Virtual Global Forum

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AJC Great Debate Preview - Shavit vs. Glick: Two-State Solution or Two-State Illusion?

The collapse of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks last year raised questions about the viability of a two-solution to the conflict. “Two-State Solution or Two-State Illusion?” is the topic of the AJC Global Forum’s Great Debate, featuring authors Ari Shavit and Caroline Glick. Click here to sign up to receive a reminder email when the live webcast of the Great Debate is about to begin on Tuesday, June 8.

On Israel’s Future

Shavit and Glick have very different visions of Israel’s future. Shavit wants Israel to do more to push the two-state solution. He warns that current settlement policies will inextricably entangle Israel in the West Bank and eventually compel a one-state solution, which will either end the Jewish State or end Israel’s democracy. Glick, in contrast, a former negotiator for Israel in the 1990s, argues that contrary to official government statistics and demographers’ projections, there aren’t enough West Bank Palestinians to upend Israel’s Jewish majority. She believes that Israel should annex the area (but not Gaza) in a manner similar to the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, a step that would not only maintain the settlements, but also serve Israel’s security needs.

On the Importance of a Two-State Solution

Shavit argues that Israel should take unilateral steps to convince the Palestinians of Israeli seriousness regarding a two-state solution. “[Referring to a hypothetical gradual withdrawal from the West Bank]…Not in a way that risks our security or enables rockets to be fired into Israel,…But in a careful, measured way that will show Palestinians that we're serious about a two-state track," said Shavit in an interview last year.

Glick, though, contends that the creation of a Palestinian state would...

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Date: 6/1/2015
Zidan Seef: AJC Moral Courage Award Recipient

They had guns, axes, and meat cleavers. On November 18, 2014, two terrorists attacked a Jerusalem synagogue and brutally murdered four rabbis. They would surely have murdered more, had it not been for Zidan Seef, a Druze Israeli policeman and one of the first responders, who played a key role in ending the attack, but lost his life protecting the worshippers.

On June 7, as part of the Opening Plenary of the AJC Global Forum 2015, AJC will honor Zidan Seef with our Moral Courage Award. His wife, Rinal, will be there to accept the award on his behalf. Sign up to receive an email reminder when the live webcast for this session begins.

Footage shows that Zidan Seef fired from outside the synagogue at the terrorists inside, before one of the terrorists ran out and shot him at close range.  An Israeli TV report found that Zidan Seef’s fire caused a terrorist to fall down and then be shot dead by another policeman, helping end the assault.  Zidan Seef was evacuated to a hospital but, tragically, died later that day from his wounds. 

Israel’s Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino said of Zidan Seef’s actions...

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Date: 5/30/2015
Top 10 Takeaways from Daniel Gordis’s Latest Book

 

The noted thinker and commentator Dr. Daniel Gordis will deliver the “State of the Jewish World Address” at the AJC Global Forum’s Opening Plenary on June 7. What will he say?

Dr. Gordis’s recent book, Menachem Begin: The Battle for Israel’s Soul, may provide some clues. Begin, who served as Israel’s prime minister from 1977 till 1983, was widely stigmatized as an extremist for his role at the head of the militant Irgun paramilitary force in pre-state Palestine.  Dr. Gordis, however, shows that Begin’s approach and insights have great relevance to Jewish life today, and may suggest ways to bring Jews of different backgrounds and viewpoints together.

1. Begin was “the most Jewish prime minister that Israel ever had,” viewing the establishment of a Jewish state not as a break with Jewish tradition, but as an expression of age-old Jewish values.

2. The object of intense political vituperation—being called a fascist, terrorist, and murderer, for example—he never responded in kind.

3. While not religiously observant, he was steeped in Jewish sources and respectful of Jewish practice. He “taught the Jews that love of their tradition was by no means exclusively the province of the ritually observant.”    

4. Unlike the predominant current in Zionist thought, which predicted that creation of a Jewish state would eliminate anti-Semitism, Begin knew that...

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Date: 5/29/2015
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