Ambassador discusses US, Israel future

first_imgChristina Schoellkopf contributed to this report. Despite being interrupted at his presentation last year at UC Irvine, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren visited USC Thursday to discuss his stance on U.S.-Israel relations.Foreign relations · Ambassador Michael Oren emphasized the importance of Israel to the U.S. to students in the Annenberg Auditorium. – Joseph Chen | Daily TrojanThe event was hosted by the USC Center on Public Diplomacy and moderated by the Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism Ernest Wilson III. More than 200 people attended the event.In his presentation, Oren told many personal stories to illustrate the “multifaceted and deep relationship” between the U.S. and Israel.Oren emphasized the strong spiritual, democratic, strategic and commercial similarities that tie the two countries together. He said support for Israel was at a 20-year high, by referencing how the U.S. House voted to put sanctions on Iran in November.In addition, he compared the alliance of the U.S. and Israel to that of Roosevelt and Churchill, saying that great alliances don’t always agree but that “the true litmus test is how they approach their differences.”“Israel does recognize Washington D.C. as the capital of the United States,” Oren said. Focusing on this relationship, he ended his speech by emphasizing that “Israel is not only America’s ally — Israel is America’s ultimate ally.”Oren believes the U.S. has a responsibility in moving beyond diplomacy to other parts of the world to provide humanitarian relief. He cited Israel’s support for several recent disasters, such as the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan and Hurricane Sandy, to further this idea.Trying to make light of the sensitive issues surrounding the politics, Wilson asked about Iran. of Iran.Oren gave a short response when talking about Israel’s relationship with Iran. He mentioned Iran’s swift advancement of its uranium program and said when it comes to a nuclear Iran, Israel has the most at stake.“Iran presents a national threat … we have a right to defend ourselves,” said Oren, who also clarified that Israel does not want to exercise that right and will continue to support sanctions against Iran.The ambassador said the “Iranian nuclear threat is paramount,” and that Israel will continue the escalated sanctions in light of the Iranian conflict.He also addressed the Palestinian conflict. Oren talked about the desire to establish a compromise between the Palestinian and Israeli-Jewish communities by offering a two-state solution.“We recognize that there is a Palestinian people but we need them to recognize the Jewish people,” Oren said.Oren remained confident of future relationships between Israel and the United States will remain strong.“As a historian, I had enough trouble predicting the past,” Oren joked, before stressing that he knows Israel will continue to be a pro-American, stable country.Julie Cooperman a sophomore majoring in biologoical sciences said she was surprised by Oren’s positive outlook on Israel’s future.“It surprised me how confident he was that Israel would be everything it is today in 20 years,” Cooperman said. “As a Jewish-American, I don’t feel that confident. It was more comforting to hear him be so hopeful and surprising that he was so optimistic.”Revital Batoniashvili, an Israel Fellow at USC Hillel, said this event was successful because students remained respectful.“The USC campus was very peaceful, and I really appreciate how calm the lecture was and how everyone was respectful,” Batoniashvili said. “It was something we should admire and is one of the great things about USC. It really showed the university’s support of freedom of speech. The environment tonight is what made it happen.”last_img read more

