(Jerusalem, November 13, 2019)-- The Israel-Hellenic Forum convened yesterday for the first time in Jerusalem. The meeting was moderated by Alan Schneider, director of the B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem, 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, who co-founded the forum. The meeting continues today and tomorrow, concluding with a visit to Yad Vashem.
B’nai B’rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin gave remarks at the opening session.
“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,” said Schneider.
More than 30 prominent journalists and academics from Greece and Cyprus are taking part in the historic meeting. Among the senior participants: Ioannis Kasoulidis, former foreign minister of Cyprus; Cypriot MP Eleni Stavrou; Hon. Thessalia S. Shambos, ambassador of Cyprus to Israel; Ms. Stavorula Deli, charge d’affaires, Embassy of Greece in Israel; and Prof. Aristides Hatzis of the University of Athens.
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 advancing Hellenic-Jewish relations and has maintained a local chapter in Greece for more than 100 years. In just the last six years, we have held a number of conferences and missions focusing on the trilateral Israel-Greece-Cyprus relationship, including several with our Hellenic-American partners the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) and the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations.
For further details, please contact:
Golan Yossifon, press contact, B'nai B'rith – 052-5625135
Alan Schneider, director of B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem - 052-5536441 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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