Ariel Conference on Law and Mass Media
By Ted Belman
I attended this conference today and it was quite exciting.
Abraham Sion, Chair of The Centre for Law and Mass Media gave the opening address. He is a law professor and advocate of keeping Judea and Samaria.
The most interesting panel was on International Law and the settlements in Judea and Samaria which was chaired by attorney Marc Zell, former partner of Doublas Feith. Alan Baker, member of the Levy Commission, advocated for the Report’s acceptance, Prof Gerald Adler, sat in for Howard Grief, and expounded on his specialty, international law. He is a very old classmate of mine from law school.
What made the panel catch fire was that Talia Sasson the author of the Sasson Report on the settlements that Israel adopted and followed for about 6 years, took part. It is this report that the right hates and the Levy Commission took issue with. She willingly entered the lion’s den and staunchly defended it and staunchly attacked the Levy Report for ignoring the Israel Supreme Court.
That got everybody’s dander up including that of the panelists who all rebutted her. Zell went so far as to impune her Report saying it was politically motivated due to her active involvement with the Geneva Initiative and the Meretz Party. Sion in his closing remarks also tore into her for deny our right to build in Judea and Samaria.
The next panel considered what would happen if Jordan is taken over by a Palestinian Government, at least it was supposed to consider it. The panelist included Motti Kedar, who acquitted himself well as always. Architect Yoram Ginsberg, a long time advocate of keeping Judea and Samaria, was a new voice for me. He made a point that I have made in the past. Israel doesn’t exist in the West and shouldn’t be ruled by its norms. It must accommodate to its neighbourhood. He was dead set against giving citizenship at all. He cited that many people live in countries that don’t offer them citizenship and no one complains.
William Koenig, White House Correspondent in Washington was an eloquent speaker and spoke for our friends in Congress and Senate and in the fly-over country who wanted Israel to hang on to Judea and Samaria. I went up to him after his panel segment ended, to get to meet him, thinking he would be a worthwhile contact. Before I could introduce myself to him he read my name card and immediately said “I know you, I have been getting your daily email for years”. Made my day. We agreed to get together.
Other people I chatted with included Mort Klein, Nadia Matar, Motti Kedar, Mordechai Nisan, author of Only Israel, West of the River, Ari Briggs, Head of Regavim, and Martin Sherman.
I expect all these people, with the exception of Klein and Koenig, to attend a meeting I am setting up in Jerusalem in July to attempt to get everyone on board with an agreed political action plan to annex all of Judea and Samaria or just Area C as they determine. I will keep you posted.
I want to give special mention to another individual whom I met at the conference, namely Aharon Pulver, Executive Director of Israel Independence Fund. I had never heard of that fund before and he informed me that it was the antithesis of the NIF. The fund supports many right wing causes like Regavim and Israel Law Forum. It is funded by a limited number of well to do Zionists.
There is hope for us right wingers yet.