The Truth About Israel
The Truth About Israel is founded by Danny Ayalon, based on his 25 years of experience at the forefront of Israel public diplomacy and foreign affairs as the recent Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Member of Parliament, Ambassador to the USA, and Foreign Policy Advisor to three Prime Ministers.
The Truth About Israel is a not-for-profit company to educate and train the public about the facts of Israel in today's world.
The 25 Most Influential People in the 'Jewish Twitterverse'
William Daroff comes first, while Barak Ravid, the Haaretz diplomatic correspondent, makes it to the top ten in JTA’s list of most significant Jewish Twitterers.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/news/1.711187
1. William Daroff, The Jewish Federations of North America’s Washington office director, @Daroff
2. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister, @netanyahu
3. Avi Mayer, Jewish Agency spokesman, @AviMayer
4. Danny Ayalon, former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., @DannyAyalon
5. Peter Lerner, Israel Defense Forces spokesman, @LTCPeterLerner
6. Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic correspondent, @JeffreyGoldberg
7. Ron Dermer, Israeli ambassador to the U.S., @AmbDermer
8. Dan Shapiro, U.S. ambassador to Israel, @AmbShapiro
9. Rabbi Jason Miller, rabbi, entrepreneur and writer, @RabbiJason
10. Barak Ravid, Haaretz diplomatic correspondent, @BarakRavid
11. Esther Kustanowitz, editorial director of Mayim Bialik’s Grok Nation, @EstherK
12. Avital Leibovich, American Jewish Committee in Israel director, @AvitalLeibovich
13. Lahav Harkov, The Jerusalem Post Knesset correspondent, @LahavHarkov
14. Michael Dickson, StandWithUs executive director, @michaeldickson
15. David Horovitz, The Times of Israel founding editor, @davidhorovitz
16. Arsen Ostrovsky, human rights lawyer and journalist, @Ostrov_A
17. Mark Regev, Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom, @MarkRegevPMO
18. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, rabbi, British lord and author, @rabbisacks
19. Shimon Peres, former Israeli president and prime minister, @PresidentPeres
20. Yair Rosenberg, Tablet magazine senior writer, @Yair_Rosenberg
21. Adam Milstein, Israeli real estate investor and philanthropist, @AdamMilstein
22. Reuven Rivlin, Israeli president, @PresidentRuvi
23. Khaled Abu Toameh, Arab-Israeli journalist, @KhaledAbuToameh
24. Peter Beinart, The Atlantic and National Journal contributor and Haaretz correspondent,@PeterBeinart
25. David Haivri, Israeli settler activist, @haivri
By: Devora Mandell
Published: June 18th, 2014
Latest update: June 19th, 2014
Danny Ayalon, the former Israeli deputy foreign minister and ambassador to the U.S. who played a leading role in the U.S.-backed Road Map for Peace negotiations, spent the spring semester as Rennert visiting professor of foreign policy studies at Yeshiva University, teaching a class on statesmanship at both Yeshiva College and Stern College for Women.
While one student was overheard asking, “Do you think he can tell us what really went on behind all those closed-door meetings?” another student said, “I could read about it in the history books but then I wouldn’t have known what it looked like to sit across from Arafat and see his piercing eyes.”
Ayalon’s class, Statecraft Analysis: Israel’s Foreign Policy, explored the foreign affairs challenges Israel faces and was conducted in a two-part class session. Political science professor Dr. Hill Krishnan would open with a systematic examination of a particular issue, and then Ayalon would step in and discuss how that issue affected Israel and the important implications that could be drawn from this.
Never pushing any ideology, Ayalon stresses a few key thoughts – particularly that there is a division of responsibilities between Jews in Israel and the Diaspora.
“Jews in Israel,” he said, “physically defend the land and are responsible for the local political decisions as voting citizens; on the other hand, the duty in the Diaspora is to offer advocacy and international political support.”
Ayalon frequently makes the point that if Israel’s security is compromised, so is the security of every Jew and Jewish community anywhere in the world.
“There haven’t been any pogroms against Jews since Israel was established in 1948,” he said, “because the world knows there would be immediate and strong retribution.”
The opinions expressed by Ayalon’s students ran the full gamut; for example, one student called out, to the dismay of his classmates, “All price-tag criminals [settlers who damage Arab property] should be hung” before reconsidering and amending his statement to “Well, not executed but duly punished.” Some views were unexpected, as when a student, pointing to the biblical story of Samson, said the idea of suicide killers was not original to the Palestinians but was found in the Torah.
That same student said he was initially hesitant to take Ayalon’s class. “I really didn’t think I could respect someone with political ideas so different from my own, but now I’ve learned to truly respect the person who has committed his life to public service. It wasn’t easy at first; it really wasn’t easy.”
Although the university offered to provide a private car to transport Ayalon between its midtown and Washington Heights campuses, Ayalon opted to take the YU shuttle van together with students.
There were times, though, when Ayalon would rush from class to a waiting car that would take him to a speaking engagement. He’d often invite several students to come along. During the ride they’d have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss their career goals – until Ayalon’s phone would ring and he’d begin a radio interview or confirm dinner plans with an old time Washington friend, or a former secretary of state, or a congresswoman and the widow of an Israeli athlete murdered in Munich who was lobbying the International Olympic Committee for a moment of silence in honor of her husband and the other slain Olympians.
While teaching at YU, Ayalon participated in a three-way debate organized by YU students and held at Stern College, involving Jeremy Ben-Ami, founder of the liberal lobbying organization J Street. Vehemently opposed to J Street’s attempts at influencing U.S. government policy toward Israel, Ayalon had throughout his tenure as an Israeli government employee refused to sit down with Ben-Ami.
During the debate, Ayalon defended settlement expansion. “They have a right to accommodate their basic needs according to natural growth,” he said, “like build a kindergarten, build a balcony or extra room to their house as their family grows.”
Although Ayalon said he supports a two-state solution, he fears a “salami mentality” and repeated his mantra – “Two states, but only on condition the Palestinians agree to say this in Arabic and teach their children the wording drafted in the Road Map for Peace, stressing two states for two people, with one of those people being the Jewish people. The details are important because the Palestinians have conveniently omitted that the second state is a ‘Jewish’ state.”
Yeshiva University hosted a dinner in Ayalon’s honor at the conclusion of his course. Ayalon, who will return for the fall semester, praised YU’s educational philosophy based on principles of Torah U’madda and said the Israeli education system could learn from it.
“While the haredim would benefit by including science, math and English in their curriculum so that they could be gainfully employed, the Israeli educational system ought to focus more on Yiddishkeitand mandate that all Israeli schools provide a minimum of ten hours per week of Bible and Talmud classes.”