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Israel to host virtual Jewish Media Summit amid growing regional ties

Israel’s Government Press Office, together with the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, is gearing up for its annual Jewish Media Summit, which will bring journalists and media specialists from dozens of countries around the world together in a virtual, digital forum.

The summit, which is scheduled to be held on Dec. 8 will be live streamed for the general public while participation will be reserved for registered guests. The summit will include addresses by senior Israeli government officials as well as leading figures in the world of Jewish media both in Israel and abroad, while also including seminars dedicated to specific topics.

The theme of this year’s conference is meant to be Israel’s solidarity with Diaspora communities, which takes on special significance following elections in the U.S. which saw around 70% of American Jews voting for Democrat candidates while polls in Israel indicated overwhelming support for Republican candidates.

Topics given special attention during the conference will include the experience of various Jewish communities around the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic, rising incidents of anti-Semitism, the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement and related topics.

In related news, The Jerusalem Post and the Khaleej Times, the two-largest English-language media organizations in Israel and the United Arab Emirates, issued a joint statement this week that they have scheduled a media conference for February 2021, entitled the “UAE-Israel Peace & Prosperity Roundtable.” The planned communal event will follow a preliminary virtual event on Jan. 13, 2021.

“This is a new era for Israel, the UAE and the entire Middle East,” said Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Yaakov Katz. 

“We are moving toward an era of progress, prosperity, peace and friendship in the Middle East,” agreed Vaman Vassudev Kamat, editor-in-chief of the Khaleej Times. “The summit will help us explore business opportunities and  strengthen people-to-people interactions.”

The half-day conference is meant to delve into topics including healthcare technology, trade and investment, and the geopolitical horizon for the Middle East. Meant to be the first of many similar professional conferences, it is also meant to strengthen the embryonic political, economic, security and trade ties between Israel and the Persian Gulf states following the signing of the Abraham Accords earlier this year.

“Our vision for the UAE-Israel Business Council is to create partnerships between Israeli and Emirati companies to benefit both societies,” said council co-founder and Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Fleur Hassan-Nahoum. “By bringing together these legacy media organizations from both countries, they have the opportunity to bring the top thought-leaders on the new Middle East to create a conference that will set the stage for the exciting opportunities and developments resulting from the Abraham Accords.”

Another step in that direction was taken this week when Bahraini Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed bin Rashid Alzayani led a delegation of government and business leaders to Israel for a trip aimed at exploring opportunities for deepening trade and tourism links between the two countries.

“I believe strongly that the continuity and prosperity of this peace should be filtering down to common citizens of Bahrain and Israel,” Alzayani told Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi during a joint press conference Wednesday morning in Jerusalem. “The next step would be to facilitate that [peace] and build upon it.”

“I am happy and proud and privileged that during the time I am serving as foreign minister of Israel we are seeing the beginning of change in the region and bringing peace,” Ashkenazi said during his own remarks at the press conference. “We have a desire to promote change in the Middle East, change that brings with it peace, stability, security and economic prosperity. There are many, many more collaborations to come.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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