Opening session: The nature of leadership

posted at 8:01 am on June 19, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

JERUSALEM – The fifth Presidential Conference, called Tomorrow 2013, officially began last night with a gala celebration of Shimon Peres’ 90th birthday.  The event began with an affectionate speech from Tony Blair lauding Peres’ efforts to establish security for Israel and peace in the region.  Benjamin Netanyahu paid tribute to Peres’ efforts to build Israel into a nation capable of defending itself. “Peace favors the strong,” Netanyahu said Peres taught him. “No one will make peace with a weak Israel.”  Bill Clinton provided the high emotional point of the evening, starting off with a gentle joke about Peres’ age – ”We are here to celebrate the last living Israeli who knew King David.” Clinton hailed Peres as a man who knew how to work with his political opponents, a quality whose lack Clinton lamented in the US.  ”What we are here to celebrate,” Clinton said, “is your great gift to all of us.”

A number of video and musical tributes followed, most of which involved Israeli performers, but the final act was a live performance by Barbra Streisand.  Streisand didn’t speak about politics, preferring to pay tribute through song; she sang a song in Hebrew, a prayer for peace, and her signature song “People.” Whatever anyone thinks about her politics, Streisand’s voice is still spectacular, and the audience gave her two standing ovations.

Tony Blair also opened the plenary session on leadership on the first morning of Tomorrow 2013.  Winning elections turns out to be the easiest part of leadership, Blair told the audience; it’s the “What now?” after winning.  The skills that serve one best in elections are not the same qualities that provide leadership.  One has to learn to embrace responsibility, work against the popular grain, and seize moments of opportunity even if that causes short-term damage to one’s political standing.  ”Leaders are decision makers and decision takers,” Blair said.  ”Do what you believe to be right, even if it’s unpopular.”

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Blair then turned to this region, which he noted had historically “low predictability.” The West wants to stay out of Syria now, but Blair warned that the cost of inaction will be higher in the long run than the price for intervention now.  On the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Blair insisted that a two-state solution is the only realistic goal. A one-state outcome is entirely fanciful, Blair advised, no matter which side believes it.  The conference greeted that statement enthusiastically.

Blair concluded by observing that the true political divide today isn’t really Left/Right but the open-minded and closed-minded. True leadership requires producing open minds.

Rahm Emanuel spoke about leadership in the American context.  ”The first thing I always look at in leadership is failure,” Emanuel said.  Everyone fails, but “what do they learn from it?”  Abraham Lincoln was our greatest President, but he only got there through a series of failures.  He won the Civil War only after a series of failures, too.  He also offered up a line that became more infamous in the United States, “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” as an explanation of the opportunities for leadership to emerge.

Blair Tomorrow 2013

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…began last night with a gala celebration of Shimon Peres’ 90th birthday.

It was a pagan alter of worship. I had to shut the TV off, it was so absurd.

Shy Guy on June 19, 2013 at 8:05 AM

”The first thing I always look at in leadership is failure,” Emanuel said.

And he ought to know enough about failure. *spits*

Liam on June 19, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Barbara Streisand? Rahm Emanuel? Sounds more like Charlotte in 2012 than Jersalem in 2013.

Happy Nomad on June 19, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Global government…..and it’s proponents…..yawn!!!

Every time it’s been tried all the way back to Nimrod and Babylon its been a disaster that leaves millions dead and denies the individual liberty and freedom of choice.

Globalist Progressives like Rahm and Blair and Peres should be laughed off the stage.

PappyD61 on June 19, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Globalist Progressives like Rahm and Blair and Peres should be laughed off the stage.

PappyD61 on June 19, 2013 at 8:15 AM

You forgot Clinton. He hasn’t stopped blowing his horn from the moment he stepped off the plane here.

Shy Guy on June 19, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Rahm Emanuel spoke about leadership in the American context

…was there a roar of laughter?

