Israel’s 60th Birthday

Bush Tour Diminished by Hezbollah Show of Force by Dave
May 15, 2008, 5:28 pm
Filed under: Conference, George Bush, Israel's 60th Birthday, World Leaders | Tags:

While this week’s trip by President George W. Bush to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt was never conceived as a triumphant “victory lap” around the region, the swift rout of U.S.-backed forces by Lebanon’s Hezbollah Friday has provided yet another vivid illustration of the rapid decline in Washington’s influence in the Middle East during his tenure.

The events in Lebanon will no doubt cast a long shadow over Bush’s tour, which begins Tuesday. After all, it was only three years ago that he hailed the “Cedar Revolution” there as vindication of the kind of democratic transformation of the region that he insisted the invasion of Iraq was designed to launch.

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Peres Presidential Conference – Facing Tomorrow by Dave

Why Facing Tomorrow? What they really need to do this time of year is face up to the past – the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. This would go a long way to bridge the gap and addressing the issues that will lead to peace. However thats not a bright positive PR op for the Governement so instead we get a vacuous soundbite Facing Tomorrow. Interesting to see Yahoo has joined Google in the celebrations.  Meanwhile the rest of Israel is looking to the past as “the future is always scary, so if you want to feel good, it’s more fun to look back and ignore the problems.”  Guess when they’re looking back they’re not looking at the Nakba: unless of course they can get nostalgic over ethnic cleansing.

The idea could only have started with Israel President Shimon Peres, the man who has witnessed up close and person more historic events during Israel’s first six decades of statehood than arguably any other person alive today, going back to 1948 when he was one of founding Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion closest, and youngest advisers.

Peres decided last year that it was not enough to review the Jewish state’s achievements, challenges and milestones reflectively. Rather, the emphasis for Israel must be on looking forward. Thus was conceived the first annual Israel Presidential Conference, a three-day unparalleled assembly of some of the world’s “best and brightest,” including equally large representations of Presidents and Prime Ministers, current and past, and Nobel Laureates, to name but two special categories that will be fully represented at the gathering in Jerusalem, Israel from May 13 to May 15.

Thus was the flagship international event commemorating Israel’s 60th Anniversary celebrations was born, with Israel President Shimon Peres hosting his premiere “Facing Tomorrow” Conference which will welcome many international leaders to Jerusalem including President George Bush. The Conference was initiated personally by Israel President Peres to address the three main “tomorrows:” the Israel tomorrow, the global tomorrow and the Jewish tomorrow.

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Google, Facebook and Murdoch to Celebrate Israel’s 60th by Dave

New media and old are combining to celebrate 60 years since the nakba (the catastrophe). Its also worth noting the new ‘peace’ envoy to the middle east – Tony Bliar – will be joining them.

Wryly amusing that he’s supposed to be bringing peace to the region yet can see no problem with celebrating the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Read Peres’s guest list below (from Ynet News)

AP: President Shimon Peres said Wednesday that the festivities marking Israel’s 60th birthday and including top personalities from around the world will open with a tribute to Israel’s staunchest ally, the United States.“After 60 years we want to stand up and say ‘thank you America,'” Peres said in an interview with the Associated Press.

The May 13-15 conference will be attended by President George W. Bush and Barbra Streisand singing the Jewish prayer Avinu Malkeinu (Our Father Our King), which Peres described as “unbelievably beautiful.”

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Bush: I’ll come celebrate Israel’s 60th birthday if… by Dave

American Government putting pressure on Israel with threats of a birthday boycott?

JN: US President George W. Bush would very much like to be in Israel to commemorate the reborn Jewish state’s 60th Anniversary this May.

There’s just one small proviso: Israel must make some serious progress in implementing its commitments to the Palestinian Arabs under the ‘Road Map’ before the American leader will agree to come.

This incidence of political blackmail was revealed Monday in a report posted on the Jerusalem-based website Israel Today.

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Nicolas Sarkozy to visit for the anniversary celebrations by Dave

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday announced plans to visit Israel in May for the celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the country’s creation.

Steve Bell on Sarkozy

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to celebrate the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in May.

More on Sarkozy, France and Israel here, here and here

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German cabinet and Chancellor Merkel to Celebrate Israel’s 60th by Dave

“In March, the German cabinet, including Chancellor Merkel, will travel to Israel for a ceremonial meeting in celebration of Israel’s 60th anniversary. What better way to reinforce the existence of Israel for 60 years than to sever economic and political ties with Iran, a country yearning for the destruction of Israeli democracy.” Haaretz

Looks like the Germans will be joining in the celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Iran is not yearning to destroy Israel – its the other way round – Israel is seeking to attack Iran. I presume theres a mistake and the article refers to the meeting of world leaders in Israel in May not March. Either that or theres another event on.

Israel at 60: Barbra Streisand to open meeting of world leaders by Dave
Barb and Bush

A little more information on the meeting of world leaders celebrating Israel’s “60th Birthday” aka the 60th anniversary of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

NOW IT’S official. Barbra Streisand will open the three-day Jerusalem Conference under the patronage of President Shimon Peres on May 13, in celebration of Israel’s 60th anniversary of independence.

Peres announced last year that he would approach Streisand and ask her to sing Avinu Malkeinu at the opening of the conference, but at that time, although there was little doubt that she would not refuse the request of one of her most celebrated admirers, it was not known whether she had any other important event scheduled for that date. Peres told an AIPAC delegation last week that he had spoken to Streisand and that she had agreed to open the conference, which will also be attended by US President George W. Bush who is scheduled to arrive on May 14. The conference, under the umbrella title of “Tomorrow” will focus on the world at large on the first day, the Jewish world on the second day and Israel on the third day. Peres said that he expects some 2,000 people to attend, including numerous world leaders.

Jerusalem Post: Celebrity Grapevine