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LEADERSHIP BRIEFING
SUMMER 2017

The Friends of European Leadership Network (FELNET) advocacy is making an impact in Europe every day. Due to
are very proud to present in detail the most recent accom- the threat of terror and the internal stress created by volumi-
plishments of ELNET affiliates in Europe. These successes nous migration across Europe, the time is ripe for recognizing
are made possible in large part by generous and strategic the value of close relations between Europe and Israel.
minded contributors in the US as well as those overseas. There is no question that with additional funding much
This Leadership Briefing is divided into sections which more can be accomplished with increased resources.
include updates from:
You may support this critical work by making a donation
1. ELNET EU & NATO using the enclosed pledge card, online at www.elnetwork.eu,
2. ELNET France or by mailing a check to the address on the back page.
3. ELNET Germany
4. ELNET Poland With our gratitude and best wishes,
5. Forum of Strategic Dialogue
The FELNET Board of Directors also welcomes new
members Messrs. John Fishel and David Jonas. They will add Larry J. Hochberg Lee Rosenblum
strength to our already committed group. ELNETs pro-Israel FELNET Chairman & Co-Founder FELNET National Executive Director

European Commission, the European


E U RO P E AN UNI O N External Action Service, the European
Ines Von Behr, ELNET-EU & NATO,
Executive Director
Parliament, and the European Council,
as the majority of policies and initiatives
regarding Israel are prepared, coordinated
ELNET EU & NATO and decided by the EU Institutions. The
Executive Director has emphasized and
The goal of the ELNET EU & NATO
developed a very close relationship with
MK Ohana at the
Office in Brussels is to strengthen the European Parliament
NATO, which enables us to organize a
political relations between Israel and the
major NATO-Israel Conference in the In April 2017, ELNET EU hosted Member
EU, as well as with NATO. Our activities
second half 2017. of Knesset Amir Ohana for a meeting in
focus on the EU/NATO and Israels
mutual strategic interests, and con- the European Parliament and for a dinner
Our team has also been monitoring
tribute to help redefine and strengthen roundtable in Brussels. The visit provided
important developments in Brussels
the EU-Israel relationship with a view the perfect occasion to reach out to a
that had major consequences for Israel
to achieving common goals in Brussels. high level European crowd combining
and our work (various resolutions in
A raised awareness towards common both a public event, and a private dinner
the Parliament, committee meetings or
challenges and shared interests will lead with high level senior officials from the
working groups in the Council related
to stronger bonds and trust between EU, NATO and the Embassies in town.
to the Middle East, the Foreign Affairs
the EU/NATO and Israel and will make Councils, high level visits from Israel to MK Ohana (Likud) is a member of Israels
it easier to address handling risks that the European Union and vice versa), as Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
currently threaten Israel. well as important topics for EU-Israel He entered politics in 2015 and had held
cooperation (such as the political several positions within the IDF and the
Over the last year ELNET has built
dialogue, the counter terrorism dia- Shin Bet beforehand. Due to his pro-
relations with a variety of senior political
logue between the EU and Israel, cyber fessional background, MK Ohana has a
leaders, EU experts and advisors, top
security, the European Neighborhood deep understanding of intelligence and
officials, leading journalists, academics,
Policy among others) and has moved the fight against terror in Israel and was
and policy think tanks in Brussels.
its advocacy work to the next level by an ideal candidate to discuss aspects
Specifically, ELNET EU & NATO focused
actively influencing current resolutions of countering terrorism with Brussels
on relevant players who have signifi-
impacting Israel. counterparts. MK Ohana gave a speech
cant influence with regard to EU-Israel
relations, focusing its efforts on the at the European Parliament on the topic
LEADERSHIP BRIEFING SUMMER 2017

