Israeli Presidential Conference Tomorrow 2013

The Israeli Presidential Conference, Facing Tomorrow

was attended by 5000 people this year,

many coming from around the world to Jerusalem, Israel.

This year started with a special 90th birthday celebration

for President Shimon Peres serranaded by Barbra Streisand.

Opening night tickets were harder to get then to the Obama speech.

But the long program was available on-line to watch.

As the motorcades were finally going by after it ended,

and I was already getting into bed, 

I was sure I had had a great seat.

image Tony Blair

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair followed Shimon Peres,

photo President Bill Clinton in Jerusalem

and then former US President Bill Clinton entered the opening plenary.

cell phones as cameras image

Phones and cameras were out to catch 

photo Shimon Peres and Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton get the Israeli President’s special medal and award.

Over two days there were too many speakers and dignitaries to list.

I was disappointed that somehow I kept missing

Prince Albert of Monaco, but maybe I just did not recognize him?

A few of the most popular presenters included:

Dr David Augus image

Dr David Augus from California,

Dan Arielly image

Prof. Dan Arielly,

Image Ayaan Hirsi-Ali

and once again Ayaan Hirsh-Ali.

Image Yair Lapid

New to Israeli politics and this program was MK Yair Lapid. 

image cameras ready for Sharon Stone

But the serious press attendance and cameras came out

photo Sharon Stone

for Hollywood actress Sharon Stone,

photo Shimon Peres and Sharon Stone

Shimon Peres and Sharon Stone.

photo Robert DeNiro

And also from Hollywood Robert DeNiro.

Image Rav David Stav

Rav David Stav got a little attention in the halls.

John Baird image

At least Arutz 7 noticed John Baird, the Foreign Minister from Canada.

photo Manfred Gerstenfeld

 But how many paid attention to Manfred Gerstenfeld?

image Irwin Cotler

At least my friend was also excited to see Canadian Irwin Cotler.

Image Dr Ruth

And as always everyone was excited to be seen with Dr Ruth!

If you do not know all these names, take time to look them up,

 I decided not to link to poor Wiki information.

But what about this conference called Tomorrow,

when most of these names are so yesterday?

photo Tim Armstrong and Yussi VArdi

Tim Armstrong and Yossi Vardi may have come up with a new plan.

But, there were two things that really do stand out for tomorrow.

As at past conferences the Hebrew University exhibit,

image MRI exhibit

   was bigger and better, their brain research simply mind boggling.

But I would like to end with my favorite scene of Facing Tomorrow.

Image young men working on tech projects

These five young men, ages 15 to 19,

are already involved in tech and start-ups.

This time of year the real streets are so busy and full

of end of year graduations, from gan to University,

they are the real tomorrow.

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