Jerusalem Conference Opens

The Jerusalem Conference

February 19-20 2008    Adar 1, 13-14 5768

Regency Hotel, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem

The Jerusalem Conference openly deliberates core issues that will determine Israel’s future as a viable modern democratic Jewish State.

The Jerusalem Conference provides a broad public forum for diverse viewpoints to freely discuss issues of national importance. Topics range from national affairs and security to social welfare and economics, from Jewish education to Aliyah, Israel as a Jewish State to its functional relationship with its neighbors and nations of the world.

Speakers include national leaders, traditionalists and patriots who intelligently present their case for Israel’s long-term national interest. Participants include key figures and policy makers in the political, economic, social, security/military, rabbinic and academic spheres of influence in Israel. Jewish and non-Jewish political and religious leaders and opinion molders from around the world will also participate.

This year’s conference will also explore the international threats of jihadi terrorism and Islamofacist regimes, providing focus on the existential threats to Israel from Iran, the terrorist armies of Hizbullah and Hamas, and jihadi terrorism.

First Day

Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2008

9:30 Morning Sessions

Greetings and Opening Remarks:

Robert Rechnitz – Chairman of the Jerusalem Conference
Chief Rabbi of Israel (Ashkenazi) Yona Metzger –

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs – Tzipi Livni

10:15-11:45 Opening Session

Jerusalem: Eternal Undivided Capital City – Definition of the Jewish State & Nation

Introducing the Chair: Alexander Machkevitch – Pres., EAJC


Chairman: MK. Gidon Saar – Chairman Likud Knesset Faction

  • Ambassador Dr. Dore Gold – Pres., Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Dr. Eilat Mazar – Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University, Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center’s Institute for the Archaeology of the Jewish People
  • Prof. Eliav Shochetman – Professor, Shaarei Mishpat College of Law, Professor Emeritus Hebrew University Faculty of Law
  • Jeffrey Ballabon – Director, Coordinating Council for Jerusalem
  • Nir Barkat – Member, Jerusalem City Council


Iran, Syria, Lebanon & Gaza: Regional & Global Strategic Threat
– Drawing Red Lines & Required Responses

Chairman: Major General (res.) Yaakov Amidror – VP of the Lander Institute, formerly head of the IDF National Defense College and IDF Intelligence Research Division

  • Major General (res.) Yom Tov Samiah – former CO IDF Southern Command
  • Dr. Meyrav Wurmser – Director, Center for Middle East Policy, Hudson Institute in Washington, DC
  • Prof. Raphael Israeli – Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies, Hebrew University
  • Rear Admiral Norman T. Saunders, USCG (ret.) – Former CO US Coast Guard


Aliya – Is It Still Vital To Israel?

Chairman: MK Yuli-Yoel Edelstein – former Minister of Immigrant Absorption

  • Rabbi Shalom Gold – Rabbi of Kehilat Zichron Yosef ,Jerusalem, and Founder and Dean of the Avrom Silver College and Center for Jewish Unity
  • Rabbi Shlomo Bakst – – Chairman Tikva Organization (Odessa)
  • Michael Freund – Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel
  • Ambassador Danny Ayalon – Co-Chairman of Nefesh B’Nefesh
  • Yishai Fleisher – Program Director of Israel National Radio & Founder of “Kumah” Aliyah Movement


Social-Economic Welfare: Defining the Problem & Traditional Responses

Chairman: MK Gilad Erdan – – (Likud Party)’ Chairman Knesset Economic Affaris Committee

  • Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Rimon – – Rabbi of Alon Shvut South & Chairman of “Ta’asuKatif”
  • Uriel Lederberg – – Chairman, Pa’amonim Organization
  • Noam Bedein – – Sderot Media Center
  • Daniel Doron – Director, Israel Center for Social & Economic Progress (ICSEP)
  • Itai Shonshein – – Chairman, National Union of Israeli Students

13:30 Noon Session

US Senator Sam Brownback – (R-KN)
Hon. Natan Sharansky – Chairman, Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies and Chairman, One Jerusalem

14:45-16:30 Afternoon Sessions

Do Israel, the United States and the West Face World War III?