Fighting Counter-Terrorism The Israeli our strategic outlook for 2017 in the Egmont Palace. The ELNET dinner was
Experience in front of a full plenary and field of countering terrorism and to so overwhelmingly in demand that more
consisting mostly of Members of the solidify where we aim to achieve higher people wanted to attend than the space
European Parliament (MEPs) and their visibility as an organization of expertise allowed, so the GMF had to shorten the
political advisors coming from various in Brussels. invitee list. Nevertheless, the participant
political backgrounds. The speech was list reflected an engagement of high level
much appreciated and offered a first- senior officials coming from the EU
hand insight of the Israeli experience in institutions, NATO, the US and the
fighting terrorism and what Europe private sector. The high demand for our
can learn from Israel. dinner during the Brussels Forum is a
testament to the great success of our
Events like these contribute to and work on the ground, as well as for the
strengthen the relationship ELNET EU topic and speakers chosen.
& NATO has built with various MEPs
over the last year and reinforces our New Dynamics in the Middle East hosting
visibility on the ground. For our political Gideon Saar, former Israeli Interior Minister
work, these events and relationships
are a catalyst for our day-to-day work New Dynamics in
on EU-resolutions and contribute to our
ability to be expert on issues related to
the Middle East
terrorism, the Middle East and Israel. ELNET EU & NATO participated in the
Brussels Forum 2017, one of the most
Countering Terrorism: important international annual events in
Israeli and European Brussels. The conversations this year ad-
dressed important topics such as security
Perspectives and defense, foreign affairs and geopo-
ELNET-EU & NATO also hosted a private litical challenges, and offered a platform
dinner roundtable with MK Ohana on the for senior policy leaders to discuss the
theme Countering Terrorism: Israeli and most pressing policy challenges on the
European Perspectives together with the transatlantic agenda.
German Marshall Fund (GMF) of the U.S.
Speakers from Brussels included Dr. Peter ELNET EU & NATO organized a dinner ELNET-EU& NATO has invested considerable
Spoor, Advisor to the European Counter- roundtable on the topic New Dynamics energy, resources and time over the past year
terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, in the Middle East, featuring Gideon to build the necessary relations with local key
Saar, former Israeli Interior Minister players in the EU and NATO, which is essential
and Dr. Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant
for our advocacy work. This work now bears
Secretary for Emerging Security Challenges and a potential candidate to replace
fruits as we are able to get access to information,
in NATO with us on that evening. Benjamin Netanyahu. Other speakers people and decisions in the making, which
included Mrs. Sylke Tempel, Editor-in are key to our day to day work. Being at the
The dinner was attended by 26 top level Chief at Internationale Politik, and Derek forefront of EU resolutions and EU/NATO policy
participants from NATO, the European Chollet, Executive Vice President of the making that have impact on Israel is our most
External Action Service, the European important objective in Brussels. Experts now
German Marshall Fund of the United turn to ELNET for our expertise in key areas of
Council, the European Commission and States. From 2012-15, Mr. Chollet was common concern and for our well-established
the European Parliament, as well as the the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense access to Israeli counterparts thanks to our
US and the Canadian Mission to the EU. for International Security Affairs, where network in Europe, Israel and beyond.
The GMF and ELNET EU invited a few he managed U.S. defense policy towards
select journalists representing CNN and Europe (including NATO), the Middle
Handelsblatt to cover the event. East, and Africa. The discussion was led
by Marc Otte, Executive Director of the
The high-level participation exemplified
Egmont Institute and former Special
how important the exchanges between
Representative of the EU to the Middle
EU/NATO and Israeli counterparts are
East Peace Process.
today, especially on topics of shared
interests. The dinner was welcomed by The dinner was officially hosted by the
all participants and it helped to clarify Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the

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LEADERSHIP BRIEFING SUMMER 2017

