Sees War On Hezbollah
As A Political Victory
EW YORK’S top property titans honored developer/investor Arnold S. Penner at Israel Bonds real estate and construction division annual luncheon at The Pierre. The event produced $54.7 million in bond purchases to strengthen Israel’s economy.
More than 400 industry leaders applauded as Israel Bonds board chairman Burton P. Resnick presented the Israel Peace Medal to Penner, the division’s bond financing chairman.
Among the guests were Eugene M. Grant, Michael J. Lazar, Harry Macklowe, Kent M. Swig, Larry Silverstein, Daniel R. Tishman, Peter S. Kalikow, Sheldon H. Solow, and Allen Flicker among many others.
Israeli Ambassador to UN Daniel Gillerman said he was a private businessman, who never held a position in government, when he was tapped by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to represent Israel at the United Nations.
"The UN doesn’t seem like a place where you start a diplomatic career," he said at the Israel Bonds real estate luncheon at the Pierre Hotel.
Nevertheless the consensus among the developers, managers, investors and construction titans — among them Larry Silverstein, Burton Resnick, Kent Swig, Michael Lazar, Harry Macklowe, Daniel Tishman, Jerry Cohen, Eugene Grant, Peter Kalikow and Sheldon Solow—was that Gillerman is one of the most articulate and effective ambassadors Israel has ever sent to the UN.
To counter the negative perception of Israel’s summer campaign against the Hezbollah, Gillerman said it may not have ended in "a resounding decisive victory" but it did attain "a political victory."
The war resulted in three major achievements:
"First, the message we sent is don’t mess with us. Don’t kidnap our soldiers, and don’t shell our cities, as we won’t react the way we did in the past. We will not sit back and take it anymore.
"Second, Hezbollah’s lawless state within a state in southern Lebanon is no more. Today for the first time in 13 years there is a deployment of Lebanese troops to keep the area free of the terrorists.
"Third, there is now consensus in the Middle East that Israel is not a threat. The real danger is Iran."
Making independent developer/investor Arnold Penner the honoree was a profitable choice. It resulted in the sale of $54.5 million worth of Israel Bonds at the luncheon.
"My wife Mimi kisses me every morning," Penner said, "in case one of us doesn’t come home. But I know I have to come home because I have to walk the dog."