Remembering Tomorrow 2011

It is too hot to be outside.

The news of more terror attacks from Egypt are distressing.

The reports of the Egyptian presidential results are depressing.

The fourth Israeli Presidential Conference – Facing Tomorrow 2012,

opens at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem tomorrow.

So today seemed like a good time to remember last year’s conference.

"picture Shakira", "image Shakira", photo Shakira"

At the opening press conference President Shimon Peres called Shakira 

“Sharika”…I still have to stop and think, so as not to repeat the mistake.

"picture Sarah Silverman", "photo Sarah Silverman", "image Sarah Silverman"

On the opening night, Sarah Silverman stole the show,

showing that she was a comedian with brains.

"picture Jonathon Sacks'" ,"photo Rabbi Sacks","image Chief Rabbi Sacks"

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks called anti-Semitism a virus:

the oldest virus of hate that is spread today by the internet.

"photo Rabbi Sacks", "image chief rabbi Sacks", "picture J Sacks"

“Holocaust happens when language debases happenings,” he warned.

History shows hate begins with Jews, but it does not end with them.

A year later his words are even more insightful.

"picture Peres", "image Pres Peres",

I spotted President Shimon Peres more than once

moving quickly from session to session.

"picture Jimmy Wales", "photo Jimmy Wales", Image Jimmy Wales"

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales was a featured speaker.

It is still distressing to me that some Arabic entries found in Wikipedia,

  are very different from the English ones.

In Arabic, the only connection of the Jews to the “Wailing Wall”

is that they tried to buy it twice and failed.

"photo Dr Ruth", "image Doctor Ruth", "picture Dr Ruth'

Popular ‘Dr Ruth’ Westheimer often got stopped in the halls.

She is on the schedule again this year.. and yes, she really is short.

"picture lab students', photo HU students", "image lab coats'

A favorite of mine were the students from the Hebrew University labs.

  Those doing studies on the blind loved to show

their sensor invention that makes a walking stick obsolete.

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu was one

of the speakers at the conclusion of the conference.

At some popular sessions there were lines waiting to enter,

and once inside the room there was standing room only.

Lucky for me Mohammad Dajani got up and walked out 

"photo Nir Barkat", "image Jerusalem mayor'. Picture mayor Jerusalem"

 when Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat spoke of his vision for Jerusalem,

so I got a seat in the crowded room.

"photo Bibi" , "image Bibi netanyahu', "picture Bibi"

Facing Tomorrow… more on Tomorrow 2012 tomorrow.

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