Shakira, Jimmy Wales, Sarah Silverman in Israel


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Pop star Shakira, comedian Sarah Silverman and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales helped open the third Israeli Presidential Conference with President Shimon Peres.

"The best decisions we can make for a better tomorrow are those about educating and caring for our children," said Shakira, a Columbian singer whose father is Lebanese and who serves as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. "Israel is the perfect place to discuss education and our future because it is the melting pot, the location where all nations and religions were born. We are all inheritors of Abrahamic culture, therefore we are all Israel."

In presenting her recipe for a better tomorrow, Silverman, whose sister lives in Israel, noted that the differences between Israelis and Palestinians is not as great as thought to be.

"My recipe for a better tomorrow would be to raise an entire generation without hate," she said at the conference, titled "Facing Tomorrow." "The solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a simple ‘buddy movie formula.’ If you have these two hostile entities, find a common goal, and work together to fulfill it, in the end they will realize that they have much in common."

Wales called for harnessing technology to give the younger generation a voice.

More than 4,000 Jewish and world leaders are in Israel for the three-day conference.

This is the first visit to Israel for Shakira, who was urged in a Facebook page liked by about 2,000 people to cancel her trip.

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