and answered questions from the Yoram Cohen in Brussels,


F RA N C E audience. He spoke about the relations
Arie Bensamhoun between France and Israel. He said that
March 21-22
ELNET-France, Executive Director At the beginning of the year, a Belgian
the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict could be the result of a compre- parliamentary group went to Israel for a
Within a few months, the political situ- hensive solution including the moderate mission on the fight against terrorism and
ation has deeply changed in France with Sunni Arab states in the region. they met Yoram Cohen, former chief of
the election of Emmanuel Macron, who Shin Bet, whom they invited to come to
This kind of event enables ELNET-France Belgium.
won 66.1% of the votes over Marine Le
to build a strong relationship with political
Pens 33.9%. At only 39 years old, he is
leaders and to ask them very specific Mr. Cohen stayed in Brussels for two days,
the youngest president in the history of
questions on the topics that matter to us. during which ELNET- France organized
the fifth Republic. Macron served as Min-
political meetings with Members of
ister of Economy for two and half years.
Its been only one year since he created
Strategic Dialogue France Parliament. Among them, Arnaud
Israel, February 27-28 Danjean, Philippe Pivin, Jean-Jacques
his movement, En Marche! He positioned
Flahaux, Jacques Brotchi, Viviane Teitel-
it above the traditional right-left cleavage The 7th France-Israel Strategic Dialogue baum, and others. He spent an evening
in order to bring together progressives of (FSD) took place at a time when France with leaders of the Jewish community,
all sides. He benefited from a combination was headed towards its most unpredict- including, Vico levy, Joel Rubinstein,
of circumstances which helped him in able presidential election, all the while Evelyne Shapiro, Efraim Fisgrout, Michel
his quest for power, and by his very with a Trump cloud looming over all Kandiyoti; Raya Kaloneva, Executive
pro-European posture, he has reassured discussions. The Dialogue assessed the Vice President of the European Jewish
the electorate. He has also been able to evolving roles of the US and Russia and Congress and Roby Spiegel.
coalesce a part of the French people, se- whether we are heading towards a new
duced by his optimism, personal success international order, Iran and Saudi Arabia Mr. Cohen had a discussion with Gaelle
and faith in the future of a country able policies and their effects in the region, as Smet, Advisor to the Mouvement Rfor-
to find its place in a happy globalization. well as jihadist threats and perspectives. mateur (MR) party for security matters
The Dialogue also dealt with the evolving at the Federal Parliament and the Euro-
For the first quarter of the year, ELNET-
situation on the Syrian front and in Leb- pean Parliament and Samy Sidis, special
France was dedicated to the presidential
anon, analyzed possible developments advisor to the MR regarding terror in
campaign and, more recently, to the
of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Belgium, and Frederique Ries, European
legislatives, and the reinforcement of
evaluated the involvement of China in the Parliament Member and Deputy Mayor
partnerships between France and Israel.
Middle East. of Bruxelles.

ELNET and the Forum of Strategic A delegation will come to Paris within
Dialogue (FSD) organized the dialogue a few months to continue discussions
with our longstanding partners on security issues and the fight against
Fondation pour la Recherche Stratgique terrorism.
(FRS) and Institute for National Security
Studies (INSS), with the endorsement
of French Ministry of Defense (DGRIS).
The INSS hosted the event at their office
in Tel Aviv February 27-28, and Frances
Meeting with Manuel Valls,
Ambassador to Israel hosted all the
January 10 participants for a dinner at her residence,
A few days before the Socialist Party with a keynote address by Maj. Gen.
primaries, ELNET organized a 6th political (ret.) Amos Gilead who just retired from
meeting with Manuel Valls (following his long-standing position of Director
those with Alain Jupp, Nicolas Sarkozy, of Policy and Political-Military Affairs
Bruno Le Maire, Jean-Franois Cop, and of Israels Ministry of Defense. For their
Emmanuel Macron), as part of prepara- welcoming dinner, the French delegation
tions for the presidential elections. On had the opportunity to engage MK Elie
this occasion, the former Prime Minister Elalouf, Chair, Israel-France parliamentary
presented his program and ambitions, friendship group. Arnaud Danjean and Yoram Cohen

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LEADERSHIP BRIEFING SUMMER 2017

