Ami Ayalon, retired Commander-in-Chief of the Israeli Navy, former Director of Shin Bet, and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the University of Haifa’s Board of Governors, gave a fascinating talk on the recent democracy movements sweeping across the Arab world on Monday morning in Manhattan.
The exclusive ASUH breakfast briefing, Democractic Revolution in the Arab World: Reflections of an Israeli, gave guests unfettered access to one of Israel’s foremost experts on international security. Admiral Ayalon’s lengthy track record of service to the State of Israel provided a unique perspective on the revolutions in the Arab world, and particularly in Egypt.
“The immediate results of recent events in the region are that peace has become much more urgent and much less possible,” Ayalon said. “The revolt wasn’t about Israel but about human rights, participation in decision-making, education, and the economy. And the big question now is, ‘Will someone kidnap the revolution?'”
Adm. Ayalon also addressed the Israel-Palestinian conflict, noting that the window of opportunity of the last seven years is no longer available, and a new peace process will need to be designed. “I hope the Israelis and Israel’s political leadership will understand the danger and the opportunity, and take an independent stance to create a reality on the ground of two states.”
From L-R: Tamar Amsalem, Margot Steinberg, UH President Aaron Ben-Ze’ev, and Ami Ayalon
The briefing, hosted by Bank Hapoalim, also featured University of Haifa President Aaron Ben-Ze’ev, who introduced Adm. Ayalon and shared inspiring words from campus, including news that the University is developing academic based research centers to advise decision makers on global issues.