European Council on Foreign Relations

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Black Coffee Morning: Religion - can it unlock solutions in the Middle East?

29 Mar 12 - london bcm


Rabbi Michael Melchior, Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel

Daniel Sachs, CEO, Proventus AB

Chaired by:

Daniel Levy, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme, ECFR

Religion divides societies. Nowhere does this come to mind more than in the Middle East’s most intractable conflict- Israel/Palestine and the city of Jerusalem- home to Christian, Jewish and Muslim holy sites. Diaspora religious communities are often perceived to be an obstacle to peace. Our panel will look at these local and global religious drivers of conflict or progress. A former Chief Rabbi in Norway and Israeli Cabinet Member, Michael Melchior has been leading discreet off-the-radar track two dialogues and initiatives, and was behind The Alexandria Declaration bringing the religious leaders of the Middle East together. So, can religion be deployed to the frontline in peacemaking?

Rabbi Michael Melchior hasserved as Israeli Cabinet Minister for Social Affairs and World Jewry and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. He Chaired the Knesset Caucus for Jewish-Arab relations andis a recipient ofThe Church of England’s Coventry International Prize for Peace and Reconciliation.

Daniel Sachs is CEO of Proventus AB, which invests in companies in change and provides development capital for mid-sized enterprises. Daniel is a member of the ECFR Council and an advisor to the Europe Programme at Chatham House.

Daniel Levy is the Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at ECFR and a Senior Research fellow at the New America Foundation.

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