November 7, 2010 Netanyahu To US With Low Expectations, GA Meets, Kinect From Microsoft from Israel

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

November 7, 2010 Netanyahu To US With Low Expectations, GA Meets, Kinect From
Microsoft Developed in Israel

Prime Minister Netanyhu left last night for the United States. He is traveling to attend the General Assembly of Jewish Federations (more on the GA in a moment). Netanyahu has left Israel with almost no Israeli media representatives onboard. Only "Israel Today", the free newspaper funded by Sheldon Adelson has sent reporters along with Netanyahu. This reflects the low expectations in Israel of the trip. Obama is in Asia, so Netanyahu will meet with with Vice President Biden, who is also speaking at the GA. Netanyahu is meeting with Secretary of State Clinton on Thursday in New York. There are reports Netanyahu will present a plan that will allow a return to negotiations to Secretary Clinton.

Those who are more pessimistic about the chances of reaching any final agreement are talking about an alternative plan. The alternative plan calls for reaching a series of smaller interim agreements with the Palestinians, to give the Palestinians control over successively greater areas. Of course that was the exact policy that Prime Minister Barak rejected in 1999. Barak believed that we, Israel, should not give up any additional territory "piece meal", without trying to get to a final agreement in advance.

I was struck by the title of an article in the Jerusalem Post today: In Aging Jewish Leadership , Youth Seek Place at Table. I harken back to my first encounters with the GA, the first time being in the early 1970's (nearly 40 years ago) when I was with a group that protested at the GA demanding that it give greater support to Jewish education (or for that matter Jewish causes). In the following years, while I was in College, I remember multiple GA demanding greater voice for students and other young people. So little has changed in the nearly 40 years since.

I recommend you read an excellent article in the Forward by J.J. Goldberg, called: Struggling Over Subsidies That Undo Modernity. It is an excellent summary of the challenges Israel faces in confronting the demographic challenge of the growing number of Haredim.

Finally, for those interested in either technology, or who have kids interested in gaming: How Apple Almost Got Microsoft’s Kinect Game Controller. What's interesting for those who read this column is the story of how the technology had been developed by Israeli army engineers. It's interesting that the technology now being called "the most innovative introduced by Microsoft in a decade or more" did not come from Microsoft's multi-billion dollar R&D effort, but was developed by a small group of Israeli engineers.

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