Chairman: Shoshana Bryen – Director, Special Projects, JINSA, Washington DC

  • Prof. Uzi Arad – Director, Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya
  • Major General Harley C. Davis (ret.) – former CO of US Special Forces Command
  • Major General Bradley Mark Lott, USMC (ret) – Former Commander of the Marine Warfighting Center
  • Shabtai Shavit, – Former Director General of the Mossad, Chairman of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya

14:45-16:30 Afternoon Sessions

Palestinian Media, Education & the View from Israel

Chairman: Dr. Uzi Landau – Former MK & Minister of Public Security

  • Itamar Marcus – Director, Palestinian Media Watch
  • Pinchas Inbari – Journalist, Arab & Palestinian Affairs
  • Morton Klein – President, Zionist Organization of America (ZOA)
  • Daniel Seaman – Director, Israel Government Press Office
  • Lt. Colonel (res.) Dr. Anat Berko – Research Fellow, IDC International Institute for Counter-Terrorism


The Forgotten “Other Refugees” – Jews From Arab Countries

Chairman: Hon. Yossi Ben Aharon – former Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office

  • MP Prof. Irwin Cotler – Member of Parliament; Former Justice Minister, Canada
  • Rabbi Dr. Eliyahu Zinni – Rabbi, Techinion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa
  • MK Eli Gabai – (Ichud Leumi-Mafdal)
  • Prof. Shimon Shitrit – Dean, Sacher Institute for Law Research, Hebrew University, former MK & Minister (Labor Party)

16:30-18:00 Late Afternoon Sessions

Israel’s Growing Role On The World’s Economic Stage

Chairman: Harvey Werblowsky – President, Power Legal Support, Inc.

  • Yaakov Neeman Esq. – Former Finance Minister
  • Ken Abramowitz – Managing Partner and co-founder of NGN Capital
  • Prof. Israel “Izzy” Borovich – Chairman, El Al Israel Airlines
  • Eli Kazhdan – CEO, CityBook Services Ltd. (for US real estate market)


The Winograd Commission: Ethics & Responsibility in Israeli Politics

Chairman: Judge Tzvi Tal – Supreme Court Justice (ret.)

  • Rabbi Dr. Nachum Rabinowitz – Rosh Yeshivat Hesder “Birkat Moshe”
  • Major General (res.) Uzi Dayan – former Dep. Chief of Staff & head of NSC
  • Major (res.) Yakir Segev – leader of Post-Second Lebanon War protest movement
  • Yisrael Harel – Chairman, Institute for Zionist Strategies
  • MK Col. (res.) Otniel Shneller – Deputy Speaker of the Knesset (Kadimah)
  • MK Gilad Erdan – – (Likud Party)’ Chairman Knesset Economic Affaris Committee

22:00-23:00 Concert for students

Second Day

Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008

9:30 Morning sessions

Greetings and Opening Remarks:

Robert Rechnitz – Chairman of the Jerusalem Conference

Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar – Rishon Lezion, Chief Sefardi Rabbi of Israel

9:45-11:30 General Session

Jerusalem: The Temple Mount and the Future of Jerusalem

Chairman: Yechiel Leiter – Senior Policy Researcher – the Jerusalem Center for Public & State Affairs

  • Nadav Shragai – Journalist and author – Haaretz newspaper
  • Hon. Yoram Ettinger – former Minister for Congressional Affairs to Israel’s Embassy in Washington, DC
  • MK Rabbi Meir Porush – (United Torah Judaism Party)
  • Rabbi Yisrael Ariel – Founder of The Temple Institute, Jerusalem
  • Nissim Arazi – Director, Jewish Quarter Development Corp.
  • Dani Dayan – Chairman, Yesha Council

