In a rare, spontaneous sort of way, I left work for an hour to attend Israel's "President's Conference" and hear President Shimon Peres address a group of bloggers.
Live Blogging it now: 11:42 AM...
The format is bloggers asking Peres questions...
Q: What is the single greatest issue dividing Israel and Diaspora Jewry:
The president didn't answer the original question, and replied with his 3 core issues of what the relations with Israel should be based on:
A: Return to understanding what Judaism is: readopt the 10 commandments...and help Israel survive; militarily, economically, and spiritually.
Some basic questions were asked...whats the best way to market Israel, what would you tell advocates for Israel on US campuses...now someone from La Figaro (France) is asking a question.
A 15 year old blogger asked a question, though I'm not sure who he is (thought he might be Daniel Pereg) but I don't think its him. He asked whats the best way to market Israel, and Peres replied to be a moral person.
It's fun seeing all these bloggers I haven't had the chance to see in a while; David from Jewlicious, Aussie Dave, The Big Felafel blog, Esther from myurbankvetch, Sarah from the WorldWell (and Jewlicious), Carl from Israel Matzav and others (will fill in the hyperlinks later).
Peres says we have 60% of the support of the American people.
Q: Since you like science, do you also science fiction? Is there anything from science fiction you h that helps you look forward?
A: Computers are moving everything forward at a tremendous rate. Yet we don't understand the human brain. I think the coming 10 years will be devoted to the mind. Since there won't be a world government, there can be self government (People will know what makes them happy, angry or sad, and this will help themselves).
Is education a service or an investment? To educate is to produce.
The same goes for health. If you don;t have healthy people, you can't produce.
People need to not only extend their life expectancy, but to make their lives more meaningful.
People should invest in science and labs, not the stock market.
Shoshana from The Third Sector: Currently non profits are very poor, and the answer isn't getting money anymore from the US. I believe the third sector should be supported by the government and businesses. What do you think?
I think people need 2 passports; national and global.
Our national passport should be spiritual and cultural...whats going on at home.
Different doesn't mean inferior.
Borders are not important; identities are.
I don't understand how he answered the question...whatever.
Question from IBA reporter: Many believe the Cottage Cheese Boycott is indicative of the prohibitive cost of living in Israel?
Answer: We need to change our agenda. Education is more important than money. The earning of a person with an academic degree is 30% more income .
I want to see every girl and boy have free academic education. I want to see army service to include a university education, and that every outgoing soldier will have a BA degree.
Education is entry to a better world and a better income.
We need to change our concepts. Producing is by education and better health.
As there is a physical gym, there is an intellectual gum to exercise your mind as you can your body.
If you eat 3 times a day, you'll get fat. If you read 3 times a day, you'll be wise. Better to be wiser than fatter.
We used to be a land of milk and honey, now we are a land of cottage cheese and chips.
We have the highest rate of milk production per cow in the world.
Even raising salaries, but food costs more, you haven't achieved anything.
We need to change the cost of the way from the cow to the consumer. Why are we paying more? We need to check it profoundly and carefully. The victims are the middle class and the large families.
No matter how rich you are; rich and poor pay the same for an egg and glass of milk. For the rich its nothing. For everyone else, its very serious. By increasing the price of commodities you are hurting people, making income raises meaningless. We need to correct this as soon as possible.
Peres leaving...photo op.
My Jimmy Wales: Founder of Wikipedia up next...
The entire team of the Jewlicious blog are asking questions from Jimmy about Wikipedia.
Wales: We need better tools for ranking WikiPedia pages to see if people like the sources and wikipedia article entries.
The mission for wikipedia is for their to be a free encyclopedia for everyone person on the planet, in their own language.
Q: The Western Wall has 2 complete different entries with different information between them on the Arabic and English Wikipedia entries.
Its a human process. Quality comes first. How do each of us see outside our own frameworks.
Jameel's thoughts (in my head): Facts are irrelevant when "narratives" are introduced...the Arabic articles in Wikipedia are lies, denying the existence of the Jewish Temples. Yet, these are considered the Arab "narrative" (their own make believe version of history).
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