What happened last week at the AIPAC conference, apart from Ganz’s and Netanyahu’s speeches?
A friend who was there told me that, for her, the speeches of those two prime-ministerial hopefuls weren’t the high-points of the conference at all.
We are talking about a three-day-long awe-inspiring salute to Israel. And the Americans chose exactly which Israelis they wanted to see and empower.
While here in Israel relations with Israeli Arabs are turbulent, to AIPAC they brought Dr. Yasmin Abu Faricha to tell her personal story. Yasmin was born in Tel Sheva and is now a doctor of internal medicine at Soroka Hospital as well as a revolutionary social entrepreneur in Bedouin society, especially among women.
George Deek also gave a remarkable lecture. He is the first Arab-Christian to be appointed as an Israeli ambassador. He will soon serve as our ambassador in Azerbaijan, and he told the audience how he chose to exit the cycle of hatred and become an Israeli diplomat who fights the BDS movement.
Rivka Ravitz, the chief of staff of the President’s Residence, a Haredi mother of 11, also drew attention alongside the many hi-tech start-ups.
Social start-ups were also presented: Yad Tamar has developed a community support model for cancer patients. They call this optimistic accompaniment for cancer patients “sociotherapy,” a vital complement to chemotherapy.
The “One Family” organization was established by Michal Belzberg at the age of 12 (!) in order to assist the families of terror victims. Last week, at AIPAC, they presented the empire that has sprouted up over the last two decades, providing unique assistance to those injured in terrorist attacks or wars.
There are many other examples, and this is even before we mention the enthusiastic speeches of the many American supporters of Israel who got up onto the stage, as well as the president of Honduras and the Romanian prime minister, who announced at AIPAC their desire to transfer their embassies to Jerusalem.
Two weeks before the elections, in the midst of explosive rhetoric and divisive discourse, the Americans did a zoom out, and took a picture of us. The big picture.
Maybe we have to make an event like this here in Israel too, for us to see ourselves.