US, Israeli officials discuss international issues

Watch: Israeli officials and US dignitaries address national and international issues, in an event organized by Dr. Joseph Frager.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Anthony Scaramucci
Anthony Scaramucci
Photo: Miri Tzachi

Israeli officials and US dignitaries participated in an Arutz Sheva conference to address national and international issues, in an event organized by Dr. Joseph Frager. Seurity tensions in north and south, the Nationality Law, and Jerusalem will be discussed.

The evening was opened by Jerusalem mayoral candidate MK Rachel Azaria (Kulanu). "I love Jerusalem," Azaria said. "People don't realize that we're here to stay. This is where we build the building blocks of the future of Israel.

"I think Mayor Nir Barkat did much good for the city. Major challenges haven't been dealt with. Jerusalem is the size of Paris. It seems crowded but really it isn't crowded at all. in 2048 we'll bee the most crowded city in the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). So urban planning is very important.

"The capital has to be a city that people enjoy living here, not just for religious reasons. Unfortunately, we're not there yet," Araria said. "People think east and west Jerusalem are much more separate than the reality.

"As mayor I'd take education, housing, job opportunities, transportation, and culture, and make a plan for each department for the first year." Azaria compared Jerusalem to a child with a learning disability, dealing with which is "our Zionist responsibility."

MK Sharren Haskel (Likud) spoke next about the challenges Israel faces. "The more Israel communicates with the world the better the dialog is. What reporters report on the news or on social media, and lies spread on campuses, it's either partial truth or complete lies. When people come here and discuss the real issues Israel has to face, then a true dialog begins. Then it's easier for someone who's here on the first visit to understand."

Regarding the Nationality Law, Haskel said, "Israel doesn't have a constitution today, but that's what the founding fathers wanted Israel to have. It inscribes all the rights of a human being or citizen. One of the the big issues for Ben Gurion in writing a constitution was from the haredim, who wanted a more religious constitution.

"One thing everyone's certain of is Israel's Jewish character, its symbols - now, after 70 years, after 14 years of debating, and a year-and-a-half of committee discussions, we were able to form something we could agree on - if Ben Gurion and the founding fathers saw, they would sign it today. It speaks of the national aspect but not the religious aspect, which is a dream for Ben Gurion. I think the future will judge those who opposed it very negatively."

NGN Capital Managing General Partner and co-founder Kenneth Abramowitz graded today's leaders on three issues: Can they build the economy, can they protect the culture, and can they protect their people physically, or, can they help protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? PM Netanyahu and US President Trump did very well in those categories, while the EU and Iran did very poorly. Abramowitz predicted that in a couple of years Iran's leaders will "be in jail".

Jerusalem mayoral candidate Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze'ev Elkin said today there is no plan to deal with Jerusalem demographics, but also said that the future of the entire State of Israel can be seen in Jerusalem in microcosm. Planning for Jerusalem will then assist the entire country.

"If you want to keep the Jewish majority in Jerusalem, the solution isn't dividing the city but providing housing, everywhere in Jerusalem. For many years the Arab growth was more but Jewish immigration to the city was more. Now we're in an opposite situation," Elkin said, stressing the importance of building in Jerusalem again and again.

MK Shuli Mualem (Jewish Home) spoke about Israel's missing KIA soldiers Harar Goldin and Oron Shaul, declaring Israel mustn't agree to any humanitarian assistance to Gaza until the bodies of those soldiers are returned to their families.

Mualem was asked to explain sovereignty issues in Judea and Samaria, and the meaning of "regulating" lands. Lands whose ownership is unclear, Mualem explained, must not be a reason to destroy entire communities or to pull families from their homes, and the legislation to regulate these lands via compensation to possible owners, not evacuation, is the way to securing Jewish ownership over the Land of Israel.

"Israel is not, and will not be a state of all its citizens. It is the nation state of the Jewish People," Mualem said.

Leah Goldin spoke about the international campaign to return her son IDF KIA Hadar. "Israel is the only country that feeds its enemy during wartime, providing them food, water, and medicine. We are looking for the international community to pressure Hamas to return our sons, but this is not enough.

Quoting Irwin Kotler, Goldin said, "Whenever you talk humanitarian aid to Gaza you should factor in the return of the soldiers. The Egyptians have the greatest leverage with Hamas."

Conference organizer Dr. Joseph Frager invited the dignitaries, Anthony Scaramucci and Mike Huckabee to speak. He began with a prayer that efforts to return the missing soldiers be speedily successful.

For continued conference coverage click here.