Thursday, June 30, 2005

Where's the President?

I was pretty interested to see that Gary Rosenblatt dedicated a rather long column to the Beit Yisrael World Jewish Forum. Apparently he actually presented at it last week.
He has returned to America, apparently, utterly charmed by Israel's President Moshe Katzav:
At the heart of the meeting, literally and figuratively, was Katzav himself, who sat through the entire proceedings while other Israeli officials came and went. The president stayed on message, interrupting speakers at times to question or respond to a point. He stressed that he did not care which plan was put into effect, as long as it was effective, and he impressed his guests with his earnest tenacity. Indeed, his stature and involvement is what gives any future forum hope for traction.... Most participants seemed to feel the conference was more positive than they had anticipated, primarily because of Katzav’s motivation, presence and position.
Interesting, because Katzav doesn't seem to have made much of an impression on anyone else; as expected, he's been a well-meaning but ultimately completely pareve president. Talk of his 'motivation, presence and position,' however, makes me wonder what he's doing to help Israel through some of its most stressful months ever as it goes through the Gaza disengagement. He is supposed to be the country's non-partisan, uniting figure, someone everyone can relate to whatever their politics; come on, Mr. Katzav, let's see you rise to the occasion and use those qualities when they're most needed.

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