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Amber Rudd to take centre stage at Jewish News Israel conference

Theresa May's successor will be a leading speaker at the Jewish News-BICOM 2016 policy conference

Jonathan Freedland in conversation with Isaac Herzog during the 2015 conference
Jonathan Freedland in conversation with Isaac Herzog during the 2015 conference

Home Secretary Amber Rudd will be among leading British and Israeli politicians addressing the second policy conference organised by Jewish News and BICOM next month.

Theresa May’s successor at the Home Office will deliver a keynote on radicalisation and the terrorist threat at our UK-Israel Shared Strategic Challenges Conference, to be held at a Westminster venue.

She will be joined by Middle East minister Tobias Ellwood, Opposition Leader and Labor chair Isaac Herzog, former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren, who was recently appointed as PM Netanyahu’s Special Envoyfor Public Diplomacy and former White House Mid-East Envoy Ambassador Dennis Ross.

The full-day forum on 30 November comes 18 months after Jewish News’ inaugural policy conference, which saw leading lights from both countries take part in a series of panel discussions and keynote interviews with high-profile media personalities. This year’s event – partnered by the Times of Israel, Algemeiner and the Anglo-Israel Association – will once again be aimed at politicians, senior journalists, think-tank leaders, academics, faith leaders and diplomats from around the world.

Coming just three weeks after US elections and whilst ournew UK government is still shaping its foreign policy outlook, it will address topics including the regional challenges facing the new US president and include a panel highlighting new thinking to break out of the status quo on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, featuring Palestinian non-violence activist Ali Abu Awwad and His Excellency Mazen Homoud, Jordan’s envoy to the UK.

There will also be a session exploring the thriving UK/Israel hi-tech partnership, which has helped drive bilateral trade to record levels. Delegates will hear about the new opportunities created by Brexit. Among those discussing the burgeoning links will be OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved, who is currently planning a ‘Brentry’ by setting up offices in the UK, BT head of innovation Mike Hodgson and Dr Eugene Kandel, the head of Start-up Nation Central and former chief of Israel’s National Economic Council. The conference will kick off with an address from Israel’s ambassador to the UK Mark Regev.

Justin Cohen, news editor of the Jewish News, said: “Following a year that has seen the launch a new website and unveil a complete overhaul of Britain’s biggest-distribution Jewish newspaper, we are delighted to announce the return of another hugely successful Jewish News innovation: the UK-Israel Strategic Challenges conference. This year’s line-up is incredibly exciting, combining household names with leading thinkers and practitioners.”

“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.”

James Sorene, CEO of Israel and Middle East think tank BICOM, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Jewish News on another high level policy conference in the heart of Westminster. BICOM is committed to bringing the brightest and best new thinking from Israel to the UK and this conference is the perfect platform to explore the many difficult issues facing Israel and the Middle East, as well as to produce proposals for how the Britain-Israel partnership can be deepened and expanded.”

Key conference speakers will also address communal grassroots audiences at venues across the country in a series of events held in partnership with We Believe in Israel.

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