Top officials to address security programs, challenges and opportunities

Senior politicians will include Blue and White Party's Gabi Ashkenazi, Labor Party head Avi Gabbay, and Education Minister and co-chair of the New Right Party, Naftali Bennett.

Former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Israeli political party leaders and senior officials will put forward their security programs for the upcoming elections in Maariv's National Security Conference, which will be held on March 27.
Senior politicians will participate in the event, including Blue and White Party No. 4 candidate Gabi Ashkenazi; chairman of the Labor Party Avi Gabbay; Education Minister and co-chair of the New Right Party Naftali Bennett; chairman of Yisrael Beytenu Avigdor Liberman; Meretz Party leader Tamar Zandberg; and chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Likud's Avi Dichter.
The speakers will expound upon their security platforms for all major fronts: the Northern front, including Syria and Hezbollah; Iran; the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian territories. 
The opening session will feature a panel discussion regarding the defense industry. Panel members will include Bank Leumi chairman Mr. David Brodet, who will speak about security as a public commodity as reflected by the Israeli economy; Rafael CEO Mr. Yoav Har Even, who will publicly answer defense correspondent Mr. Tal Lev-Ram's questions; BDO Israel CEO Mr. Danny Margalit, who will expound upon the right combination of economics and security; and Mr. Eyal Younian, deputy CEO and executive VP of finance in the Israel Aerospace Industries, who will talk about the business challenges of the defense industries. 
A special panel will discuss a vision that could become reality: the future battlefield in the age of nanotechnology, against the background of rapid technological developments in a series of sophisticated products.
Among the products to be discussed will be robotics, nano-multicopters, UAVs and tactical assault suits. Panel members will include Brig.-Gen. (Res.) Eli Ben-Meir, former head of DMI's (Aman) research department and chief intelligence officer and current executive VP of cyber and intelligence at Sdema Group; Dr. Liran Antebi, senior research fellow at INSS; and Col. (res.) Meir Bar-Meir, head of the Autonomous Systems program at Rafael's innovation center.
The conference will also feature key figures of the defense industry, including Ran Kril, executive VP of international marketing and BD at Elbit Systems, who will discuss the challenges of defense industries in the marketing battlefield; Mr. Avner Hadad, KSM Indices CEO; and Ms. Ayelet Shapira, head of Manor and technology department at Rafael, who will talk about technological excellence in the world of Security.
In a challenging symposium on cyberwarfare, the following questions will be discussed: Will cyberwarfare replace traditional warfare? Could a regime be overthrown, or an enemy defeated through cyberspace?
Panel members will include: Prof. Uzi Rabbi, director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University, who will comment on the Iranian issue; Ms. Gil Baram, research fellow at the Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center at Tel Aviv University; and Dr. Harel Menashri, head of cyber at the Holon Institute of Technology, joint founder of the Shin Bet's (Israel security agency) Cyber Directorate.
The conference's finale will be a panel discussion of defense systems and financial and offensive strategies, raising questions such as "What is a diplomatic-security resolution?" "How does the perception of future battlefield dictate planning?" and "Have we become addicted to defense system at the expense of offensive capability and deterrence?"
Panel members will include Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Gershon Hacohen, former commander of the General Staff Corps, currently senior research fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies; Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Guy Tzur, former chief of the Ground Forces Command of the Steel Formation (162nd Armor Division) of the 401st "Iron Tracks" Brigade and of the National Center for Ground Force Training (Mali 500); Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Yair Golan, former deputy chief of the General Staff and former commander of Home Front Command and of Israeli Northern Command; and Mr. Eran Etzion, former deputy national security adviser, former deputy head of NSC.