Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The 10th Herzlia Conference 2010 - Day 3 (Part 1)

This is the third day of the Conference and I have to confess that I am overwhelmed by the size and scope of the event. There is so much to cover and it is physically impossible to take it all in.

There were simply too many exceptional sessions to include in one report. The Day 3 report is given in two parts.

The Organisers must be congratulated on the high level of local and international guest and keynote speakers and moderators. To assemble this all star cast over the four day conference must have been a daunting task.

The opening event of Day 3 for me was BREAKING THE GLOBAL OIL ADDICTION. It turned out to be an enlightening and fascinating discussion.

Starting proceedings was JAMES WOOLSEY. He was not sparing in his remarks.
Better known as the former head of the CIA, he is now the Senior Advisor at VantagePoint Venture Partners.

He opened his remarks by saying humourously "After years as a Washington lawyer and in the CIA, I am delighted to be invited into any polite company."

His views on the danger and risks of oil dependency were:

The 23 oil exporting states, other than export oil, export to the world less than Finland.
They do nothing except oil pump.

All are dictatorships or autocratic regimes. Many sponsor or support radical Islam. They support the madrassahs, incite hatred against the West. In other cases they actively finance terrorism and oppress their own people.

Our economy is at the mercy of OPEC.

Iran is the example of the risky path we are on.

Oil Underpins a lot of our international problems. They get away with it because we are dependent on their oil.

The oil wealthy Saudis control 90% of Islamic education and Incitement.

If you want to know who finances international terrorism and Islamic hatred you should copy Woolsey's personal test.

Next time you drive into your local gas station turn your rearview mirror until you see your eyes.
You are looking at the culprit.
When you fill up your car you are helping to finance the people who finance hatred, incitement, and terror.
We are financing their madrassahs and the terrorism with our petrol money.

America is a big offender. The U.S. imports one billion dollars a day. That's 370 Billion dollars a year in order to finance our oil habit.

Oil has a 96% monopoly in transportation. The need to move away from oil must be Anchored in transportation.

YOSI HOLLANDER, the Chairman of the Israel Institute for Economic Planning said:

The global forecast is that oil production peak is predicted for 2020. Oil is rapidly depleting in the existing oil fields. The two alternatives are further oil exploration or finding alternatives to oil.

The economic impact includes the fact that every major recession has been linked to oil prices.

The U.S. trade deficit is linked to its oil import. The U.S. defense budget is more than 50% oil linked. This inlcudes the protection of oil states and facilities.

If we look at poor countries such as those in Africa we can see that most are in debt to the oil producers. Like everyone, they are dependent on oil but do not have the trading abilities to pay for their oil use.
While Israel's oil needs accounts for 8% of our trade balance Kenya is minus (-) 174%
Senegal - 90%,
Tanzania - 85%.
Uganda -124%.
This is the oil share of their trade deficits.

It is oil that keeps them poor.

Hollander produced some frightening statistics.
6.7 million people have been killed in oil related wars.
Potential deaths as a result of oil related wars over the next twenty years is estimated to be one hundred million people.

The U.S. uses 23% of the worlds oil supply.
OPEC has 79% of oil reserves.
People assume that OPEC has increased oil production since 1973. In fact they have reduced production by 2%.

In 2008 demand for oil fell. OPEC reduced supply and the price went up. They hold the world in their control.

PAIL WERBOS is Program Director of the U.S. National Science Foundation and an international expert in oil and fuels. His points were:

The power of the oil industry is a great problem. The oil industry must reinvent itself. To solve the problem we have to zero out our need for oil in twenty years if we take action now.

If you care about a clean climate, consider the carbon dioxide caused by transportation. Transportation is 100% dependent on oil.

By Combining or Utilising three things we can solve our oil dependency, clean the climate, and save money.

1. Hybrid cars cut gas use by 50%.

2. Plug-in hybrid cars get half their energy from electricity and half from gasoline.

3. GEM fuel-flexible biofuels can supply one quarter of the U.S. present liquid fuel demand.
G = Gasoline, E = Ethanol, M = Methanol).

To achieve oil independence we must maximise flexible fuel plug-in Hybrid cars.
Bring them online as fast and we can to remove our dependency on OPEC.

Look to Brazil. They have an advanced Hybrid car market using alternative Fuels. If you can buy these cars in Brazil why not in America? This is not because Brazil is a richer country than America. It works for them. It can work for us.

Brazil has the best of both worlds. If gasoline prices are high they switch to ethanol and vice versa.

The Chinese are making batteries for electric cars for $ 2000 and getting cheaper. America can build cars better than China. Even if we buy the electric batteries from China at $ 2000 a piece for the U.S. hybrid car it will still be cheaper than importing oil.

America currently produce so much bio fuel that the total use of U.S. transportation would use only 15%.

It's not just bio fuel that can be used. Natural gas is also useable.

In 70% of U.S. transportation and oil is 70% of that oil use is in private cars.

We do not have to wait 20/30 years for the technology. It's already here. All it takes is the political will to move on the number one risk to the world.

The session moved to another hall and covered ISRAEL'S ROLE IN BREAKING THE GLOBAL OIL ADDICTION.

