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World leaders gather in Davos for 53rd annual World Economic Forum

The meeting will focus on such topics as climate change, the war in Ukraine, the future of work, food, energy, technology and more

Davos, Switzerland, location of the World Economic Forum. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

Thousands of leaders in government, business, finance, and more are convening on Monday, Jan. 16 for the 53rd World Economic Forum (WEF) anual meeting, a five-day conference in the mountain town of Davos, Switzerland.

ABC News reported that 52 heads of state will be in attendance, as well as some 600 CEOs and close to 300 government ministers. The conference is titled, “Cooperation in a Fragmented World.”

According to a leaked list published by investigative journalist Jordan Schachtel, Israeli attendees will include musician Achinoam “Noa” Nini Barak, Bank Leumi Chairman Samer Haj Yehia, Central Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron and several others.

In light of the growing public opposition to the WEF, and with so many high-profile figures attending, the Swiss government will send 5,000 soldiers to Davos to provide security for the event.

Founded by German professor Klaus Schwab in 1971, the WEF has hosted meetings in Davos every year and has built a vast international network of state and corporate leaders.

The WEF’s goal is not merely to be a platform for dialogue but to change the world according to its vision. Per its manifesto, The World Economic Forum aims to use its global influence “to improve the state of the world.” The forum seeks to do this by fostering increased integration between governments, corporations, and NGOs via “public-private partnerships,” and by unifying these various “stakeholders” under a common global vision of the future.

This year’s meeting will focus on such topics as climate change, the war in Ukraine, the future of work, the future of food, the future of energy, the future of technology, and more. The WEF website states the meeting will emphasize the “growing need for a new global system … equipped to handle the dynamics of the 21st century.”

The WEF has come under heavy scrutiny in recent years, due in large part to its influence over the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Several months into the pandemic, the WEF announced its intention to utilize the global crisis as an opportunity to enact a “Great Reset” from free market capitalism to “stakeholder capitalism” and to “revamp all aspects of our societies and economies.”

Among the prominent public figures speaking out against the WEF is Canadian intellectual Jordan Peterson, who recently voiced his criticism of WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab on Twitter: "Who is Klaus Schwab, anyway, and why are elected world "leaders" accepting and promoting his vision? Stakeholder capitalism sounds a lot like "socialist Utopianism" to me and to plenty of others."

Elon Musk responded to Peterson with a tweet of his own: “Not sure, but after watching some of his talks online, he would not be an obvious choice to play the protagonist in a movie.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also came out in opposition to the WEF in a recent speech:

“The World Economic Forum … their vision is they run everything, and everyone else is just like a serf, like a peasant … it’s really weakening Western society, Western values.”

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

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