By Ted Belman
Today I attended the IDC Herzliya Conference on The Balance of Israel’s National Security, which continues until Wednesday. There were about 1000 people in attendence including 300 European parliamentarians. It is the biggest and most prestigous event of its kind.
Peres: Israeli-Palestinian peace urgent in light of Egypt crisis. Peres said time was not on Israel’s side as the area was being taken over by radicals and therefore Israel should make peace as soon as possible. I thought to my self if ever there was a reason not to make peace and give up territory, that was it.
One of the panels consisted of Defense Ministers from Israel, Britain, Czeck Republic and Hungary. I got the impression from them, especially the British Defense Minister, that they intend to do their utmost to insure we don’t end up with another Iran. But no one went so far as to say that the MB would be banned as a Party. At the same time they urged the peace process to continue.
This conference is an establishment conference which politically was left of center. The Europeans love them.
Former US Treasury Secretary, Larry Summers was the keynote speaker. His topic was “America’s resilience will prove prophecies of American decline false.”
- Professor Lawrence Summers optimistic address of the US and the future of the global economic system at the Herzliya Conference included three main factors which highlighted his prediction that the “American economy will grow by 3.5% this coming year”; the change in where the economy grows from, emerging nations and their effect on the United States as a global leader, and the reason why the US prevails.
Using Facebook as an example, Prof. Summers demonstrated how the American economy is “shifting from an industrial economy to a knowledge economy”. By using its capacity to adjust to world changes, the US has benefited from the shift in change.
In response to the concern of emerging economies overtaking the US, Summers said, “There is no reason why the success of emerging markets need to threaten those in industrial countries.” Exemplifying this through the global economy post World War II, when Japan and Germany recovered, this did not infringe on the American economy, so too, today, if the US embraces an open trade market, China’s growth will not impede on the US. He highlighted this point by stating that statistically speaking, “if you work very hard at flattering China, it has the standard of living of the US during the 1930s.”
Looking at current global issues, such as the protests in Egypt, the reaction of Washington is what people were interested in. “Those who believe that the US does not have the capacity or strength to respond to global events may be making a very serious mistake.”
Summers concluded by stating what is most crucial is that America “maintains the momentum of recovery”, which is achieved through its virtue of resilience. It has shown time and again that their own fears as well as the worlds’ were wrong and will continue to be so, proving most of the prophecies of “American decline will be not self fulfilling, but self denying once again”.
The speech was phenonmenal. A friend of mine recorded it and will be sending me a copy. I’ll try to get it typed up and posted or somehow make it available to you.
On a personal aside, I talked to Canada’s Amb Paul Hunt whom I met a few weeks ago. Also I said hello to Amb Yoram Ettinger a friend of mine and to Barry Shaw an author and fellow blogger.
I will be at the conference for the next three days..