June 10, 2020 — New York
The 2020 American Jewish Committee (AJC) Global Forum will take place as scheduled, June 14-18, with a change of venue from gathering in Berlin to convening online. It will be the first time in AJC history that the leading global Jewish advocacy organization’s signature annual event is held virtually.
“Our Global Forum is too vital to be sidelined by the pandemic,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “While we were set to hold the largest gathering in Germany of a global Jewish advocacy group since World War II, we are proud to announce that the same caliber of world leaders and policy experts will address our worldwide audience participating in the AJC Virtual Global Forum. ”
Confirmed speakers for the 2020 AJC Virtual Global Forum include:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was set to host the AJC Global Forum in Berlin, will address the opening plenary.
Benjamin Gantz, Israel’s Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Defense in the country’s new unity government, will discuss the most pressing challenges and greatest opportunities facing the Jewish state.
Dr. Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League, will speak about his historic visit to Auschwitz with AJC earlier this year, as well as the state of Muslim-Jewish relations.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece, will discuss the democratic alliance in the Eastern Mediterranean among Greece, Cyprus, the United States, and Israel, and the importance of expanding that vital strategic partnership.
The Great Debate is one of the highlights of the annual AJC Global Forum, and this year the Virtual Global Forum will have three spirited sessions on highly topical issues.
“Election 2020: Debating American Values and Interests,” a discussion of the competing visions that the Democratic and Republican parties will offer American voters, will feature Antony Blinken, Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to Biden for President and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State (2015-2017), and KT McFarland, U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor (2017), and author of Revolution: Trump, Washington and “We the People”.
“The Future of the West Bank: Two Israeli Perspectives,” a discussion of whether Israel should extend its sovereignty to parts of the West Bank, will feature Merav Michaeli, Member of Knesset (Labor), and Dore Gold, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations (1997-1999) and current President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
The Hate Speech Debate: Should Free Speech Be Limited?” This conversation on how democracies should grapple with the challenges posed by hate speech will feature Nadine Strossen, John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law, Emerita, at New York University and President of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (1991-2008), and Dan Shefet, President of the Association for Accountability and Internet Democracy.
More sessions will be announced in the coming days. For the full AJC Virtual Global Forum program, and to register for free for sessions, visit AJC.org/VirtualGlobalForum2020.