Be’er Sheva Dialogue Participants Address AIJAC in Sydney

November 4, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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Major Israeli military and public figures addressed an AIJAC luncheon in Sydney as well as a public event at Sydney’s Central Synagogue on Wednesday following their participation in the 2016 Australia/Israel Military to Military Dialogue (the Be’er Sheva Dialogue). 

Efraim Inbar

Efraim Inbar

As part of this year’s dialogue, the Director of Israel’s Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies Efraim Inbar co-launched a paper, ‘The wattle and the olive: A new chapter in Australia and Israel working together,’ with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s (ASPI) Executive Director Peter Jennings and Senior Analyst Anthony Bergin.

“The Australia-Israel Be’er Sheva Dialogue, I think it’s very important, it happened not by accident but because of certain strategic trends in the world that to some extent force small states like Israel and Australia, small states that are allies of the United States, Australia or Israel to meet together to try to do some thinking about the future challenges,” said Inbar.

“One (challenge) is the retreat of American power and I think to everybody this is quite clear it has been happening for the past 8 years at least.”

“How we keep the momentum of good relations with the United States of America and how we try to build better relations with the next administration is a huge challenge for Israeli decision-makers,” said Major General (res.) Yaakov Amidror, previously head of the Research Department of Israeli military intelligence. “Israel’s position around the world, although we are facing many challenges relating to BDS and so on, the position of Israel around the world is totally different to 30 years ago.”

“Our relations with countries that in the past we could only dream about having relations with like China, India, Japan, Vietnam and now countries in Africa, make Israel much stronger internationally although at the end of the day there is no substitute to good relations with the United States of America,” said Amidror.

“The US is not performing a pivot to Asia and I don’t think it’s going to happen with the next President,” said Israeli journalist, author and political commentator Ehud Yaari. “There is a very important pivot of Asia to the Middle East and the Middle East to Asia.”

“There is a reconnection of sorts between the Middle East and Asia and Israel, also for other reasons, economic, diplomatic etc has to strengthen its presence ties in Asia,” said Yaari.

Dr Eitan Shamir, Senior Research Associate at BESA, Dr Alon Levkovich, Researcher at BESA specialising in East Asian security, Max Singer, also a Researcher at BESA and co-founder of the Washington-based Hudson Institute and Major General (ret) Gershon Hacohen also addressed the luncheon.

The delegation also spoke at several events in Melbourne, in addition to meeting senior politicians and journalists in both cities.

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