The Safe and Smart City The next meeting of the Safe and Smart Effective August 1, 2017, Israel will have
City Conference will be held in 2018 in a new ambassador to Germany, Jeremy
2017 Conference Israel. Topics for the agenda will be based Issacharoff, whom ELNET already
March 22-23, 2017 on the recommendations and conclusions knows well.
The Safe and Smart City 2017 Conference of the work of 2017. The conference is
represented the reinforcement of the a major step forward in the dialogue on Ensuring the presence
strategic cooperation between Frances innovation between France and Israel to of Israel reference in
regions and Israel. The first such improve and secure the cities of tomorrow.
party programs for
conference was held in 2015 in Tel Aviv. Safe and Smart City has the ambition
to become a national, European and general elections
international resource where smart cities Party programs are mandatory for polit-
can be designed. ical parties participating in federal elec-
tions in Germany. They provide electors
with an idea of the party platform to
let them make the right choice. The
party programs are the basis for the
coalition treaty among the winners of
G ERMA N Y
Daniele Nati, ELNET-Germany,
elections. Hence, what is written in the
Executive Director programs will be used later as the very
agenda of the newly formed govern-
ment. Finally, it binds the party to the
Ahead of the German general elections items specified in the party program, in
The Safe & Smart City 2017 Conference in September it seemed that the rival of our case to the commitment to Israel.
gathered key experts and influencers incumbent chancellor Angela Merkel,
from the French and Israeli business and Very early in the process, ELNET
Christian Democratic Union (CDU),
political scenes on the theme of New took responsibility for reaching out
Martin Schulz of the Social Democratic
Safety and Security Challenges for Smart to parties including CDU, SPD and
Party (SPD) could become a serious
Cities. The conference addressed the Free Democratic Party (FDP). ELNET
threat. However, the gap between the
security of sensitive infrastructures and conducted several talks with relevant
two major parties, CDU and SPD began
intelligent systems in connected cities. politicians within the parties to explain
to widen again. Still, the election is open.
The initiative is based on the bilateral the importance of having Israel in the
relationship between France and Israel Three regional elections were all lost party program and supported motions
and on the innovative ecosystems of the by the SPD in 2017, surprisingly also in to have pro-Israel amendments in the
region Provence-Alpes-Cte dAzur and traditionally more Leftist regions with a party programs. ELNET participated
of Tel Aviv. ELNET-France handled the Leftist head of government, such as North at several party congresses where the
political and diplomatic aspects of inviting Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein. programs were debated
Israelis to France, and of course the and finalized.
French participants, including: Christian The relationship between Germany and
Israel suffered recently when the first The programs of CDU, SPD, FDP
Estrosi, former President of the Provence-
visit of GER Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Greens will all contain
Alpes-Cte dAzur Region, Caroline
Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) turned into a fight a reference to Israel. All of this is
Pozmentier, Deputy Mayor of Marseille
with ISR Minister of Foreign Affairs (and embedded in ELNETs political work
and Vice-President of the PACA Region,
MP) Benjamin Netanyahu over a meet- for the federal elections: ELNET is
Dr. Anat Berko, Knesset member and
ing with far-Left NGOs in Israel. The contacting people in key states who
world expert on terrorism, Nathalie
later inaugural visit of the new German will become members of the German
Goulet, Senator, Frdric Pechenard,
President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD), Bundestag in September and linking
Vice-President of Ile-de-France in charge
only partially softened the tone. General- them to us and to Israel.
of security, Ronit Ben Dor, Counselor for
Political Affairs of the Embassy of Israel, ly speaking, the criticism towards Israel
Roni Tidhar, in charge of the Security is increasing as the older generations of
of Ben Gurion airport and Orit Perlov, politicians are replaced by new states-
INSS specialist of radicalization on social men who are much more critical of Israel.
networks. It is clear that ELNETs work is needed
more than ever in Germany.

