Opening of the 2016-2017 Academic Year at Ben-Gurion University..
(photo credit: DANI MACHLIS/BGU)
When I first spent time in the Negev, as opposed to rushing through it on a tour bus, I was captivated by the mag- ic and potential of this vast area, which includes some 60% of the land mass of Israel and only about 10% of Israel’s population. I immediately felt the energy of the people and the power of the geography. Two decades later, I believe that David Ben-Gurion was right when he said, “The future of Israel lies in the Negev.” Today, it’s important to add, the future of the Negev depends on Ben-Gurion University (BGU), the engine driving growth in the Negev.In Arad, Beersheba, and throughout the Negev, I met people who were willing to live without some daily comforts in order to try to improve the world. They believed in their ability to make change and equally important, they believed anything was possible. They demonstrated an intriguing mixture of idealism and pragmatism. David Ben-Gurion once said, “ The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer.” The people I know in the Negev embody that spirit of commitment and perseverance.