Blog Post Day 2, Indian American Opinion and Policy Leaders

November 16th, 2016

Note: A delegation of Indian American Opinion and Policy Leaders is in Israel with AJC Project Interchange and AJC Asia Pacific Institute. The delegation is accompanied by Shira Loewenberg, Director, AJC Asia Pacific Institute, and Nissim Reuben, Assistant Director, AJC Asia Pacific Institute.

Day Two of our Delegation in Israel

Every participant commented on the special opportunity traveling by helicopter offered them to see the country and truly understand the geography of the land, and security situation of Israel. We flew to Haifa and to the Golan Heights, having the opportunity to see Israel’s proximity to her Arab neighbors, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, as well as a portion of the West Bank. One participant commented that “it puts it all into perspective.”

After a morning at the Bahai Gardens in Haifa, the group met with the director of Pluristem Therapeutics, and had a tour of the facilities. Former MK (Member of Knesset, Israel’s Parliament) Hanna Swaid, who represented Israeli Arab political party Hadash, hosted the group to a wonderful lunch of delicious Arabic cuisine in his home in Elaboun. His briefing on the minority status of Israeli Palestinians/Israeli Arabs and his hopes for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict generated many questions and much discussion about the current situation and prospects for the future.

We concluded the day with a flight to the Golan Heights, where the group was briefed by Brig. Gen (res) Gal Hirsch. At the Syrian border, we heard several explosions keenly reminding us of what was happening just several kilometers away, as well as highlighting the dangers to Israel posed by Al-Queda affiliates and others involved in the fighting.

A dusk flight back to Tel Aviv brought the day’s program to a stunningly beautiful conclusion.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Project Interchange.