Israeli speaker supports diplomacy

Photo by Monica Jamison

As part of the IMPACT speaker series, Consul General of Israel to the Southeastern United States, Opher Aviran, spoke to Tech faculty and students to encourage political cooperation between the State of Israel and the Southeast United States. With the Gaza Strip crisis currently occurring, Aviran’s aim to strengthen ties is especially relevant.

Aviran, who holds a Masters Degree in Political Science from the University of Haifa and National Defense College, begins the presentation by posing some engaging questions about the current role of a diplomat in today’s world.

Understanding that social media heavily influences new media news, Aviran believes, however, that personal connections still are significant in today’s globalized age.

He mentions that “having this personal relationship between two people still makes the most difference. This relationship could make a true difference.”

He also describes a diplomat’s true goal touching on the more positive aspects of his job.

“We offer consular services, and we try to increase our relationship with the state we are working with. We promote national security collaboration in defense, homeland and cyber security. In our work, we have the pleasure of meeting some of the top leaders of the world,” Aviran said.

With regards to Israel’s relationship to the United States, Ariran views the partnership in an optimistic light.

“Our relationship with America is strong, and I expect it to keep growing. We have a tough neighborhood but a great nation. We are lucky to have a great ally in the United States of America. Together we can make a difference,” Aviran said.

In light of the ongoing Gaza strip conflict, Aviran focuses solely on Israel’s hope for future peace: “We want peace. We deserve peace. The Palestinians deserve peace as much as we deserve peace. The war is not against the Palestinians but against terror.”

Constantly returning to Israel’s aim for peace, Aviran hopes partnerships and diplomacy will make this ultimate goal more achievable in the near future. He feels that Israel’s partners also seek peace, “but you [also] need leadership” to ultimately achieve the objective.

Referencing the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty and The Treaty of Peace Between the State of Israel and Jordan as “setting up the pillars for the stability and peace of the region,” he also discusses the importance of the 2014 Operation Protective Edge, which seeks to restore stability in Israel.

He also hopes Americans understand that “neighbors of Israel aren’t exactly Canada or Mexico.”