Top politicians to headline Jewish News-BICOM Israel conference

Top politicians to headline Jewish News-BICOM Israel conference

Home secretary, Israel's Opposition Leader and the White House's Middle East envoy among those taking centre stage at Jewish News event this week.

Leading politicians from the UK, Israel and America will come together for a major London conference this week – with the debate set to focus on the impact of a Donald Trump presidency on the Middle East and the terror threat.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Israeli Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog and former White House Middle East envoy Dennis Ross will be joined in Westminster by an array of policy experts as part of the second UK-Israel Strategic Challenges Conference, organised by Jewish News and think tank BICOM.

The event – partnered by the Anglo-Israel Association, Times of Israel and the Algemeiner – will be live streamed through Jewish News’ website from 9am on Wednesday and users of Twitter will be able to follow the debate at #UKIsrael2016.

Also addressing the audience of think tanks, government officials, diplomats from around the world, faith leaders and journalists will be former ambassador to Washington Michael Oren, deputy minister for Public Diplomacy in Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, UK Middle East minister Tobias Ellwood and Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry – delivering her first major remarks on the Middle East since taking on the role in Jeremy Corbyn’s top team.

Rudd is expected to address the threat of radicalisation and terrorism facing Britain and Israel – after the conference also hears European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor’s take on those challenges in relation to Jewish communities on the Continent.

Jordan’s ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Mazen Homoud, will take part in a discussion on new thinking to break out of the status quo on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, while Ross will deliver a keynote before joining another panel focusing on whether Trump can make the Middle East a better place.

With trade at record levels, there will also be an in-depth look at hi-tech as the new engine of burgeoning bilateral relations. This high-level panel will include Wendy Tan White, a General Partner at Entrepreneur First, Start-up Nation Central’s Dr Eugene Kandel, British Telecom innovation chief Mike Hodgson and Elan Zivotosky of OurCrowd.

Justin Cohen, news editor of the Jewish News and conference coordinator, said: “Together with BICOM, we are delighted to be bringing together such a high-level group of politicians and experts from three continents for our second annual policy conference

“Facing common concerns relating to the rise in extremism and the destabilisation of the Arab world, Governments in Israel and the UK face a shared imperative to further develop strategic collaboration – and we are delighted to once again be providing the arena for a conversation about enhancing those links. The considerable speculation over the possible direction of US foreign policy under the surprise new incumbent of the White House makes this conference all the more timely.”

James Sorene, BICOM CEO, said: “Our conference with the Jewish News is a unique gathering of Israeli politicians and Middle East experts in London. With Trump about to enter the White House and the UK developing its post-Brexit foreign policy there is no better time to host a high-level discussion in the heart of Westminster about the future of the Middle East and what that means for Britain and Israel, our shared strategic interests and booming trade relations.”

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