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  • Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon addresses the Ambassadors' Forum

    Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon addresses the Ambassadors' Forum

    Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon Addresses Ambassadors' Forum

    Date: 2017-11-30 Hour: 10:54

    Marking the 70th anniversary of the UN Partition Vote, former IDF Chief of Staff and Minister of Defense Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon outlined his observations regarding Israel's security challenges at Bar-Ilan University's 16th Ambassadors' Forum.

    Though he wasn't yet born on November 29, 1947, Ya'alon said his family prayed continuously using the phrase "next year in Jerusalem".  "I don't think they ever dreamed that just a few years later the State of Israel would actually come to be," said Ya'alon. 

    Since that day, he said, Israel has succeeded against all odds, but still faces many challenges.  "Iranian aspiration for nuclear capability is our main security challenge.  Iran is the main generator and instigator of instability in the Middle East today and it should be challenged sooner rather than later," said Ya'alon.  "We don't share a border with Iran.  We don't occupy Iranian land.  Yet Iran feels the need to wipe Israel off the face of the earth."

    The Iranian regime, continued Ya'alon, enjoys hegemony today not just in Iran, but all over the Middle East.  "Hamas is supported financially only by Iran. Hezbollah wouldn't be able to exist without the political, economic, and military support it receives from Iran. Lebanon has been abducted by the Iranian regime.  Any decision to attack us won't be made in Beirut.  It will be made in Tehran.  They've tried to dominate Syria and open a front against Israel in the Golan," he said.  "So we have enough issues to challenge this regime.  We mustn't consider them a part of the solution as the US administration did," he added.

    Another challenge, he said, is the reluctance of the Arab world to recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.  "Since the dawn of Zion no official on behalf of the Palestinians has come forward to say that the division of boundaries between the parties would bring about an end to the conflict," said Ya'alon.

    Ya'alon said that Israel mustn't allow her enemies to acquire weapons.  "One of the challenges of the IDF all over the Middle East today is to intercept any arms shipments that threaten the State of Israel."

    Dr. Ziv Bohrer, who specializes in Criminal Law, International Law, and Public Law, also addressed the Forum.  In his talk, entitled "Transnational Conflicts: A New Kind of War?", he questioned the historical accuracy of the accepted assumption that the attributes of transnational conflicts (border-crossing wars between non-State and State forces) are novel and of the related premise that International Humanitarian Law regulation of transnational conflicts is novel. Dr. Bohrer's presentation was based on a paper that was among the winners of a competition of Israel's Junior Law Faculty Workshop. He recently gave similar presentations at Cambridge University and Oxford University.

    In his opening remarks University President Prof. Arie Zaban, who also wasn't born when the State of Israel was declared, said that he regrets not having been around to experience that moment in history.  "It was one of those moments that you feel history really happening, like the Sadat visit, which I remember.  But later on I discovered that we can also make history.  I'm sure that we as a university we will be part of many events in the future for the benefit of humanity in Israel and around the world." 

    Event moderator Prof. Gerald Steinberg, of the Department of Political Studies, noted that the Israeli media marked the significant day in Israel's history by opening their broadcasts with people recalling where they or their parents were when they heard the news that the Jewish state would be established.

    More than 50 ambassadors representing countries around the world attended the Bar-Ilan University Ambassadors' Forum.