Group Pledges to Continue
By Tim Boxer
NVESTMENT manager Alan Slifka, who co-founded the Abraham Fund in 1989 to further coexistence between Arab and Jew in Israel, said that despite what’s been happening there, his group’s programs would continue.
“We are trying to create a culture where this can be a homeland for Jews and Arabs,” he said at the fund’s annual dinner at New York’s Pierre Hotel.
Sen. Charles Schumer, the keynote speaker, said that America’s battle against terrorism would result in an expansion of the powers of the federal government, much like the New Deal.
“We need to recalibrate the way we live and work,” he said. “Our media must change its attitude. Its tone is overwhelmingly cynical. Always emphasizing the negative is not fair or accurate.”
The organization’s president, Judith Eigen Sarna, presided over a panel discussion that included Ali Yahya, Israeli’s first Arab ambassador (formerly posted in Finland); Moshe Raviv, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom, and Mari Fitzduff, professor of conflict studies at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland.
Yahya commented on the “magnificent partnership” between Arabs and Jews in Israel. He said children must be taught the way of coexistence.
Raviv pointed out several strategic errors by Arafat. Once the intifada broke out, the PLO leader banked on an infusion of money from the Arab countries, but it was not forthcoming.
Arafat expected the Arab countries to rally around the Palestinian cause, but it didn’t happen. “Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak made it clear there will be no regional war,” Raviv said.
Arafat also hoped the European Union would bail him out – it didn’t happen, Raviv said.
“What did Arafat’s assumptions achieve? More than 1,000 Palestinians and 193 Israelis killed.”