America's Roundtable

Conversation with Yaakov and Na'ama Berg, Psagot Winery, Israel | An Entrepreneurial Success Story | Returning to their Ancestral Land and Transforming the Barren Landscape into a Haven for Economic Opportunities | A Foundation for Peace in the Region

March 10th, 2023

A Special Feature on Israel—The Start-Up Nation

The Jewish State's Entrepreneurial Spirit

Celebrating Israel's 75th Anniversary

Join America's Roundtable Radio co-hosts Natasha Srdoc and Joel Anand Samy with Yaakov and Na'ama Berg, entrepreneurs and co-founders of The Psagot Winery located in the Jerusalem Mountains in Israel. This special feature will lead up to Israel's 75th anniversary to be celebrated from the evening of Tuesday, April 25 to the evening of Wednesday, April 26, 2023.

In our conversation we discussed the challenges and opportunities that Israel — America's strongest ally in the Middle East faces as we reflect on its 75 years as a sovereign nation:

— An entrepreneurial success story | The Psagot Winery in Judea and Samaria—the heartland of Israel.
— How the Arab population gains economic opportunities, employment, and higher salaries in Jewish communities within Judea and Samaria when compared to working in the Palestinian Authority's territory.
— Transforming the desert and the barren land into a land of promise through the exports of agricultural products, innovation and technology.
— U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador David Friedman's visit to Psagot Winery in Judea and Samaria and the Trump administration's leadership in reversing the Obama administration's approach towards Israeli settlements.

The Psagot Winery |

From the Psagot Winery | Located in the Jerusalem mountains, overlooking the primordial landscape of Israel. It all began in a 2,500 year old cave, where a message from the past was revealed to us in the form of an ancient coin where history and legacy come together.

Psagot Winery and its vineyards planted deep in the rocky soil of Benjamin in Israel, is a continuation of wine production dating back thousands of years in an optimal area for its quality grapes. The winery was established in 2003 and has been growing steadily ever since. Today the winery produces over 750,000 bottles that include 15 different types of quality wines. Over 70% of these wines are exported to over 27 countries and duty-free locations around the world. The wines have entered prestigious competitions and have won awards and medals of distinction from the international community.

In June 2020, Psagot Winery moved to its new location at Sha’ar Binyamin. In a beautiful stone structure built in the shape of an ancient inn the winery overlooks Wadi Kelt and the Edom Mountains. The winery is divided into two sections; the wine production plant and the impressive visiting center that includes a barrel room below where over 1,000 barrels are aged each year.

Further Reading and Viewing:

The Jerusalem Post | Pompeo and a settler vintner’s battle for ‘Made in Israel’ wine

Excerpt: "Berg, whose family fled antisemitism in Russia, arrived in Israel in 1979 when he was three years old. He views himself as a direct descendant of the biblical Jews who once toiled the same land. “Wine is an industry most identified with its geography,” Berg said. For this reason, he used a print of an actual ancient coin he discovered in a cave near the Psagot settlement where he lives as a symbol that he stamps on all his winery’s bottles. The coin, which dates back to the Bar Kochva revolt, has the words “Freedom of Zion” written on it. He has battled for this freedom on the international stage over the issue of product labeling. He wants the words “Made in Israel,” which he prints on the labels his winery produces, to be a recognized international fact."

Jerusalem Post | Can Pompeo replace annexation with a glass of Psagot wine?

Excerpt: "Pompeo on behalf of the Trump administration issued the historic declarations that Israeli settlements were not inconsistent with international law. Just last month, Friedman took steps against settlement boycotts and UN Security Council Resolution 2334 condemning settlements. Friedman declared that the US would no longer make a territorial distinction between the West Bank and sovereign Israel."

BBC | Pompeo makes unprecedented visits to Israeli settlement in West Bank and Golan Heights

The Wall Street Journal | Pompeo Visits Israeli Settlement in First for Any Top U.S. Diplomat

Excerpt from WSJ: "Mr. Pompeo’s visit to the Psagot Winery’s visitor center, on the edge of the Sha’ar Binyamin settlement, was described by the State Department as private and journalists weren’t allowed inside. Before visiting the winery, Mr. Pompeo announced that the U.S. would consider the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, known as BDS, to be anti-Semitic and would cut U.S. support to any groups or organizations participating in it. Organizers with the movement say it is a peaceful campaign aimed at pressuring Israel to change its policies toward the Palestinians."

The Times of Israel | Full text of Pompeo’s statement on settlements

"Breaking with decades of policy, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declares Israel’s West Bank settlements not ‘inconsistent with international law’" |

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America's Roundtable is co-hosted by Natasha Srdoc and Joel Anand Samy, co-founders of International Leaders Summit and the Jerusalem Leaders Summit.

America’s Roundtable radio program - a strategic initiative of International Leaders Summit, focuses on America’s economy, healthcare reform, rule of law, security and trade, and its strategic partnership with rule of law nations around the world. The radio program features high-ranking US administration officials, cabinet members, members of Congress, state government officials, distinguished diplomats, business and media leaders and influential thinkers from around the world.

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