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.
In a last, desperate, attempt to save the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks from failure, a tripartite deal was hurriedly cooked: Israel would reportedly freeze settlements and release Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinians would stay at the negotiating table, and the Americans would release Jonathan Pollard, the former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, who was jailed for life in 1987 for passing secret documents to Israel.
In light of a ship caught carrying aggressive weapons, aimed at terrorizing his fellow countrymen, the leader delivered a firm message, warning that neither his country “nor the world community of nations can tolerate deliberate deception and offensive threats on the part of any nation, large or small. We no longer live in a world where only the actual firing of weapons represents a sufficient challenge to a nation's security to constitute maximum peril”.
Recently, at the Jerusalem Press Club, I hosted Marcella Rosen, the author of Tiny Dynamo: How One of the Smallest Countries Is Producing Some of Our Most Important Inventions. Amazon advertises this book as a fascinating collection of 21 stories detailing Israel's inventions that benefit all of mankind. From desalting the ocean to the tiny PillCam that videos your insides, the Flash Drive to spinal surgery robots, watering the desert with drip irrigation, blasting breast tumors and curing major diseases: Israel is a hotbed of start-ups and idea incubation wildly disproportionate to its tiny size.
John Kerry is not the first U.S. secretary of state trying to broker peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Nor the first to be rewarded with angry Israeli response for his efforts.
I have lived all my life in Israel, and I consider myself to be quite knowledgeable about Israeli matters. Yet last week, it was in New York that I found out how much I still have to learn.