nick clegg

Nick Clegg

The former head of communications for Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has been appointed as the new chief executive of BICOM.

James Sorene has worked in Government for 15 years and was Deputy Director of Government Communications at Number 10 and the Cabinet Office.

James Sorene – who has also served as Head of Public Affairs at the Israeli Embassy – said it was an “honour and privilege” to take up the role. “For many years I have been a passionate advocate for greater understanding of Israel and the Middle East in the UK.

“BICOM has a crucial role in producing expert analysis and providing a forum for British and Israeli academics and opinion-formers to work together, share ideas, examine solutions and shape the international debate.”

Chairman of the BICOM Board of Directors, Edward Misrahi, said: “James’ candidacy stood out among a particularly strong group of applicants to lead BICOM. He has worked for both the British and Israeli Governments and is extremely knowledgeable on Israel and the wider Middle East.

“We are very proud of everything that BICOM has achieved in the last few years and the excellent service it provides. We look forward to working with James to strengthen the organisation and build on its many successes to date.”

Meanwhile, Arieh Miller is to leave his post as head of Jewish community relations at the Israeli Embassy to succeed Alan Aziz as the director of the Zionist Federation.

The 27-year-old said he was “looking forward to bringing his passion fo Israel and the UK community together, and to continuing the great work the organisation already does, perhaps adding a few touches of my own”.

ZF chair Paul Charney said the appointment at a time when hostility to Israel is a growing concern was a “demonstration of our desire to be the leading voice for Zionism. Arieh’s hands-on experience in one of the most successful and well-respected embassies for Israel set him out as the one to help us achieve that.”