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THE WEEK AHEAD: Pence set to launch his 2024 campaign, Blinken cancels visit to Israel but discusses peace with Saudi Arabia and Celebrate Israel Parade in NYC

Here are the stories we are watching...

Celebrate Israel Parade in New York City, 2019 (Photo:
  • Israeli-Saudi peace deal

  • Blinken cancels visit

  • Mike Pence announces

  • NYC’S Celebrate Israel Parade

  • Arutz Sheva’s Jerusalem Conference

  • Jerusalem Post Conference

  • Joint military drill

  • OpenAI CEO in Tel Aviv



With the state budget passed and judicial reform negotiations underway, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turns his focus to the foreign front. Specifically, to the threat emerging from Iran and the possibility of peace with Saudi Arabia that could soon materialize. According to Israel Hayom newspaper, the two issues may be intertwined. The Biden administration is reportedly seeking to forge a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia in exchange for Israel’s silence on a potential nuclear deal with Iran.

Meanwhile, other reports indicate there is some progress between world powers and Iran. Washington reportedly asked Oman to mediate a nuclear deal with the ayatollahs of Tehran. The U.S. will also examine ways to release frozen Iranian funds held in South Korea. Iranian media said the International Atomic Energy Agency has decided to close off two inquiries on the nation's nuclear program.  

Against this backdrop, Israel’s Minister for Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer and National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi were in Washington last week for talks with U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and other senior officials at the White House and the State Department. Netanyahu himself still hasn’t received the invitation from President Biden to visit the White House.


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was reportedly going to pay a short visit to Israel this week but decided to cancel. The 12-hour stop in the Holy Land was originally planned as part of the secretary’s trip to the region and was not yet officially announced. Israeli media outlets reported that Blinken told Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday that the plans were changed. While the decision may be related to scheduling issues, it’s hard to overlook the timing in which it takes place.  

Nevertheless, Israel normalization will be on the agenda when Blinken travels to the Saudi capital, Riyadh. He is also set to participate in a ministerial meeting on Wednesday with the Gulf Cooperation Council “to discuss the growing cooperation with our GCC partners to promote security, stability, de-escalation, regional integration and economic opportunities across the Middle East.” On Thursday he will attend in a meeting of the coalition of countries fighting the Islamic State group.


Former Vice President Mike Pence is rumored to officially kick off his 2024 run for president of the United States on Wednesday, June 7, during a speech in Des Moines, Iowa. His campaign is set to release a video announcement online. The former vice president admitted to ALL ISRAEL NEWS Editor-in-Chief Joel Rosenberg in March that he was “giving prayerful consideration to entering the race.”

Pence enters a growing Republican field of contenders that already includes his old boss — former President Donald Trump — as well as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott, Vivek Ramaswamy and Larry Elder. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is also reportedly planning to announce his run this week. 


New York City’s Fifth Avenue will host the annual Celebrate Israel Parade on Sunday, June 4. Considered the world’s largest expression of solidarity with the Jewish state, the parade this year will march under the slogan “Israel at 75: Renewing the Hope.” More than 40,000 people are expected to participate, along with dozens of fabulous floats, marching bands, and some exciting Jewish and Israeli musical performers. Parade goers will be able to spot Israeli and American lawmakers among the marchers.

“For 58 years, the Celebrate Israel Parade has been a unique and inspiring event where the diverse New York Jewish community comes together for a single purpose – to march in support of the Jewish and democratic State of Israel,” said Gideon Taylor, executive vice president and CEO of JCRC-NY. “The parade provides the broad spectrum of Jewish life and beyond a chance to celebrate the vibrancy of Israeli society, its thriving national discourse, and is a unique opportunity to walk together, literally and figuratively.”

But along with the festivities, some protests organized by Israeli expats are expected to take place. Anti-government activists vowed to demonstrate against members of the government visiting the Big Apple this week.


At the culmination of the parade, a Jerusalem Conference will take place at Hilton Midtown in Manhattan. The event, hosted by Jewish media outlet Arutz Sheva, will include a highly-anticipated debate over Israel’s judicial reform between Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz and Knesset Member and Chairman of the Constitution Committee Simcha Rothman, moderated by ALL ISRAEL NEWS Senior Correspondent Tal Heinrich.

Other highlight discussions will feature Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan, ministers and members of the Knesset, leaders of Jewish communities and opinion leaders. It is the second year in a row the conference takes place in New York, after more than two decades in Jerusalem, with the aim of strengthening the relationship with diaspora Jewry.


New York City will also host the annual Jerusalem Post conference on Monday, June 5. The festive event will mark Israel’s 75th anniversary with top Israeli diplomats, politicians, entertainers, high-tech innovators and thought-leaders in attendance.

Among the long list of speakers are Minister of Economy and Industry of Israel Nir Barkat, Minister of Diaspora Affairs and Social Equality Amicahi Shikli, National Unity party leader Benny Gantz, President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder, Mayor of Jerusalem Moshe Lion, Philanthropist Sylvan Adams, as well as Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), James Lankford (R-OK) and New York Mayor Eric Adams.


Israel and the United States are holding a major military drill this week simulating a multi-front war. The head of U.S. Central Command, General Michael Kurilla, arrived in Israel on Tuesday to observe the drill and reaffirm continued American support for the Jewish state.

He joined IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi for a discussion on deepening joint operational capabilities and coordination, out of a shared commitment to maintaining the security of the region. Kurilla also met with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to discuss developments in the Middle East.


OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is expected to visit Tel Aviv this week as part of the company’s global tour to meet with tech entrepreneurs, AI users and developers and policymakers. Altman, who comes from a Jewish family in St. Louis, Missouri, is slated to tour Microsoft Israel’s Research & Development Center and participate in a Tel Aviv University event. OpenAI launched the viral artificial intelligence chatbot, ChatGPT, last year. The company raised billions of dollars from Microsoft when it was founded.

This week we are also keeping an eye on these developing stories:

  • ... Jerusalem deputy mayor condemns protest of Evangelical Pentecost event, expresses support for Christian Zionists

  •  ... New research focuses on plight of European Jewish believers before and during the Holocaust

  • ... How soon will Hungary to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?

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

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