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674656June 21, 2012 – JERUSALEM, Israel – Israeli President Shimon Peres headlined the opening panel of Facing Tomorrow’s final day, a session that analyzed the collective ability to improve decision-making by learning from past mistakes. The President was joined by Dr. David Agus, Director of the Center for Applied Molecular Medicine at the University of Southern California, and Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics Daniel Kahneman. The panel also included Harvard Professors James Sebenius and Michael Sandel.

“If everyone in the U.S. over 40 took a baby aspirin a day, we would save over $90 billion a year in healthcare costs,” said Agus, who then pointed out that “There is yet to be a study in history showing any benefit to any multivitamin or calcium supplements.”

Agus and the other panelists agreed that the key to learning from past mistakes is to take a fresh look.  He discussed the novel, platinum-based treatment undergone by Lance Armstrong that ultimately led to curing him of cancer, as an important illustration of the medical community’s relative ignorance about treatments in general.

Sandel suggested that we are living in a generation with too high a focus on markets and money, without even knowing the impact of, for example, cash incentives in education.

“A market society is a place where almost everything is up for sale.  It’s a way of life in which market values invade almost every aspect of life,” said Sandel. “In many major US cities, they are trying to lift up the academic achievement from poor backgrounds by offering cash incentives for higher grades.”

Sebenios echoed the importance of full understanding in discussing the area of successful negotiation. He said many times, negotiations are about understanding the internal pressures that are being felt by the individual parties, and the impact of not coming to an agreement, which in some cases is the goal of the other side.

“If I look at the nuclear negotiations with Iran,” said Sebanios, “(there are) lots and lots of process suggestions, when (with) the hardline regime in Iran, if its objective was nuclear weapons, a no-deal option may be more effective than negotiations.”

Facing Tomorrow 2012, the fourth annual Conference under the auspices of the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, is taking place in Jerusalem from June 19-21, 2012, at Jerusalem’s International Convention Center. The conference is organized in partnership with Hebrew University.

 

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About Facing Tomorrow 2012

The Fourth Israel Presidential Conference 'Facing Tomorrow' is being held from June 19-21, 2012. The first presidential conference took place in May 2008, one week after Israel celebrated its 60th year of independence, and on the basis of its success became an annual event. Attended by more than 5,000 people from around the world, and dedicated to designing a better tomorrow, the conference is centered around discussions, panels and plenary sessions aimed at answering one question: how can we foster a better tomorrow for the international community, Israel and the Jewish world. For more information, please visit www.presidentconf.org.il.


 

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President Reuven Rivlin today (Wednesday) met at his residence in Jerusalem with United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki R. Haley.

President Rivlin welcomed her and said, “You are a dear friend of Israel. We appreciate your strong stand on the world’s most important stage, in support of the security of the people and the State of Israel. With your support we see the beginning of a new era. Israel is no longer alone at the UN. Israel is no longer the UN’s punching bag.”

He continued, “When I spoke at the UN on Holocaust Memorial Day, I said that the UN must learn from the lessons of the past, and stand up against hatred and racism. I said it must end its obsession with targeting Israel. Progress has been made. Israel’s standing at the UN has improved. But sadly, we have a long way to go. Both in holding to account, public statements made by officials, and in supporting regulation to reduce the ridiculous number of discussions and resolutions against Israel. This is also true in the Human Rights Council - which has been hijacked as a weapon against Israel - and in UNESCO, where they seek to rub out the history of the Jewish people.”

The President thanked the Ambassador for her great contribution to the State of Israel, and said, “Ambassador Haley, as the representative the US - Israel’s greatest and strongest ally - we appreciate very much your support of Israel, and all you do to stand up for the values of freedom and democracy which we share. Welcome to Israel, welcome to Jerusalem.”

Ambassador Haley thanked the President for his warm welcome and said, “Thank you Mr. President for taking the time to meet with us, it is an absolute thrill to be here in Israel, I so much appreciate the support we have received from the people of Israel. But I feel somewhat guilty because all I did at the United Nations was tell the truth. I have never taken kindly to bullies, and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time, and we are not going to let that happen anymore. It is a new day for Israel in the United Nations. We just got back from Geneva, talking about the Human Rights Council and hopefully it will be a new day at the Human Rights Council when it comes to Israel.”

She concluded by saying she was greatly looking forward to her visit to Israel and said, “I am looking forward to taking in the history, the beauty, the tradition, and all that comes with the magic of Israel. Thank you very much for having me it is a pleasure to be here.”

Photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)

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MARKET MOVERS article

NMS : YHOO - 01 Jan,
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