Grapevine: Bolton arrives to promote new book

Bolton was swamped by admirers who not only got his signature on their books, but were also able to engage him in conversation.

Bolton book sign 224.88 (photo credit: Sivan Farag)
Bolton book sign 224.88
(photo credit: Sivan Farag)
As happens each year, the Herzliya Conference brought a large number of dignitaries from major Jewish organizations, the world of academia and think tanks, the world of diplomacy, the security arena, and the business world to Israel. Some of the visitors, such as World Jewish Congress President Ron Lauder; Sir Ronald Cohen, chairman of Portland Capital and Portland Trust; Irwin Cotler, Canadian Member of Parliament; John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the United Nations and former US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control fitted into more than one category. Bolton, whose book Surrender is not an Option is on sale in Israel, was feted by Ron Lubash, joint CEO of Markstone Capital Partners, which owns the Steimatzky chain of bookstores. Steimatzky General Manager Iris Barel had organized a book-signing for Bolton at the chain's Gan Ha'ir store in Tel Aviv, where he was swamped by admirers who not only got his signature on their books, but were also able to engage him in conversation. The book provides a fascinating insight into the workings of the United Nations, international security and terrorism. - THE LORD Mayor of London is traditionally a global economic ambassador for the City of London, who is elected rather than appointed. The recently-elected current Lord Mayor of London, David Lewis, was in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Ramallah this week to strengthen business links between Israeli and Palestinian investors and industrialists and the City of London. Lewis, whose rank when travelling abroad is equivalent to that of a UK Cabinet minister, is one of a series of UK visitors engaged in the lead-up to a Middle East Investment Conference in Bethlehem in the spring. "Both Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories form part of the same economic zone and there are many opportunities for expanding links with the international financial center of London," said Lewis. "This City visit," he continued, "is to encourage the process of increasing connectivity between London and the Middle East." In Tel Aviv, Lewis and his team participated in the Israel-Britain Business Council conference on Capital Markets and Corporate Governance, met Mayor Ron Huldai, leaders of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, high-tech researchers at Tel-Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute, and the Israel-British Law Association. - ALSO IN Israel this week to attend the Herzliya Conference, former US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer, who is a member of the executive of the Friends of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, was among the signatories - along with other executive members and the orchestra's Musical Director Leon Botstein - to large advertisements in the Hebrew press in which they thanked and congratulated Government Minister Isaac Herzog whose portfolio includes responsibility for the Israel Broadcasting Authority, IBA chairman Moshe Gavish, the Ministry for Science, Culture and Sport and the players in the orchestra for the extraordinary efforts that prevented the dismantling of the JSO, enabling it to perform anew. The dedication of these partners, states the text, brought this historic enterprise forward into a new era of stability, vitality and artistic excellence. Toward the end of the text, appreciation is also expressed to MK Michael Melchior, Attorney Yitzhak Junger, and to Yossi Tal-Gan, as well as to orchestra subscribers, the residents of Jerusalem and the JSO's radio listeners in Israel and abroad for their unceasing support. It's always nice to say thank you, but for an institution that was in the financial doldrums due to huge deficits incurred by its key patron, the Israel Broadcasting Authority, it's a rather expensive way to go about it. - NOTHING SEEMS to daunt Delta founder and former chairman and Israel Prize laureate Dov Lautman, who though stricken with ALS, is still a driving force in the business community. Lautman, incapable of using his hands or raising his arms, continues to enjoy his social life and is currently President of ALS Israel. He was among several well known personalities who last Friday flocked to the Horace Richter Gallery in Jaffa for the opening of the Desert Jungle exhibition by Ilana Aviv and Riva Zohar. - IN THE course of his visit to Israel last week, former Polish President Lech Walesa went to Kfar Chabad to get a closer look at hassidic life and to participate in the baking of Shmura Matza. The tour of Kfar Chabad was facilitated by Rabbi Shalom B. Stambler, director of Chabad activities in Poland and whose family lives in Kfar Chabad. Stambler seems to be good at cultivating Polish presidents. Last year he accompanied President Lech Kaczynski to Israel. When the Lubavitcher Rebbe was alive, he was opposed to a Chabad presence in Poland because he considered Poland to be the world's largest Jewish graveyard and he did not believe in relocating Jews there from other places. However. since his death and the ongoing emergence of Jews in Poland, the current Chabad leadership has decided to become particularly active in Warsaw and Krakow, which boast the largest Jewish communities in Poland, because Chabad feels a duty to serve Jews wherever they may be.