Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (L) with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, February 2, 2015.
(photo credit: YONATAN ZINDEL/POOL)
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog are among the leading figures confirmed to address the fourth annual Jerusalem Post Conference taking place in New York on June 7.
In addition, Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, has been appointed for the first time as president of the conference.
They’ll be joined by a string of dignitaries, including government minister Gilad Erdan, Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor, former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi and former Mossad director Meir Dagan.
The outspoken Giuliani recently made headlines after stating during a speech at a private group dinner in New York in February that US President Barack Obama does not love America. Giuliani has also called Obama’s policies toward Iran “extremely reckless.”
The focus of this year’s conference, taking place at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, is “The New Israeli Government: Facing the Deadline” and will address the geopolitical challenges being encountered by Israel and the world, including a nuclear agreement with Iran, the threat of Islamic extremism, and US-Israel relations.
Lauder will also hold a special session on the global rise in anti-Semitism and the spread of radical Islam that will include Obama’s special envoy against anti-Semitism, Ira Forman, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the director of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, and Labor MK Merav Michaeli.
The conference will be moderated by Jerusalem Post Editorin- Chief Steve Linde and will feature its chief political correspondent Gil Hoffman and columnists Caroline Glick and Melanie Phillips.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for American Jewish leaders to hear firsthand about the burning issues surrounding the State of Israel and world Jewry from senior journalists and Israeli political and military leaders,” said Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO of the Post. “This conference is one of the most significant and largest gatherings of Israeli and American decision and policy makers, and as is our custom, we have gone to great lengths to bring together participants with a wide variety of perspectives and views. Today, in light of the numerous hot issues at hand, we hope that this year’s conference will be of especially great interest.”
The annual Post conference has attracted international attention and created media headlines, and this year should be no different. By June, it will become apparent if Herzog assumes the role of opposition leader or joins with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a national unity government.
The latter scenario is gaining strength, with a plurality of Israelis in favor of a national unity government comprising the Likud and the Zionist Union, according to the monthly Peace Index Poll, sponsored by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University which was published on Wednesday.
Public officials such as Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky have also voiced their favor for a national unity government, saying it would strengthen the effort to combat the Iranian nuclear agreement.
Herzog will not be the only timely speaker at the conference.
Robert Menendez, a Democratic senator from New Jersey, has spearheaded the campaign raising concern about the deal with Iran. He is the lead Democratic sponsor of a bill – expected to move forward once the Senate returns April 13 – that would bring any Iran deal before Congress for a 60-day review.
Menendez, who was charged Wednesday with accepting nearly $1 million in gifts and campaign contributions from a longtime friend in exchange for a stream of political favors, will undoubtedly be in the news leading up to the conference.
Appearing before supporters and reporters Wednesday night, Menendez predicted he would be “vindicated,” adding, “This is not how my career is going to end.”
In one of the highlights of this year’s conference, Post senior contributing editor Glick will debate the director of the Washington- based J Street organization, Jeremy Ben-Ami.
Returning harmony to the event, famed Israeli singer and cantor Dudu Fisher will receive a cultural award and will also perform in front of the conference audience, which is expected to top 1,500.