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Ben Shapiro’s Inaugural Speech in Tel Aviv – History in the Making 

When I first heard that CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) would be holding an event in Tel Aviv and bringing Ben Shapiro as their keynote speaker, I was excited to attend, and signed up as soon as registration opened. 2,500 other English-speakers in Israel seemed to have had the same reaction, because on July 20th, on a Wednesday evening, Hangar 11 in Tel Aviv was filled to capacity. 

From others that I spoke to at the event, Ben Shapiro’s speech was not only historic because it was his first in Israel. He started by calling it his inaugural speech, or as he preferred to call it, “My bar mitzvah.” It was also historic because it was the first English-speaking, conservative event to be held in Israel on a scale of this size. The buzz going around from attendees afterward was that this type of event was long overdue and they were excited for the future prospects that it opened up.  

Ben Shapiro is co-founder and editor of the Daily Wire, a leading right-wing, American media network. Ben’s own podcast, the Ben Shapiro show, boasts nearly two million podcast downloads per day. Since he is so renowned as an incredibly intelligent conservative thinker and broadcaster, I was very much looking forward to hearing him speak. 

On the way to Tel Aviv for the event, we passed the Barkan area of Samaria, where the Nachala Movement, together with thousands of Israelis, were making a massive effort to establish new Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. The Barkan gathering was just one of six different locations that were all pushing to establish a new Jewish community, and all on the same day. 

As we joined nearly three thousand Jews in Hangar 11 for CPAC Tel Aviv, I could feel the palpable excitement in the crowd in anticipation of an event that was first of its kind – publicly discussing conservative views in Israel and in English as it relates to America and Israel. 

Ben Shapiro lived up to his reputation as a fiery and passionate speaker. His speech was largely divided into two parts: what Israel can learn from America and what America can learn from Israel. 

He spoke about how although Israel has a complete lack of natural resources, is only a nation of nine million people, and a tiny democracy surrounded by hostile nations, they are still world leaders in a number of areas: 

  • The twentieth highest GDP in the world per capita. 
  • One of the most technologically advanced and moral militaries in the world.
  • Ranked as thirteenth in billion dollar start-ups in the world. 
  • Israel has more start-ups per capita in the world. 

What can Israel learn from America? 

Ben Shapiro largely held that Israel could learn from America regarding effective government and free market economy. In general, Israel’s taxes are extremely high. Bureaucracy is complicated and extensive, and often adds years to projects that should only take weeks or months to accomplish. 

Israel’s Supreme Court system is extremely flawed, mostly by how judges are selected. In brief, the ruling Supreme Court judges have veto power over any new judges who are selected, ensuring that incoming judges hold similar political views to their own. The public has no vote in what Supreme Court judges are selected. 

In spite of Israel’s flaws however, Ben Shapiro had significant things to say about what America can learn from Israel. 

What can America learn from Israel? 

To begin with, Ben Shapiro said, “A nation state must have at its heart, a nation.” In short, America could learn from Israel how to value their history, culture, etc. Even with Israel’s complexities regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, at its heart, Israel is a Jewish nation, and that fact is embraced by the majority of its citizens. Non-Jews cannot immigrate to Israel because Israel has recognized that their country is exclusively a home for the Jewish people, and must always remain so. 

According to Ben Shapiro, Israel is more solid in their identity than any other country in the world. 

Ben Shapiro also highlighted how Israel is the only western country in the world with fertility rates that are higher than the replacement level. While you may think this is only in Israel’s ultra-orthodox cities, or in the religious areas of Judea and Samaria, I was shocked to hear that Tel Aviv’s birth rate is 2.49 percent, compared to Japan at .09 or the US at 1.6. In places like Judea and Samaria, fertility rates are much higher at 4.58. 

Ben Shapiro strongly advocated that Israel must always stay connected to its Jewish roots and the principles of Judaism. They must be a light to the nations. He called Israel a “miracle.” He ended his speech by calling the audience to remember the covenants that make Israel special, and that they are embedded in the families of the Jewish people. 

The last words of his inaugural speech in Tel Aviv were, “Let us choose life.”

About the author

Luke Hilton is the Director of Marketing for HaYovel, an organization that brings Christians to Judea and Samaria, the Biblical Heartland of Israel, to serve the land and people in volunteer service. Luke has been speaking about Israel since 2011, and has traveled extensively in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia speaking about Israel. He currently co-hosts The Israel Guys Youtube channel and podcast. Luke is based in Israel with his lovely wife Olivia and their five beautiful children.

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1 Response
  1. All of you involved are doing a great job at getting out the latest news that the regular media will not cover. Thank you and keep the great content coming. I am not Jewish but love getting these reports. I have been praying for everyone to stay safe and free from harm. Our Heavenly Father is involved in what you are doing. Praying for the peace of Isreal and Jerusalem.

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