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Israeli economist Manuel Trajtenberg calls for a “conceptual revolution” in relationship between government, private sector 

Dr. Manuel Trajtenberg, whose committee submitted recommendations on social and economic reforms to the Israeli government following the country’s 2011 social protests, participated in an animated panel discussion on the challenges of balancing economic principles – particularly the aims of capitalism – with social values. The panel, moderated by Guy Rolnick, Editor-in-Chief of leading Israeli economics publication, The Marker, also included Sir Ronald Cohen (UK), Chairman of Big Society Capital; Adrian Gore (South Africa), CEO of Discovery; Abby Joseph Cohen (USA), President of the Global Markets Institute; and Lord Professor Robert Skidelsky (UK), author of an award-winning, three-volume biography of British economist John Maynard Keynes.

Leading academics David Agus and Dan Gilbert and activist Ayaan Hirsi-Ali debated the question “Will Tomorrow be Better” at the afternoon plenary session of the 2103 Israeli Presidential Conference.

Hirsi-Ali, a Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the Founder of The AHA Foundation, a women’s rights organization, focused on a number of different aspects of how she thinks tomorrow will look, but stressed the need for society to be unafraid of failure.  “Cultures that encourage experimentation will outlast the others - as long as we continue trying and failing, we will be on top of the world.”

Dear Friends and my dearest friend President Bill Clinton,

When I call you my friend I know that I speak for the entire people of Israel.

Your unwavering commitment to the Jewish People and your moving support for the State of Israel will always be cherished by each and every one of us.

Your love extended far beyond the American shores, reaching over seas and mountains, straight into our hearts. Your unique ability to connect with people on a personal level, the amazing combination between your intellectual and emotional intelligence made you the most beloved leader on earth.

You were the first leader in the era of globalization and you recognized and harnessed its qualities. Your empathy crossed divides and borders. You transferred the "zero sum" mentality into win-win situations for the people, from Northern Ireland to the Balkans, and from Africa to the Middle East. Where possible - with an embrace. Where needed - with strength. And always with charm.

You invested great wisdom, boundless energy and skill to promote peace between us and our neighbors. You presided over the signing of the Israeli – Jordanian peace treaty. Your work laid the foundations which will one day bring peace to our region – the two sates solution. You trail blazed the way to that desired destination. And although the work is not yet complete, the future will hang upon your immeasurable contribution.

My friend, we were moved when you used the meaningful Hebrew word for friend. It was the perfect way to remember Yitzhak Rabin. Your friend. Our leader. My partner.

It became a symbol for feelings of loss that we all felt, and still feel. Bill, I don't think that you have achieved less out of office than in office. Seeing all you are accomplishing through the Clinton Foundation, you are tempting me into retirement. The Clinton Global Initiative reminds us that one man can inspire an entire generation. To change lives for the better. You mobilized troops of goodwill. And you encouraged aspirations in a visionary and imaginative way, across oceans and seas. You offered to all of us what we call in Hebrew "Tikun Olam", which means making the world a better place.

Hillary and you have both been great friends to my country every step of the way. I was privileged to witness this unusual attitude. Both of you have shown unmatched friendship to my country in times of need and occasions of hope. Bill, you are an amazing story of a selfless young man who became a leader. A youngster from Arkansas who matured into the leader of the free world.

The greatest contribution you have offer us, Bill, goes beyond your state, your country, your language. You became a leader of humanity by inspiring, not imposing. You became a servant of humanity without ruling. You are the American dream that became a hope for the world.

It is my privilege for me to confer upon you today the highest honor of Israel, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Through this modest gesture, the entirety of my country and my people thank you for your support, for your care, for your friendship. Toda rabba, Bill. God bless you.


Gary Rosenblatt, Editor and Publisher of The Jewish Week of New York, led a panel discussion today at the Israeli Presidential Conference focused on Tikkun Olam in the Jewish world. Panelists included Michael Siegal, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federations of America, Israeli singer and activist Alma Zohar, Jude Williams, Chief Executive of the NGO Tzedek, Gal Lousky, CEO and founder of Israeli Flying Aid, and Dyonna Ginsburg, Director of Jewish Service learning at the Jewish Agency

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom, and Bank of Israel Governor Prof. Stanley Fischer, today (Wednesday, 19 June 2013), decided to increase to 60% the amount of natural gas designated for the Israeli market.