4
LEADERSHIP BRIEFING SUMMER 2017

Visit of MK Amir Ohana In addition to the evening event, Association on Foreign and Security
MK Ohana met with Amb. Dr. Philipp Politics of the German Bundestag.
to Berlin Ackermann, regional director for the Near
On his two-day visit, MK Amir Ohana and Middle East and the Maghreb in the
met with various politicians and profes- Federal Foreign Office, Dr. Hans-Peter
sionals, as well as journalists, in Berlin. Bartels, Parliamentary Commissioner for
Following ELNET-Germanys strategy to the Armed Forces, MP Thomas Hitschler
broaden the spectrum of German-Israeli (SPD), member of the Defence Com-
topics, we were able to approach new mittee, MP Ansgar Heveling (CDU),
contacts to broaden our political network. chairman of the Committee on Internal
Besides one-on-one meetings, Affairs in the German Bundestag and MP
MK Ohana was the keynote speaker Matern von Marshall(CDU), member of
at ELNET-Germanys annual Yom the committee for European Affairs and
Delegation of FC Bundestag
Haatzmaut event on German-Israeli the Committee on Environment, Nature to play soccer against
relations and current foreign and security Conservation, Building and Nuclear Knesset members
policy issues. Alexandra Rojkov, a young Safety. Some of the topics discussed In June 2017, ELNET-Germany hosted
and ambitious journalist and expert on were the security situation in the a unique delegation to Israel, which
the Middle East and Israel moderated Middle East, including Syria, internal was also an historic event. Celebrating
the talk. This event on April 25 attracted Israeli politics, German-Israeli relations, the 30th anniversary of the first soccer
more than 100 guests including more and the cooperation of the intelligence match between Germany and Israel in
than 10 parliamentarians from different services. The talks have also been 1987, ELNET invited the soccer team of
parties of the German Bundestag, among influenced by the debate over Foreign the German Bundestag (Football Club
them MP Stephan Mayer, spokesperson Minister Sigmar Gabriels visit to Israel Bundestag, FC Bundestag) to play against
for interior politics of the CDU/CSU and his persistence to meet with the Knesset. The preparation of this event
parliamentary group, MP Volker Beck, representatives from the NGOs Breaking took almost one year due to the com-
speaker for migration as well as religious the silence and BTselem. Minister plexity and amount of people involved. It
politics of Alliance 90/The Greens and Gabriels persistence resulted in the was the very first soccer match of the FC
head of the German-Israeli Parliamentary cancelation of the scheduled meeting Bundestag against the Knesset team in
Friendship Group, MP Michaela with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin 50 years of the teams history.
Engelmeier, board member of the SPD Netanyahu.
since 2009 and deputy head of the Besides expanding the existing network,
German-Israeli Parliamentary Friend- In a meeting with more than 20 members ELNET strengthened its relationship with
ship group as well as MP Saska Esken, of the Parliamentary Staffers Association German and Israeli parliamentarians.
also member of the SPD and deputy on Foreign and Security Politics and the ELNET built up a working relationship
spokesperson on digital agenda in the German-Israeli Staffers Association of with FC Bayern Munich: one of the
SPD parliamentary group. Further, ELNET the German Bundestag, MK Ohana spoke biggest sports companies in Germany.
attracted guests from the ministries, in- on the topic: What can Europe learn FC Bayern Munich supported the ELNET
cluding Dr. Rudolf Gridl, Head of Division from Israels Counter-Terrorism Policy? delegation with in-kind donations.
North Africa, Near and Middle East in the
The visit ended with a press dinner enti- ELNET-Germany successfully organized
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and
tled 2017: a challenge for the two-state the first football match ever between the
Energy. From the Embassy of the State of
solution? The dinner was attended by FC Bundestag and the Knesset. Many
Israel, ELNET welcomed Yair Even, Politi-
more than 10 journalists from the German organizations previously tried to initiate
cal Attach of the Embassy of Israel, and
public broadcaster ARD/RBB, Al Jazeera, such an event, but failed. ELNET-
Adi Farjon Israel, Press Spokesperson of
Berliner Zeitung, BBC and others. They Germany had press at the event, which
the embassy. Additionally, other political
discussed the various options on the con- led to a series of articles, radio interview
professionals, e.g. political advisors to the
flict and views within Israeli society. and TV features, many of which
parties and committees as well as other
German- Israeli organizations, business Throughout this visit, ELNET-Germany mentioned ELNET. The official press
representatives and potential donors was able to broaden its political network releases of both the FC Bundestag and
were present. During the event, MK Ohana and deepen already existing relation- the Knesset mentioned ELNET as well.
conducted an interview with Johannes ships, e.g. with young professionals After the difficulties and friction between
Bockenheimer from the major Berlin daily who have the potential to become Germany and Israel following the
newspaper Der Tagesspiegel. leaders in Germany, and with the Staffers