5 takeaways from John Wildhack’s press conference on ACC’s plan

first_img Published on July 30, 2020 at 5:12 pm Contact Danny: [email protected] | @DannyEmerman Comments The Daily Orange is a nonprofit newsroom that receives no funding from Syracuse University. Consider donating today to support our mission.The Atlantic Coast Conference’s guidelines for fall sports are a “path to play,” Syracuse Director of Athletics John Wildhack said at a virtual press conference Thursday.Under the guidelines, released Wednesday, ACC football teams will play 10 conference opponents and one non-conference opponent. For Syracuse, that means a tougher schedule with an added road game at Notre Dame. “But I told (SU head coach Dino Babers) if you’re ever gonna play a road schedule like that, 2020’s the year to do it, because nobody’s gonna have a full stadium,” Wildhack said.From discussions on the potential for fans in the Carrier Dome to the ability of SU athletes to use their platforms to address social issues, here are five takeaways from Wildhack’s conference:AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSo far, no opt-outsVirginia Tech’s Caleb Farley on Wednesday became the first high-profile player to opt-out of the 2020 season due to health concerns. As of now, no Syracuse student-athlete has done the same, Wildhack said. Anyone who decides not to play will have their scholarship honored. “Our student athletes, they want to play. They want to compete,” he said. “We were very clear with all of our student athletes and our head coaches, with their families, their parents: If anybody felt uncomfortable coming back, they didn’t have to come back.” Sports with no in-person instruction ‘undetermined’If more than 100 students at once test positive for the coronavirus during the fall semester, Syracuse will pause in-person classes and institute a shelter in place order. The pause is the third of the university’s five-level shutdown plan. Whether sports will continue if SU reaches that 100-case threshold is undetermined, Wildhack said. SU Athletics will make a decision on the safety of sports in concert with university officials and campus and community health experts.“The primary goal is the health and safety of everyone and if we don’t feel comfortable, if we’re told it’s not the appropriate environment to play or to practice, then we won’t,” Wildhack said.There also isn’t a set number of cases that would shut down football training camp, which begins as soon as Aug. 6. Similarly, SU would work with experts to determine the severity of a potential outbreak. Life (with or) without LibertyTo fill its one non-conference game, the Orange’s “first option” is Liberty University, Wildhack said. The two programs are in their third year of a four-year contract, one that Wildhack previously said SU has no plans to renew.Western Michigan, another scheduled non-conference opponent planning to play football this fall, is another contender for the spot. Syracuse was supposed to travel to Kalamazoo in 2020 and host WMU in 2023. These games may get flipped, since Syracuse would have to host the Broncos this year to follow the ACC’s guidelines. With the pre-existing contracts, Liberty and Western Michigan are the clear favorites to play the Orange’s lone non-conference game. However, Wildhack said he’s fielded calls from other programs interested in coming to central New York.“We’re not gonna have an issue filling that plus-one,” he said. Fragility of a fall seasonEarlier this week, Rutgers had to quarantine its football program after 15 players tested positive. The outbreak is reportedly linked to an on-campus party. Wildhack sent a link to the story to all of Syracuse’s coaches, reminding them that to have a season, everyone needs to be diligent in following protocols. To further prevent potential outbreaks, teams will limit traveling parties to only essential personnel, Wildhack said. He wants traveling teams to try to make as close to a bubble atmosphere as possible, limiting contact to transportation, hotels and the site of contests.“I told them yesterday, I said I think we need to quarantine everybody in the hotel,” Wildhack said. “If you get to the hotel, you stay at the hotel. Period. I think we need to be that specific and stringent.”Showing supportThe NCAA announced Thursday that it will allow athletes to show support for social justice issues by wearing patches. Professional athletes in many sports have used their platforms to bring awareness to issues such as systemic racism, most notably by kneeling during the National Anthem.Earlier this month, Syracuse hired Salatha Willis as associate athletic director for diversity, culture and climate. Willis has helped facilitate team meetings and discussions with coaches on how to handle promoting their beliefs. Wildhack said those discussions have been productive, and he’s thankful for the thoughtfulness of SU’s student-athletes. He expects to see in-game activism in college sports. “As we sit here in 2020 and we support one another, part of supporting one another is no tolerance for racism,” Wildhack said. “No tolerance for systemic racism. My personal opinion is, I think appropriate recognition, that type of thing, we’re open to that. But we want our student-athletes to come back with their thoughts.” Other notes Moving the football season to the spring would be a last resort, Wildhack said. But if key metrics of COVID-19 don’t look better in two months, and “that became our only option, then we’d look at it,” he said. As of now, New York state prohibits colleges from allowing fans inside stadiums for sporting events. However, Wildhack is hopeful that changes in the fall and is working on preparing models for possible seating arrangements and precautions. When asked about potentially adopting a one-division conference schedule permanently, Wildhack said there’s been no such discussions. However, he’s frustrated by the current model because of how infrequently some Atlantic teams play some Coastal teams. center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more