Facing Tomorrow, Closing

‘Conversion-Who Keeps the Gate for the Jewish Nation’,

 was one of the closing sessions that confronted controversal subjects

at the 2001 Israeli Presidential Conference.

 ‘The Israeli Palestinian Peace Process:

How far away are we from a Peaceful Tomorrow?’ was another.

One of the participants, Mohammad Dajani has published material on Jerusalem.

Was he the one who walked out the previous day,

when Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat began to speak on ‘My Vision of Jerusalem’?

Dr. Ruth Westheimer is not controversial, as everyone seems to love

Dr Ruth and wants to be photographed with her.

 ‘Where is Jewish Philanthropy Headed’ attracted a large crowd,

however, there were plenty of seats at ‘The Jewish Dimension of a Peace Agreement’.

From opening to closing, the Hebrew University hosted exhibits,

with enthusiastic students anxious to show off their impressive research.

When it was time for the Closing Plenary in Teddy Hall,

everyone had to leave the building and reenter

 through multiple layers of security checks.

Plenty of jokes in the slow line about the great photo opportunities, but

I decided to not to take pictures as security does not always have sense of humor.

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyhu was the first speaker, followed by

 Natan Sharansky, who was not thrilled to have to speak in English right after Bibi.

In closing, President Shimon Peres got in the last word,

however he repeated much of what he had said earlier in the day to the bloggers.

Not exactly the real streets, but as in the game of Monopoly, to land on

  Park Place or Park Lane, in the British version, can be fun for a change.

After the singing of Hatikva, buses took everyone back to their hotels.

Summer is here and school’s out.

A delivery man was almost lynched in an Arab neighborhood near Hebrew University.

Police were busy last night with demonstrators burning tires

that closed the main road into Jerusalem and caused rush hour chaos.

Flotillas and Glen Beck are their on the way.

‘Cottage’ is still a crisis, goods are high and salaries low.

The doctors’ strike keeps getting bumped to the back page.

It was great to see old friends and make new ones,

but there is always something happening on the Jerusalem streets

and as Sarah Silverman said in a TV interview, Israel has “crappy pr”.

So it’s time to get back to the real Jerusalem streets.

 

More photos on The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook Page

Facing Tomorrow, Part 2

‘New Media for a New Tomorrow’, moderated by Yossi Vardi,

 was the title of the last morning plenary of the

Israeli Presidential Conference, ‘Facing Tomorrow.’

This conference was indeed supportive of the new media.

Bloggers were invited to a special session

with Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on Wednesday.

On Thursday the blogging sessions were in a larger venue, where first

Natan Sharansky told us how it took years in the former Soviet Union

to build a network.

  As he spoke of  “pioneers of change”, bloggers were typing quickly,

demonstrating the speed and power of the internet in spreading his words.

Next,  President Shimon Peres

arrived in the interview area,

where the crowd had grown considerably.

 President Peres spoke on his view of education and the future,

then took questions from the audience,

before posing for a photo with Jimmy Wales and some of the bloggers.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, who also spoke at an opening event

on social innovation and the importance of “neutrality,”

 was the last speaker.

In the blogger session, he mentioned that the annual

Wikipedia convention is to be held in Haifa this year

 and how the Hebrew version of Wikipedia is growing.

He then answered questions.

Safety of the internet, truth on the net, “neutrality’ of information,

 securing, accessing and sharing information, and social innovation

were all topics discussed at this conference.

My question remains…

How do we get “neutrality’”  in the Arabic reading and speaking world,

when the Arabic information on Wikipedia

  denies any right of the Jews to the Wailing Wall?

 

Securing universal truth of information has to be a priority.

 

See The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook Page

for Blogger Session Album with more photos