EUGENE KANDEL, Head of Israel's National Economic Council, opined on how to break the OPEC Cartel.

"Find alternatives to oil. The more alternatives there are control and then prices will become less rigid.

Israel is a small country on this issue but if we can find solutions it will be a hedge against rising oil prices.

The Israeli Academy of Sciences is researching electric batteries, alternative Fuels, and other solutions. They will write a report and present it to the Cabinet in a few months.

We have focal points of excellence in this field both scientific and industrial. This edge we have can be at the forefront of this effort to remove the world from oil dependency.

GAL LUFT of the is Executive Director Institute for the Analusis of Global Security. He said

Oil interests have prevented solutions to the problems and genocides in Darfur and Sudan.

Dependence on oil is an existential threat to the existence of the State of Israel!
The regimes that control the oil sponsor radicalism and terror or have an anti-Israel agenda.
We import a massive and growing amount of oil. We also import huge amounts of fruit and computers but these are not a strategic threat to our country. Oil is.

If Israel stopped importing oil it will not affect world prices but it would contribute to our own balance of payments and it would be a moral move.

Changing oil dependency is also good for Israel. We can look with our brilliance into the research and development benefits. Take the electric battery, for example. We can find ways of reducing the price of these by our inventiveness.

Let Israelis who want to import electric cars do so. There are cars that you can plug in at home or the office. We do not need to wait for infrastructure. Let's do it now.

MOTI HERSHKOWITZ Reminded us that we have an international track record in research. We have the technology to convert CO2 and water into fuel. Biomass will replace oil as the feedstock for future refineries and turbines. Biomass is a reasonable source for alternative Fuels.

Partnership between academia and industry can rapidly produce results.
$ 280 Million in nano technology put Israel on the map. We need a clear commitment for budget by the Government.

ORNA BERRY, Venture Partner in Gemini Israel Divulged that two African presidents have asked Israel for help on three items:

1. Desalination.
2. Medical technology.
3. Alternative energy.

Regarding SHAI AGASSI. BETTER PLACE ,his electric car project, has verbally been supported by PRESIDENT SHIMON PERES but it was large companies from overseas who had joined BETTER PLACE in their venture because they believe in his project.

The Better Place business model for their electric cars was outlined by JAMES WOOLSEY.
They lease you their batteries. You drive to an installation or network charging point where you can charge your battery in a reasonable time. If you have a long distance drive and no ability to recharge your battery you will have battery swopping stations.

Israel may become a major leader in this.

James Woolsey has a hybrid car. He reported that he drives at two cents a mile as opposed to ten cents on oil.

LUCIEN YEHUDA BRONICKI, Chairman and Chief Technologist at Ormat Technologies said that Israel has done amazing things.

Ben Gurion said we must develop solar enery because we do not have oil, and desalination because we do not have water.

Israel can develop niche markets in alternative fuel energies in places like Africa.
Industry can be involved.

Reminded us that IBM and Intel did not get involved here because of Israel's massive market but because of our brain power.

Others will follow on this issue. We already have world leaders in other spheres listing

Teva in generic drugs, Check Point in software,Netafim drip irrigation, and Ormat in geothermal energy.

He suggested mobilising and supporting universities to focus on projects, and reviving the technical schools.

UZI LANDAU, the Minister of National Infrastructure, was the guest speaker at this topic.

"We suffer from an addiction. To begin to go through the detoxification process we need to make a commitment. We are becoming slaves to oil. Oil is the main financial source to radical Islam. The aim is to stop the West's dependency on oil. Even a reduction of 20% to 30% will change the mentality of those who milk the world through oil.

These people who want the destruction of the West are playing with us.

Governments must regulate. We must regulate for electric cars.

We do not have the ability of a super power but most of the investment comes from abroad.
"Sometimes overseas investors believe in us more than we believe in ourselves," he said.

"Small Israel can be a laboratory for the world".

"A project, based in the Negev, costing $ 500 Million and producing annual revenue of $ 170 Million we can do. If we want to prove leadership we need to put money on the table. I say to our scientists' spread the word, show the world what we can do. $ 100 Million in research can produce a breakthrough. "

We were reminded that Uzi Landau had recently signed a cooperation agreement for alternative fuels with Germany.

From technology to politics as I attended a session on EUROPE'S ROLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST.
MIGUEL ANGEL MORITANOS was the EU Special Envoy to the Middle East. he is now Spain's Foreign Minister.

He reviewed the development of the EU's foreign policy. At the time of Sadat's visit to Jerusalem the EU was represented but they had no leverage, influence, or say.
After seven years and the Implimentation of the Lisbon Treaty the EU began to emerge in world affairs.

"We know that, in Israel, the EU was considered an enemy of Israel and not balanced. We are not an enemy of Israel. We are a friends, though sometimes friends have to say tough things to each other".

"We will put our energy into peace and security for Israel. The EU and Israel share the same values and vision. We are working to that end.

Tonight I visit Abu Mazen. I will try to persuade him to return to negotiations with you, but if I do not have the confidence of the Israeli Government I cannot succeed.

