Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 09.48.00

London will see its highest profile gathering of Israeli political figures in years at Jewish News’ inaugural policy conference next month, writes Justin Cohen

The one-day forum in Westminster on 22 June will feature ministers from the new Governments in the UK and Israel and will explore strategic challenges faced by both countries including the peace process, radicalisation, the rise of Islamic State and the increase in European anti-Semitism.

Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom, who has responsibility for talks with the Palestinians, Opposition leader Isaac Herzog, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, Israeli Ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor and former US Middle East envoy Dennis Ross will be among those addressing an audience of policy makers and opinion-formers at the event, held in partnership with BICOM.

Jewish News editor Richard Ferrer said: “This is a pivotal moment in the history of the politics of the Middle East and for UK and European engagement in the region. Facing common concerns relating to the rise in extremism and the destabilisation of the Arab world, new Governments in Israel and the UK face a shared imperative to further develop strategic collaboration.”

The audience of politicians from across the political spectrum, journalists, union and NGO leaders and Government departments will hear from Iran experts from both countries, days before the international community’s deadline for a deal on Tehran’s nuclear programme.

The conference will be held with the participation of the World Jewish Congress, whose chief executive will chair a session on anti-Semitism also featuring Quilliam founder Maajid Nawaz and Fulvio Martusciello MEP, who heads the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with Israel.

Israel’s Channel 10 and The Algemeiner will also participate. Former UK Ambassador to Iran Sir Richard Dalton and former MK Einat Wilf will speak, alongside experts from think tanks RUSI, the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and the Henry Jackson Society.

Also appearing will be Jane Kinninmont from Chatham House and Charles Farr, counter-terrorism chief at the Home Office. Richard Pater, acting chief executive of BICOM, said: “This unparalleled gathering will provide unique opportunities for discussion on the challenges facing the UK and Israel today.”

The evnt is supported by the IsraelSolidarity Campaign and the Anglo Israel Association.