Sixth annual Saban Forum to be held in J'lem and Ramallah this week

Sixth annual Saban Forum

The sixth annual Saban Forum will be held in Jerusalem and Ramallah starting this week. During the two-day forum, which begins Saturday and runs through Monday, dialogue between senior officials from both countries on US-Israel relations and Middle East strategic issues such as the Iranian threat, Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, will be held behind closed doors. Slated to attend are former US president Bill Clinton, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and Senators Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham - the highest-level US delegation ever to attend the conference. Among the Israeli participants are Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Kadima leader Tzipi Livni, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) director Yuval Diskin and Director of Military Intelligence General Amos Yadlin. The delegates are scheduled to meet with Bank of Israel governor Stanley Fischer to discuss economic development. Unique to this year's event, the delegates will travel to Ramallah on November 15 and meet with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad. Founded in 2004, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy has been working to promote independent policy dialogue between Israel and the US. Founder Haim Saban called the timing of the event "a critical moment in US-Israel relations."