We Believe In Israel

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We Believe in Israel was a conference organised by BICOM held on May 15 2011 and described as "the largest conference in support of Israel ever to take place in Britain".

The conference "united behind Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and helped participants find their voices to engage with and support Israel in Britain" and attracted 1,500 participants.

Themes and sponsors

Session themes included "who the anti-Israel lobby is in Britain". Sponsors of the conference included the Jewish National Fund UK, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Zionist Federation and the Board of Deputies of British Jews.[1]

Eran Shayshon of the Reut Institute which identified the UK, especially London, as a major hub of activities that 'delegitimize' Israel[2], has suggested that this conference as well as the Big Tent for Israel event later in the year signalled "the emergence of the pro-Israel network".[3]

Next conference: 2013

Plans for a second conference on April 29 2012 were cancelled by organizers in February. The Jewish Chronicle reported that this was a "strategic decision" rather than due to lack of funds. The JC reports that a statement from organizers wanted Luke Akehurst, appointed director of We Believe in Israel in August 2011[4] to focus on "staging smaller events in regional communities" throughout the year.[5]

They expressed the belief that this would aid "the quiet organisational revolution that needs to take place to enable us to punch our weight in the debate about Israel in the UK."

Another conference will be held in 2013, according to the organisation's website.[6]

Speakers

According to the conference website, speakers included:

Other attendees

2015 Conference

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On the 22nd of March another conference was held in London. According to the organisers some 1500 people were in attendance. Speakers at the event included Michael Dugher MP, Michael Gove MP, Gidon Sa'ar (former Israeli Minister of the Interior) and Daniel Taub - Israel's ambassador to the UK.[9]

People

Affiliations

Resources

Israel advocacy toolkit

We Believe In Israel produced a Toolkit for Israel advocacy, including sections on what it calls 'dining for Israel', lobbying MPs and local organising. (It was formerly hosted here: http://webelieve.hypedev1.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/42179-Toolkit-Final.pdf and the file is also available on the Spinwatch page on Scribd)

Notes

  1. Homepage, We Believe in Israel, accessed June 2 2012
  2. The Assault on Israel's Legitimacy: London as a Case Study, Reut Institute, accessed 29 May 2012.
  3. Towards the Big Tent for Israel, Reut Blog, accessed June 2 2012
  4. Luke Akehurst profile, LinkedIn, accessed June 2 2012
  5. Marcus Dycsh, We Believe Shelved For This Year, Jewish Chronicle, accessed June 2 2012
  6. WE BELIEVE CONFERENCE 2013, We Believe In Israel, accessed 21 August 2012
  7. Homepage, We Believe in Israel, accessed June 2 2012
  8. John Woodcock, Making the progressive case for Israel, Labour Uncut, 16 May 2011, accessed 25 October 2012
  9. We Believe In Israel Website We Believe Conference 2015. Accessed 4 June 2015.