Bar-Ilan News

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  • Education Minister Bennett, MK Issawi Frej, MK Tzipi Livni Address Conference Marking 70 Anniversary of the UN Partition Plan

    Date: 2017-12-04 Hour: 14:57

    Politicians, former ambassadors, and scholars addressed a Bar-Ilan University conference commemorating the 70th anniversary of the UN Partition Plan.  The full-day conference, entitled "A State in the Making", was organized by the Department of Middle Eastern Studies.

    Guest speakers included Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett, MK Issawi Frej, MK Tzipi Livni, former US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, former Israeli Ambassador to Russia Zvi Magen, and former Israeli Ambassador to the UN Prof. Gabriela Shalev.

    MK Issawi Frej (Meretz) said that no solution other than the right of Palestinian self-determination will lead to the end of the Middle East conflict. 

    But the Palestinians alone cannot offer a solution, said Frej.  "They are weak, and they don't have the psychological or emotional strength. The solution will only come from Arab states," he said, adding that he follows Saudi media, and there is "fundamental change" in attitudes toward Israel.  Frej said that putting an end to the conflict should not be postponed for the next generation. "In my opinion, most Israelis want to reach an agreement," he said.

    The Arabs, continued Frej, are afraid of Zionism.  "Not the Zionism of Yossi Sarid and Zehava Galon.  They are afraid of Zionism that hasn't yet defined what it wants."

    Former US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said he'll be surprised if US President Trump's Middle East peace plan, when unveiled, isn't based on the two-state solution, which is "the only way to serve all those involved and finish this conflict".   Shapiro added that American interests for a safe and strong Israel with democratic values haven't changed much since 1947. 

    Among the conference sessions: "The Road to the 29th of November"; “Would the Partition Plan Have Been Adopted Today?”; “Israel and the International Arena”; and “The UN and Israel from Recognition to Condemnation: The Diplomatic Struggle in the International Campaign”.