was on the need for Israel to make peace, for its own interests and security , for the interests of the region, for American interests and for the interests of whe whole world. I kid you not. He really laid a trip on Israel. So I was particularly impressed with the first panelist, Ms Mary-Beth Long, Fmr. US Ass’t Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, who came out strongly against Obama’s policy on the Egypt turmoil. She made the case , as good as anyone that I have read, for caution. She pointed out all the problems and probabilities in acheiving any semblence of democracy in Egypt and the ME generally. The process must proceed very slowly. And she gave all the reasons why.
In general, the conference and speakers were dedicatied to making the case for Israel to make peace.