5
LEADERSHIP BRIEFING SUMMER 2017

Gabriel-Netanyahu incident mentioned with the Poland Chapter of Vital Voices


above, ELNET was able to revitalize the
POLA N D and the Embassy of Israel in Warsaw.
Jacek Olejnik
friendship between the two nations. ELNET-Poland, Executive Director
A new level of friendship between the The delegation came about as a result of
Knesset and FC Bundestag has been the long-term relationship of Katarzyna
Polish assistance in Pietrzak, ELNET Polands Project Manager,
established.
bringing down anti-Israeli with the Poland Chapter of Vital Voices,
Both the FC Bundestag and the Knesset motion at FIFA as well as the relationships of ELNET-
agreed to do whatever possible to orga- Poland Executive Director Jacek
The Israeli Embassy in Warsaw confirmed
nize a rematch in Berlin in 2018, on the Olejniks and Ms. Pietrzaks with several
that Poland played an important role in
occasion of the 70th anniversary of the important potential Polish donors who
the prevention of a Palestinian initiative
State of Israel. ELNET has already been suggested Israel as a valuable desti-
aimed against Israel at the International
approached to work on the rematch, nation for the organizations annual
Federation of Association Football (FIFA).
reinforcing the trust and reputation delegation abroad. The close relations
Thanks in part to the work of ELNET-
ELNET has gained. between ELNET- Poland and the Israeli
Poland, the vote on the initiative, which
Embassy in Warsaw made it easier to
targeted soccer teams from the Israeli
reach out to work with the organization
settlements, was delayed until March
to plan the agenda.
2018 after FIFAs congress voted to ac-
cept Gianni Infantinos proposal for The delegation was attended by about
the delay. 40 influential CEOs of Polish branches
of international corporations and large
ELNET-Poland selected Infantino last
Polish companies. The delegation was
Spring as one of our Key Contacts at the
made up mostly of women, some of
parliament and government, and invested
whom are highly politically involved.
Delegation of Interior much time in making him a solid Friend
of Israel. Further, since Summer 2016, This partnership allowed ELNET-Poland
Committee ELNETPoland also worked with Polands to create or deepen crucial relations with
The high-ranking political delegation Deputy Minister of Sports, Mr. Jarosaw potential donors, and with influential
from the German parliament visited Stawiarski, who visited Israel as part of female leaders in Poland. We hope to
Israel with ELNET in June 2017. The ELNETs parliamentary delegation. receive contributions from some of the
delegation, headed by Ansgar Heveling participants, and use their political
MdB, Chair of the Committee of Internal This is only one of dozens of examples of
connections with our ongoing work with
Affairs of the German Bundestag, how we successfully use pro-Israel advo-
the law makers and government officials.
consisted of seven members of the cacy in Europe, with important contacts
German Parliament including e.g. weve cultivated and educated by taking
Dr. Stephan Harbarth MdB, Deputy high ranking law makers and government
Chairman of the Christian Democratic officials to Israel. Polish officials are typi-
Union (CDU). The delegation partici- cally pro-Israel, but their interest in Israel
pants were not only able to exchange needs to be deepened, which can then be
their in-depth and profound knowledge translated to actual pro-Israel decisions
regarding internal security issues, such on national and international levels.
as cyber security and counter terrorism
We look forward to continued beneficial
but also pursue their personal interest in
results from this important relationship.
learning more about Israel in general.
Vital Voices a large group Pro-Israel legislation as part
of top Polish businesswomen of upcoming Year of Poland-
to visit Israel Israel Friendship 2018
A visit of a high-profile business delega- ELNET-Poland inspired both chambers of
tion to Israel to explore Israels politics, the Polish parliament (Sejm and Senate)
hi-tech, and business sectors, as well as to to consider naming 2018 as the Year of
see first-hand the gender equality enjoyed Poland-Israel Friendship (to commem-
by Israelis. The project was in cooperation orate the Jewish States 70th birthday,