11:45-13:15 Late Morning Sessions

Defensible Borders in the Age of Missiles

Chairman: MK Yisrael Katz – Former Minister of Agriculture (Likud)

  • Brigadier General (res.) Binyamin Ben Eliezer – Minister of National Infrastructure (Labor Party)
  • MK Brigadier General (res.) Effie Eitam – (National Union Party)
  • Uzi Rubin – former head of Israel’s Arrow-Homa Anti-Missile Defense Program
  • Arie Stav – Director, Ariel Center for Policy Research
  • Dan Diker – Project Director, Defensible Borders Initiative; Senior Policy Analyst, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs


The New Anti-Semitism: NGO’s, the Campus Confrontation and Preparing for Durban II

Speaker: Minister Yitzhak Herzog – Minister of the Diaspora, Society and the Fight against Anti-Semitism


Chairman: Prof. Gerald Steinberg – Professor of Political Studies, Bar Ilan University

  • Prof. Robert S. Wistrich – Director, Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism, Hebrew University
  • Prof. Anne Bayefsky – Sen. Fellow, Hudson Institute, Washington DC, Dir., Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust
  • Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld – Chairman, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Rabbi Abraham Cooper – Associate Dean, The Simon Wiesenthal Center and The Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles
  • Charles Jacobs – Founder & Director, The David Project Center for Jewish Leadership


MK Benjamin Netanyahu – Likud Party Leader and Leader of the Opposition; Former Prime Minister
(via video) US Senator James Inhofe – (R-OK)
(via video) US Senator Joseph Lieberman – (I-CT)

14:45-16:45 Afternoon Sessions

Israel’s Strategic & Tactical Defense: Defining IDF Doctrine, Goals & Deterrence Capabilities

Chairman: Col. (res.) Dr. Eiran Lerman – Director, Jerusalem Office of the American Jewish Committee

  • Major General (ret.) Yossi Peled – former CO IDF Northern Command
  • Major General (ret.) Doron Almog – former CO IDF Southern Command
  • Brigadier General (ret.) MK Prof. Aryeh Eldad – former IDF Chief Medical Officer
  • Major General (res.) Eitan Ben-Eliahu – former CO Israel Air Force


Israel’s Hasbara: The War of Words
– Just Confused or Deliberately Non-Existent?

Chairman: Caroline Glick – Dep. Managing Editor & Columnist, The Jerusalem Post

  • Elyakim HaEtzni Esq. – former MK
  • Tzafrir Ronen – Israel Nahalal Forum
  • Nitzana Darshan-Leitner Esq. – Founder & Director, Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center
  • Melanie Phillips – Journalist and Author, Columnist for Daily Mail
  • Isi Leibler – Chairman, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs’ Diaspora-Israel relations committee.

17:00-19:00 Late Afternoon Sessions

Israel and the Media: Is Coverage Fair & Accurate?

Chairman: Justice (ret.) Dalia Dorner – President, Israel Press Council

  • Prof. Eli Pollak – Chairman, Israel Media Watch
  • Jeff Jacoby – Columnist, The Boston Globe
  • Prof. Richard Landes – Professor of History, Boston University
  • Daniel Ben-Simon – Journalist, Haaretz newspaper
  • Amnon Lord – Editor, Makor Rishon newspaper
  • Roz Rothstein – Director, StandWithUs

17:00-19:00 Late Afternoon Sessions

Global Economic Stability & Funding Terrorism

Chairman: Major (res.) Ayub Kara – former MK & Member of Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee (Likud)

  • Dr. Martin Sherman – Research Fellow, International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT)
  • Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld – Director, American Center for Democracy and the Center for the Study of Corruption & the Rule of Law, NY
  • Dr. Lt. Colonel (res.) Gal Luft – Executive Director, Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), Washington, DC

19:30 Closing Session

The “Jerusalem Address”

Professor Bernard Lewis – Professor Emeritus, Princeton University

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