Friday, 21 June 2013


President’s Conference 2013  

By Ted Belman
The President’s Conference 2013 is over. The opening session I attended featured Pres Bill Clinton. He was as charming as ever and the audience swooned over him.. There is no question that he is very much loved in Israel.
The audience was mostly under 40 and mostly all peaceniks. Everytime any speaker mention peace and platitudes associated with it they clapped to show there approval. The speakers and the audience for the most part were focused on working toward peace. No one raised the idea that peace would be fleeting if obtained or questioned the Arab demands. It was like they were all prepared to give the Palestinians what they wanted and no one considered our right to the land. One speaker mentioned the classic definition of insanity in another context and it met with their approval, They obviously didn’t see the irony in their position.
I attended many panels during the last two days. But there were many panels I didn’t attend as attendees had to choose between 5 panels for each time slot of which there were at least 4. The presenters in all the panels and the plenary sessions were world class. As such their intelligence shone forth and they were very articulate. I particularly was impressed with David Axelrod, the man who got Obama elected two times and Rahm Emanual who served as his Chief of Staff for the first term.
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Barack Obama bombs in Berlin:  

By Nile Gardiner, The Telegraph (UK)
When John F. Kennedy delivered his “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate on June 26, 1963, 450,000 people flocked to hear him. Fifty years later a far more subdued invitation-only crowd of 4,500 showed up to hear Barack Obama speak at the same location in Berlin. As The National Journal noted, “he didn’t come away with much, winning just a smattering of applause from a crowd that was one-hundredth the size of JFK’s,” and far smaller than the 200,000 boisterous Germans who had listened to his 2008 address as a presidential candidate. JFK had a clear message when he came to Berlin a half century ago – the free world must stand up to Communist tyranny. 24 years later, President Reagan stood in the same spot famously calling on the Soviets to “tear down this wall.” Reagan’s speech was a seminal moment that ushered in the downfall of an evil empire, and gave hope to tens of millions of people behind the Iron Curtain. It was a display of strength and conviction by the leader of the free world, sending an unequivocal message of solidarity with those who were fighting for freedom in the face of a monstrous totalitarian ideology.
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PIPES: What Turkey’s riots mean  

By Daniel Pipes, Washington Times
Rebellion has shaken Turkey since May 31. Is it comparable to the Arab upheavals that overthrew four rulers since 2011, to Iran’s Green Movement of 2009 that led to an apparent reformer being elected president last week, or perhaps to Occupy Wall Street, which had negligible consequences?
The unrest marks a deeply important development with permanent implications. Turkey has become a more open and liberal country in which leaders face democratic constraints as never before. How much it changes Turkey depends primarily on the economy.
China-like material growth has been the main achievement of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the party he heads, the AKP. Personal income has more than doubled in the decade that he has been in power, changing the face of the country. As a visitor to Turkey since 1972, I have seen the impact of this growth in almost every area of life, from what people eat to their sense of Turkish identity.
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The Religious War in the Middle East  

The proposal of the United States for a Palestinian state and a joint Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli policing mechanism in the Jordan Valley seems like a pipe dream. That sort of suggestion, disconnected from reality, clearly indicates a dangerous lack of awareness concerning the increasing militant Islamic aggression toward Israel and the West.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has been doing a lot of soul-searching these days. He has been assessing his options and those of his terrorist organization and wondering about the outcome. Despite his usual smug boasts, in his last speech he could not quite hide his fears, even though he was being recorded deep in his bunker in the southern Beirut suburb of Dahia.
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Ted Belman
Jerusalem, Israel