KOOLAID2 on June 19, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Libtard Comedy Hour.

hillsoftx on June 19, 2013 at 8:20 AM

It was a pagan alter of worship. I had to shut the TV off, it was so absurd.

Shy Guy on June 19, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Elements of it were pretty over-the-top. One of the video tributes looked like a campaign ad at times.

Ed Morrissey on June 19, 2013 at 8:22 AM

Libtard Comedy Hour.

hillsoftx on June 19, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Liberals have a sense of humor?

Liam on June 19, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Elements of it were pretty over-the-top. One of the video tributes looked like a campaign ad at times.

Ed Morrissey on June 19, 2013 at 8:22 AM

You have an amazing constitution! Sounds like a total gag fest.

dogsoldier on June 19, 2013 at 8:29 AM

No one asked Barbra about treatment of women in neighboring muslim countries? I guess honor killings and not being allowed to vote or drive and getting forcibly married off as a tween are not women’s rights problems for her.

sultanp on June 19, 2013 at 8:34 AM

…I’ll bet you…that blueballs votes EVERY TIME…the “SHOULD SARAH PALIN RUN FOR THE SENATE”… drops down on her screen!

KOOLAID2 on June 19, 2013 at 8:38 AM

No one asked Barbra about treatment of women in neighboring muslim countries?

sultanp on June 19, 2013 at 8:34 AM

The “shut up and sing” rule applies to Babs too. Who the hell care what that stupid vile woman thinks about the treatment of women in Islamic nations?

Happy Nomad on June 19, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Rahm Emanuel spoke about leadership in the American context. ”The first thing I always look at in leadership is failure,” Emanuel said. Everyone fails, but “what do they learn from it?”

From a guy too gutless to challenge his own party members and institute the Giuliani-Bratton policing policies in Chicago, because it’s easier to allow on average more murders a day there than in New York (in a city a third of its size), “leadership” is simply about gaining power and figuring out how best to game the system with key special interest groups to create/maintain a one-party state to remain in power in perpetuity…

…which for the left kind of fits here, in a historical perspective. American liberal loved Israel during its first 30 years, when the Labor party (and its forerunners) Shimon Peres was a major part of won all the elections, and basically ran the country as if it was a one-party city or state. As long as people like Rahm Emanuel saw Israel as the equivalent of a progressive Blue State, they were all for Israel’s domestic policies, including their defense measures against their Muslim enemies.

The past 35 years since Likud broke Labor’s hammerlock on control of Israel? Quite a different story — To the left, the country now might as well be a Red State, and gets treated accordingly. The only warmth felt since 1977 was during those periods where Peres or Ehud Barak were able to work a majority to get Labor back into power (and in the latter’s case, someone whom Bill CLinton sent James Carville and his campaign team over to ensure would win office in 1999, because he thought he could cop a Nobel Peace Prize by pushing Barak into a peace deal with Arafat).

jon1979 on June 19, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Follow the money

Shy Guy on June 19, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Streisand sang?!!
Why would any sane individual listen to her cat-scratch of a voice?
I’m no fan of burkhas but this b*tch deserves one.

It all boils down to this:
When asked if they would be fighting the Israelis if they were Muslims, a Muslim terrorist said “No. There would be no problems.”

Muzzies hate the Jews because they are Jews.
Muzzies hate Christians because they are Christians.
Muzzies hate X because X is X and not what X has done.

So with these as your neighbors you lock, load, and do lots of target practice.

Bubba Redneck on June 19, 2013 at 10:20 AM

speaking of world leaders…this headline…

“Berlin Speech: 200,000 for Obama in 2008; Only 6,000 Today”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/berlin-speech-200000-obama-2008-only-6000-today_736767.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

workingclass artist on June 19, 2013 at 10:26 AM

context. ”The first thing I always look at in leadership is failure,” Emanuel said. E

Nonsense.

First of all, what’s HE doing there?

Secondly, no, first you look at their vision. Where are they taking you? And do you want to go there?

Cleombrotus on June 19, 2013 at 12:38 PM