Series on the Balance of Israel’s National Security
The 7th Herzliya Conference 2007 [pdf]
The Institute for Policy and Strategy
The Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy
The 2007 Herzliya Conference will convene amidst the repercussions of the campaign in Lebanon, regional and international developments, and their implications for Israel`s security and diplomatic postures. The Conference deliberations aim to elucidate the components comprising Israel`s national strength in the fields of governance, society, economy and Jewish values.
LIST OF INVITEES:
Governor Mitt Romney Former Governor of Massachusetts. Earned Massachusetts’ 1994 Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. Previous positions include President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, and Former Vice President and CEO at Bain & Company, Inc., a leading management consulting firm. Founded Bain Capital, a venture capital and investment company. Established the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Program. Received a B.A. from Brigham Young University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was named a Baker Scholar, and a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.
Tuesday Jan. 23, 2007 15:00 Afternoon Sessions
Chair: Amb. Ronald S. Lauder, Founder, Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy, IDC Herzliya
Governor Mitt Romney, Former Governor of Massachusetts
* Newt Gingrich, Former US Speaker of the House of Representatives – via satellite
“Israel is not spearheading the struggle against the Iranian threat. This threat must be dealt with seriously and responsibly, first and foremost by the major powers and by other key nations.” ( Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Address at the 2007 Herzliya Conference January 24, 2007) Distinguished Guests, I cannot speak tonight without referring to the events of the past day, and the Attorney General’s decision to hold a hearing for the President in light of the possibility that serious charges may be filed against him. In these circumstances, I have no doubt that the President cannot continue to fulfill his role and he should leave the President’s Residence.
This is a sad day for the State of Israel. Ladies and Gentlemen, exactly one year ago less one day, I had the privilege to stand at this podium, at the final session of the Herzliya Conference as Acting Prime Minister, in place of Ariel Sharon, who days earlier had fallen into a coma from which he has yet to awaken. In that speech, I expressed my profound prayer, and that of all those present, as well as the entire nation, that Arik Sharon would return to us. I have carried this hope and this prayer since then. Today, I would like to focus on a subject which I believe is the most important one, and which was one of the main points of discussion during this Conference over the past few days. This subject is one with significant repercussions for the State of Israel and the region in the next decade. I will present you with a report of the state of the Iranian threat.
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Today, there is not one among us who does not sense the dangers inherent in this threat, not only to Israel, but also to the future of the region and to the stability of the world order. Every Israeli government over the past decade acted vigorously to improve our ability to track Iran’s intentions, increase international awareness of the threat, mobilize international support to stop external assistance of the Iranian plans and prepare appropriate options in the event that these efforts prove unsuccessful in the end.
We achieved considerable accomplishments in each of these areas; however let us not delude ourselves: the primary goal which must be realized still lies ahead. For many long years, we have followed Iran’s efforts to acquire nuclear weapons, in the guise of a civilian nuclear program. They are working through secret channels in a number of sites spread out across Iran. In the past few years, we have been witness to especially intense Iranian activity on two tracks – the overt and the covert. Iranian support of Palestinian terror – through financial support, provision of weapons and knowledge, both directly and through Syria – Iranian assistance of terror in Iraq, the exposure of the capabilities which reached the Hizbullah from Iran during the fighting in Lebanon and the assistance which they offered just recently to Hamas, have demonstrated to many the seriousness of the Iranian threat. This activity has created an opposing front, which includes, in varying intensities, all the permanent members of the UN Security Council; Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Egypt and Jordan; and other key countries in the West, such as Germany and Japan. This front is acting to unite forces and prevent this threat from becoming a reality.
Olmert: Right-wing U.S. cash killed my peace plan plus video interview
(CNN) – Ehud Olmert says extreme right-wing elements in the United States helped derail his peace plan. They poured millions of dollars into efforts to topple him from office, he says. Olmert, who quit as prime minister amid corruption allegations, does not name the right-wing figures [Sheldon Adelson – Oui]. His 2008 peace plan proposed a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders.
Asked if current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be willing to propose such a plan, given the same political risks, Olmert said it was the responsibility of a leader to put his country first.
“That’s why you are prime minister,” said Olmert. “That’s why you take the responsibility of leadership. To do things which are right for the nation that you want to lead.”
But Olmert acknowledged that such leadership comes at a price. “I paid personally, dearly. But there was no option for me but to do what I did. And I know for sure, and I know the names, of the people that spent millions of dollars in order to stop me – from the United States.”
He was then asked if there is still time for a two-state solution. “There is time,” said Olmert, “but time is running out.”
(The New Yorker) June 30, 2008 – Sheldon Adelson, the gaming multibillionaire, accompanied a group of Republican donors to the White House to meet with George W. Bush. They wanted to talk to the President about Israel. He is fiercely opposed to a two-state solution; and he had contributed so generously to Bush’s reëlection campaign that he qualified as a Bush Pioneer. A short, rotund man, with sparse reddish hair and a pale countenance that colors when he is angered, Adelson protested to Bush that Rice was thinking of her legacy, not the President’s, and that she would ruin him if she continued to pursue this disastrous course.
Adelson opposed both Olmert and the peace conference, which was held in Annapolis in late November. The Zionist Organization of America, to which Adelson is a major contributor, ran a full-page ad in the Times, headlined, “SECRETARY RICE: DON’T PROMOTE A STATE FOR PALESTINIANS WHILE THEIR 10 COMMANDMENTS PROMOTE TERRORISM AND ISRAEL’S DESTRUCTION.”
The “10 Commandments” referred to the constitution of Fatah, Abbas’s party. “Osama Bin-Laden and Hamas would be proud of Abbas’ Fatah Constitution,” the ad stated. Two weeks before the start of the conference, a Washington, D.C., think tank that shares office space and several board members with the Republican Jewish Coalition–another organization to which Adelson makes significant contributions–circulated an article on its Listserve which asserted, “Olmert is now chasing peace with the Palestinians at all costs, in a desperate attempt to secure his place in world history.”
“I don’t know about you, but I’m deeply frightened of a mega-billionaire who shares the political views of Daniel Pipes, David Horowitz, Charles Jacobs, Bibi Netanyahu and Natan Sharansky. There’s no telling how much damage so much money can do in a political process. The following passage describes Adelson’s nutty-as-fruitcake notion that Haim Saban, one of the AIPAC’s most significant donors, is anti-Israel; and the Fatah rump prime minister is a “terrorist.” This is so redolent of Frontpagemagazine, Campus Watch and the David Project rhetoric-it’s scary.”
Article in Tikun Olam Sheldon Adelson: ‘Crazy Jewish Billionaire’
- Olmert defends Abbas’s shunning peace proposal
- Leading donors to conservative causes
- Poll: Romney’s support among Jewish voters slips ahead of Israel trip