With 7 plenary sessions, 30 panels, with 4 special sessions for bloggers,
even with several clones it would have been impossible to attend
most of the events of the Presidential Conference “Facing Tomorrow”.
However, President Shimon Peres attended many sessions,
as did thousands of others who filled the halls of the International Convention Center.
In-depth analyses have been written in the press, but most people who were trying
to get to all the end-of-school-year events may not have had the time to read them.
So The Real Jerusalem Streets will offer a quick convention overview.
On the first night,
Israeli author Amos Oz, Bernard-Henry Levy of France, and Tony Blair of England
spoke the to an audience where electronic devices were the norm
and political opinions were to the of extremes of right and left.
Laptops were visible in the audience for the morning plenary entitled
‘Looking Towards Tomorrow-Trends, Challenges and Decisions.’
Participants were Abby Joseph-Cohen, Niall Ferguson, Amos Yadlin, and
Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks who called the new anti-Semitism a virus
that is hard to control and spread by the internet.
Tzipi Livni concluded the panel which could be heard and seen in the lounge
where drinks and food were on sale and networking was the main event.
A VIP lounge provided free drinks and delicious food,
the lemon meringue pie was said to have been really special.
However, Jerusalem water, unflavored, unchilled, and unaltered
was all that was provided free for the regular attendees of the convention.
‘Thin Ice: Criticism vs. Loyalty in Israel-Diaspora Relations’,
with participants Jeremy Ben-Ami, Daniel Dayan, Diana Pinto, Fania Oz-Salzberger
and Rabbi Eric Yoffe and moderated by Shmuel Rosner, was standing-room only.
Also, ‘My Visions of Jerusalem’ attracted an over flow crowd,
American Malcolm Hoenlein spoke eloquently in English about the right of all Jews
to be concerned and involved with Jerusalem and her future.
Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat was the last speaker at this session.
Another session in the same time slot was entitled,
‘Israel and America-Has the Love Cooled?’.
It was moderated by Ethan Bronner and
included such big names as Itamar Rabinovich, Robert Wexler, Ruth Yaron,
and Americans Elliot Abrams and Martin Indyk as panelists.
‘Where is the Global Economy Heading?’ was the evening plenary,
moderated by Stanley Fisher.
As Larry Summer was speaking, I was heading toward the door–
enough politics and economics for one day.
Glad I left early or I would have missed this view on the way home…
from one of the Jerusalem streets.
More photos will be posted on The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook page.