Col. Uri Dromi, Israeli Air Force Reserve, is director general of the Mishkenot Sha'ananim conference center in Jerusalem. From 1996 to 2007, he was director of International Outreach at the Israel Democracy Institute. He was born in 1946 in Pardes Hanna, Israel. He is married to Dalia, and they have three children: Yael, Danny and Shai. Dromi served in the Israeli Air Force in 1964-89 as a navigator. Participated in the Six Day War, War of Attrition, the Yom Kippur War, the Lebanon War and flew many operational missions.
He was the chief education officer of the Israeli Air Force and the editor-in-chief of the IAF Magazine and the IDF Publishing House. Retired from active duty in 1989, he keeps flying regularly in the reserves, in the same squadron he joined in 1966. From 1989 to 1992, he was the North American director of information for the World Zionist Organization. In 1992-96, Dromi was the director of the Government Press Office, being the chief spokesman for the Rabin and Peres governments.
Dromi graduated from Ben Gurion University (history) and started doctoral studies at the Hebrew University. He teaches communications at the College of Management in Tel Aviv and military history at the Command and Staff College. He has published three books and numerous articles in Israeli and international newspapers.
Following the Geneva agreement between the six world powers and Iran, the Israelis were caught in the dilemma of whom they should believe: their prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who had said that this was a bad deal, a historical blunder and that the Iranians got everything they wanted and gave nothing back; or President Obama, who had praised the agreement because, in his words, “for the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back.”
Two weeks ago, Israelis went to the polls to elect their mayors. At a family lunch just before the elections, I asked my granddaughter Maya, 13, whom she would vote for in her city, had she been old enough to vote. “I would vote for X, of course”, she said. Then, to make sure I knew who she was talking about, she added: “You know, X the thief”.
VIEW FROM ISRAEL
Last week, in Jerusalem, I participated in an international conference on aviation medicine, where some 180 participants gathered from all around the world to exchange knowledge on this important topic. The surgeon general of the Israel Defense Forces gave greetings, and then went on to read from the paper the greetings of a high-ranking officer from the U.S. Army Medical Department who was supposed to participate as well.
Imagine this scenario: President Obama delivers an address to the nation, in which he says he would use force if Syria doesn’t strip itself from its chemical arsenal. Later, on the same day, National Security Advisor Susan Rice appears in a public event and dismisses the president’s words, quoting an anti-war statement he delivered as a freshman senator 11 years ago. Ms. Rice’s message, in this hypothetical scenario, would be: Don’t take the president seriously. The real Barack Obama would never use force.