(Jerusalem, November 10, 2019)—The Israel-Hellenic Forum will hold its first gathering from Nov. 12 to Nov. 14 in Jerusalem. The meeting will be moderated by Daniel S. Mariaschin, CEO of B’nai B’rith International and the initiator of B’nai B’rith’s Bi-Annual Leadership Mission to Greece, Cyprus and Israel, and George N. Tzogopoulos, senior research fellow, Centre International de Formation Européenne (CIFE); research associate, Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA); and lecturer, Democritus University of Thrace. More than 30 prominent journalists and academics from Greece and Cyprus will take part in the historic meeting.
The festive opening session of the forum meeting that will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 21:00 at the Prima Park Hotel, Jerusalem, will be open to the press by advance registration. The session will feature presentations by Hon. Thessalia S. Shambos, ambassador of Cyprus to Israel; professor Dimitris Keridis, MP, Greek Parliament; and Ioannis Kasoulides, former foreign minister of Cyprus.
Sessions include the strategic importance of the Mediterranean democratic bloc; the regional economy; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; national security policy under Israel’s new government; the relationship between Israel and the United States; innovation, tourism and humanitarian aid; the emerging new paradigm in Israel’s relationships with Arab states; and Greek-Jewish relations.
Established by the B’nai B’rith World Center – Jerusalem, the Israel-Hellenic Forum is envisioned as a setting for discussion and action by Israeli, Greek, Cypriot and related academics, intellectuals and other public figures who have shown support in the public sphere for the burgeoning relationship solidified in recent years between these three countries – reflected in the regular tripartite meetings between their leaders and the flourishing state-to-state relations. The forum was created in close consultation with B’nai B’rith in Greece and with Israeli experts.
The meeting and further actions – including the creation of an online publication – will be developed in cooperation with the participants, with the aim of also addressing lingering prejudices and other obstacles to greater acceptance among the peoples of these three democracies in the eastern Mediterranean.
B’nai B’rith has long been dedicated to Greek-Jewish relations and has maintained a local chapter in Greece for more than 100 years. In just the last six years, we have held three international conferences in Israel focused on security and strategic developments in the eastern Mediterranean, with senior Greek and Cypriot participation (the next conference is planned for Washington, D.C.); we led three leadership missions to Greece, Cyprus, and Israel in partnership with the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; and we held a conference in Sparta that focused on Jewish-Hellenic relations in antiquity.
B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem Director Alan Schneider said, “It is our firm belief that the challenges facing Israel, Greece, and Cyprus make it incumbent upon those who seek to promote a peaceful, inclusive and tolerant eastern Mediterranean to promote this notion to civil society, in academia and to the public at large.”
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org
Photo From right to left: The United States Ambassador to Israel, David Freidman; Alan Schneider, Director of B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem and Dr. Haim Katz, chairman B'nai B'rith
Photo provided by B’nai B’rith World Center – Jerusalem