6
LEADERSHIP BRIEFING SUMMER 2017

as well as Polands 100th anniversary of the Forum had several Israeli experts, rapidly changing realities on the ground
re-gaining independence after WWI). many side-events, and media attention. might force the EU to rethink its policy.
It is not simply about events (although In 2017, the Forum will have a full panel Coupled with Israels changing image as
we plan them, too, including conferences, on Israel with several speakers. Plans a partner on the critical issues of counter
delegations, media presence, etc.), but are underway to bring a major political terrorism (CT) and cyber security, there
actual influence on legislative process figure from Israel to open the event is a window of opportunity for a change
in Warsaw and eventually also on and engage in close friendly relations in Israel-EU relations, which ELNET is
EU/NATO/UN levels. with peers in Polands security, military, nurturing.
and intelligence communities. In 2018,
The idea initially came up at a dinner Israel will be a main participant at the 2nd EU-Israel Strategic
hosted by ELNET-Poland in Warsaw in
July 2016 after a delegation of 10 MPs of
event, with large stands all over the site, Dialogue, November 2016
promotion of Israeli hi-tech and military
the governing party (Law and Justice) to The FSD and ELNET organized the
businesses, and tremendous media
Israel. As part of the delegation ELNET Second EU-Israel Strategic Dialogue
attention. This will be a central part of
Poland hosted two deputy ministers in Israel in November 2016 in partner-
the Poland-Israel Friendship Year, and
(Energy and Sports). It was the largest ship with the EPC (European Policy
a first-class finale of a long process of
and most high-profile delegation of Center)a leading EU think tank. The
lobbying and relationship building.
Polish parliament to Israel ever orga- Dialogue attracted the participation of
nized. At the dinner, hosted by one of Further, thanks to these efforts, ELNET- numerous high-level influential players
ELNET- Polands local Polish donors, Poland, in cooperation with ELNET- Israel, in the EEAS: Dr. Nicholas Westcott,
in the presence of Anna Azari, Israeli will host Grzegorz Maecki, the former Managing Director for the Middle East
Ambassador to Poland, the idea emerged head of the Polish Intelligence Agency, and North Africa, EEAS, the second-most
in the discussion and the MPs were very in Israel. He has shown himself to be senior EU diplomat dealing with the
excited about it. supportive of our work. Middle East, after EU HR/VP Mogherini
herself; Amb. Fernando Gentilini, EU
Israel the main guest of Special Representative for the Middle
the biggest security forum East Peace Process (MEPP); and Dr.
Nathalie Tocci, Deputy Director, special
in Central Europe, and more adviser to Ms. Mogherini, who led and
In 2014, ELNET-Poland, was established authored the EUs new global strategy
with only one person, no office, and no on foreign and security policy (EUGS).
permanent budget. At that time, EL- Mr. Grzegorz Maecki, ELNETs guest Dr. Westcott mentioned, Quite a lot of
NET-Poland tried to partner in the biggest at CyberWeek in Tel Aviv good things are happening, often unseen
and most prestigious policy and security by the naked eye, but they are there and
event in Poland, the Warsaw Security EU-Israel cooperation is moving in a rel-
Forum (WSF). ELNET-Poland was un- atively positive direction in an interview
surprisingly, not accepted to participate; with the Times of Israel. A high-ranking
there was not even one Israeli speaker, EU official even qualified our unofficial
even at panels related to the Middle East. dialogue as the real strategic dialogue,
while the official dialogue is not really
Since that time, ELNET-Poland built a David Siegel a dialogue. The dialogue reached wide
relationship with the chairman of this ELNET-Israel, CEO
audiences in the Twitter world about
event, Mr. Zbigniew Pisarski, who is Eran Etzion 65,000 users.
a highly respected political figure in Forum of Strategic Dialogue, Executive Director
Poland. It took dozens of meetings and The seeds were sown for the FSD to
dinners funded by one of our donors, launch an annual Italy-Israel Strategic
but eventually he agreed to visit Israel The EU will become more security Dialogue. The FSD and the IAI are
for the first time in his life, in a visit fully oriented, pragmatically driven and less currently working to gather support for
planned and executed by ELNET. He left globalized, which brings it closer to Israel this important endeavour, which could
Tel Aviv in love with the country and on the level of narrative and potentially hopefully be realized by the end of this
eager to know more about its political on the policy level as well. While this so year. The FSD and ELNET are in the
life and security issues. He invited Israel far has not affected the age-old linkage process of creating a joint policy paper
to be part of WSF in 2015, with one (conditionality) between the Israeli- with the EPC on future EU-Israel relations
Israeli general invited to speak. In 2016, Palestinian conflict and EU-Israel relations, under the Trump administration, which

