(photo credit: MARINE CROUZET/FRENCH EMBASSY)
Following the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday night, French Ambassador Patrick Maisonnave will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the fourth annual Jerusalem Post Conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning, and address the gathering.
In solidarity with France and in memory of the victims of the attacks, the audience of about 600 will be asked to stand for a moment of silence before the ambassador’s address.
Maisonnave has thanked Israel for its “flawless support” following the string of attacks carried out by Islamic State. Asked why he thought France was targeted, Maisonnave said: “France is paying the price for its fight against terrorism, and against Islamic State in particular.
“Democracies do not seek vengeance, they seek justice,” he added. “The fight against radical Islam is our common struggle. Let us unite around the values of liberté, egalité and fraternité.”
Following Maisonnave’s speech, Herb Keinon, The Jerusalem Post’s diplomatic correspondent, will interview the prime minister on stage.
Some 300 foreign diplomats, 100 invited guests and 100 journalists are scheduled to attend the conference, which will be held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, and a special magazine edited by David Brinn, the Post’s managing editor, will be given to all attendees.
The conference has been titled, “A Place Among the Nations,” after Netanyahu’s 1993 book. “The rebirth of Israel is one of humanity’s greatest parables. It is the story not only of the Jews, but of a human spirit that refuses again and again to succumb to history’s horrors,” Netanyahu wrote in the book.
“It is the incomparable quest of a people seeking, at the end of an unending march, to assume its rightful place among the nations.”
The Post’s editor-in-chief Steve Linde, who will host the conference, said its aim is “to strengthen the relationship between the Post and the diplomatic corps here, while at the same time presenting Israel’s case [and hopefully creating a media buzz] from a variety of perspectives.”
Kicking off the event will be Opposition leader Isaac Herzog, who toured the Mahaneh Yehuda market in Jerusalem on Tuesday with several MKs from the Zionist Union party.
Among the other distinguished speakers will be Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, IAF commander Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel, EU Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro and the Post senior contributing editor Caroline B. Glick.
National Infrastructure and Energy Minister Dr. Yuval Steinitz will introduce a panel on the topic of natural gas, with the participation of Binyamin Zomer, CEO of Noble Energy in Israel, Yossi Rosen, chairman of the Israel Institute of Energy and Environment, Alexander Varshavsky, director-general of the Natural Gas Authority, and Caroline B. Glick.
“I have two important missions – one is to bring about the development of Leviathan and Karish and Tanin, the already-existing gas fields,” Steinitz told Post reporter Sharon Udasin. “The second is to attract other global gas companies besides Noble Energy to come here, not only to develop Karish and Tanin, but also, not less importantly, to continue to explore our economic waters with the hope of discovering additional gas fields.”
Bank Hapoalim CEO Zion Kenan and Bennett will present a prize to the winners of the BizTEC competition, which it sponsors together with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, and is aimed at encouraging Israeli start-ups.
“Israel has the highest number of start-ups per capita, double that of the US,” Kenan said in an interview. “As Israel’s largest bank, we feel strongly that as a matter of both good corporate citizenship, furthering a key national objective, and growing the bank’s business, it is critically important that Bank Hapoalim be actively involved in championing Israel’s hightech field.”
The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference will be livestreamed on JPost.com from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. The full program can be seen at http:// www.jpost.com/LandedPages/ DiplomaticConference-2015/ Conference_Program.aspx