When I speak to the Arab leaders I hear the same concerns as I hear in Israel regarding Iran.
The EU will be very active in working the Arab countries and with Israel.

I hope for full normalisation between Israel, the Mediterranean countries, and the Arab world ".

MARTIN BARTAK, The Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary, and their Minister of Defense said that the EU's verbal response to the Gaza Conflict was not useful or effective.

During the Czech Chairmanship of the EU Israel was very much in their mind.

"We support the desire of Jews to live in their own homeland just as the Czechs and the Slovaks deserve theirs.".

Czechs call for the upgrading of ties between the EU and Israel.

"We established a closer relationship between Israel and NATO. We have firm support for Prime Minister Fayyad and the Palestinian Authority and for giving humanitarian aid to the Occupied territories. The present conditions are unbearable for the Palestinians. A Palestinian state must be established. We must coordinate a peaceful Palestinan state building process.
The Palestinians have to unite in recognising Israel ".

"The State of Israel is the most important ally the U.S. and the EU has in the Middle East.
Any threat to Israel or eradicate them into the sea is intolerable.
We are exchanging ideas in the quest for peace and security in the region. We have proposed an international conference.

SHIMON PERES addressed a packed auditorium. He pointed to the 7% growth achieved by the Palestinians in the West Bank in 2009.

"The enemy of the Palestinians is Hamas. Hamas is not only their enemy. They are ours, and Egypt's and Jordan's. It is a distasterous enemy."

"We must adapt ourselves to globalisation. Source of income is not always linked to territory. Science is not conquered by an enemy. A lot of poor countries do not give equal rights for women. This is wrong for so many reasons. Women deserve the equal rights to education ad to work. In many poor countries women are not allowed to work. This is wrong. If they worked it would bring two Salaries to the home. Women must be an example to their children. Whoever does not condemns their homes and their countries to continuing poverty.

Turning to Israel's army Peres said
"The IDF is the best school in the world.
Everybody has go go into the army. If our youth did not go into the army many would be lying in bed until they get up to play with the computer. Then they go out drinking and enjoying themselves through the night. They have no role in society.
Instead, in the army the IDF wakes them up at six in the morning to a full days activities. They run. They are healthier and fitter. Their use of computers is for important tasks, like the security of the country.
In the army they learn to take responsibility, to act in a mature way.

I want to turn the camp into a campus. I want that our soldier can come out of his army service with a degree.
Today, a Golani solder works with a computer. Today, wars have changed. Increasingly conflicts are between brains not bullets. The IDF is an army of values. All this can be taught in the army to our youth.

The army agrees to this and intends to do a pilot plan to start this June.

"If you have a small IPhone in your pocket you have the whole world in your pocket".
The next fifteen years will be the most unprecedented in mankind. In the last decade computer technology has improved one million times. Nano technology is only at the threshold and Israel is the world leader. We lead in stem cell research. We are too small to be a producer or a market but we can be a laboratory.

Explaining the reason for Israel's success he said
"Science and technology is not just tied to education but to character. Jews contributed something special to the world. Dissatisfaction!
They are never happy with the current state of affairs. Look at Moses. What did he do after coming down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments. He broke them. This Dissatisfaction drives us to do things better

"They have four million cows in Ethiopia. Israel's 100,000 cows produce the same amount of milk thanks to our technology."


Peres related a story of someone who asked him about Israel's poor image abroad. He answered that Israel is the most popular country in the world.

"India has a population of 1.2 billion people and India and Israel are the best of friends. After the Mumbai terror attack they share our concerns. We now produce and supply India with the tools to fight terrorism.

Christians worldwide support Israel because of our shared values. Look at the millions of Christians in America who are more passionate towards Israel than many Jews.

China Admires Israel not because of Moses, I doubt if they know who Moses was, but because of our technology and what is has contributed to Chinese agriculture. That's another 400 million people.

The U.S. is Israel's Stongest supporter.

Russia has a respect and common bond with Israel. Over one million Jews came from there.

OK, so we have a problem with Sweden. We'll get over it. Do you know of another country that enjoys such popularity? "


Iran is two problems to the world. Iranian uranium and its Repressive regime.
"If Iran was a reasonable country maybe there would not be a problem. Iran is the peak of moral corruption. They hang people for being homosexual or for opposing the regime. They oppress their own people. They support terror. They deny the Holocaust. They threaten to eradicate us, to wipe us off the map.
The authentic Persians are 50% of the country. They are a proud people. They and the youth of Iran feel that Ahmadinajad disgraces them and their country. Fighting Ahmadinajad is a moral struggle.
A coalition of nations is the best method in this struggle. Israel should not monopolise this struggle. It is a world crisis.

Concluding, President Shimon Peres said the Jews and Israel has suffered a lot.

"They say we are God's Chosen People. We were also Hitler's chosen people. Now we are Ahamadinajad's chosen people.
We have suffered, but we have also achieved a lot.
Israel hopes to continue to contribute to the world ".

The Herzlia Conference enticingly arranged an agenda that simply got better as the program went on.
The Presidential Address was a highlight - but there was much more to come on Day 3. This will be presented to you in Part 2.

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