7
LEADERSHIP BRIEFING SUMMER 2017

will be published and distributed to key The FSD is looking into publishing an from the highest levels of government,
EU and Israeli officials. expert note with Chatham House following business, and academia to address
the dialogue. Considering the UK is pressing national, regional and global
2nd UK-Israel Strategic leaving the EU and will formulate its strategic issues. Conclusion, and/or next
Dialogue, April 2017 foreign policy towards Israel inde- steps following it.
pendently, this track is of particular
The FSD and Chatham House, the Royal The Roundtable session was entitled
importance.
Institute of International Affairs, one of the A new Europe in the making: whats in
worlds leading think tanks, successfully store for Israel and the Middle East? and
held their second annual UK-Israel included 13 carefully selected speakers,
Strategic Dialogue in April 2017. The as well as around 30 influential deci-
UK-Israel bilateral relations are strong, sion-makers in the European-Israeli
especially regarding trade and military, arena. Participants and guests from
security, and intelligence cooperation, across Europe, the US and Israel included
characterized as the best ever. no less than five European ambassadors
Post-Brexit there is high uncertainty to Israel (France, Germany, Greece,
regarding the UKs strategy towards the Cyprus and Finland) as well as Dr. Philip
US and the EU in areas such as trade David Siegel (ELNET-Israel CEO) with Israels H. Gordon, Senior Fellow, Council on
arrangements, Justice & Home Affairs and MinisterTzachiHanegbi,MinisterofRegional Foreign Relations and former Special
counter terrorism (information sharing, CooperationandthenActingMinisterof
CommunicationandNadavEyal,Chief Assistant to President Barack Obama and
Europol, etc.) and the Common Security InternationalCorrespondent,Channel10 White House Coordinator for the Middle
and Defense Policy (CSDP) among others, Newsatthe2nd UK-IsraelStrategicDialogue. East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region;
which gave the group of British and Israeli Amb. Jeremy Issacharoff, Vice Director
senior officials, politicians, experts and General, Head of Multilateral Affairs
journalists plenty of material to discuss.
17th Herzliya Conference Directorate, Israeli Ministry of Foreign
Affairs (MFA); and MK Ksenia Svetlova,
Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, Minister of (4th year), June 2017 Alternate Member, Foreign Affairs and
Regional Cooperation and acting Minister For the fourth consecutive year, ELNET Defense Committee.
of Communication gave a keynote and the FSD hosted a special, invitation
address articulating the valuable work of only Roundtable session in June 2017 at The Roundtable was yet another example
Israels Ministry of Regional cooperation the prestigious 17th Herzliya Conference of our solid partnership with the Herzliya
as well as challenges and opportunities in partnership with the IDC (Interdisci- Conference, which no doubt contributes
for Israel in a changing Middle East. plinary Center). The Herzliya Confer- to building our network and enhancing
He then addressed questions of the ence is Israels primary annual global our ability to influence policymakers and
participants of the Dialogue triggered by policy gathering, drawing together elected officials involved in European-
their first full day of discussions. Israeli and international participants Israeli affairs.

WHO WE ARE
Friends of the European Leadership Network (FELNET)
FELNET Board of Directors FELNET Advisory Board
Larry J. Hochberg John Fishel Mark Kirk, former U.S. Senator Howard Berman, former U.S. Representative
Chairman and Co-Founder Leonard Foxman Joseph Lieberman, former U.S. Senator Shelley Berkley, former U.S. Representative
Kenneth A. Ruby Andrew S. Hochberg Norman Coleman, former U.S. Senator Elliott Abrams, former U.S. National Security
Vice Chairman and Treasurer David Jonas Council Advisor
Joseph W. Feinberg Jerry Rosenberg European Leadership Network (ELNET) Affiliates
ELNET has offices in Berlin, Brussels, Paris, Tel Aviv and Warsaw
FELNET Staff Contact for Friends of ELNET
Lee V. Rosenblum, National Executive Director Lee Rosenblum: (917) 722-1255 lrosenblum@felnetus.org
Steven Rosen, Strategic Advisor 641 Lexington Avenue, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10022
Jonathan Boyer, West Coast Director
Jonathan Boyer: (310) 205-0488 jboyer@felnetus.org
Rebecca Modell, National Operations Manager
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