A slew of speakers, including former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev, former U.S. president Bill Clinton, AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong, and Prince Albert of Monaco, will be gathering in Jerusalem starting next Tuesday, June 18, for the start of the fifth annual Israeli Presidential Conference – Facing Tomorrow 2013.
Under the auspices of President Shimon Peres, the conference will also include a birthday celebration for the President, who turns 90 this summer.
Key speakers include activist Ayaan Hirsi-Ali, actress Sharon Stone, and Middle East Quartet Envoy Tony Blair. The Prime Minister of Israel, Binyamin Netanyahu, will also address the conference, which will grapple with the trends, issues, innovations and decisions that will impact the future for the world, the Jewish People, and the State of Israel.
"The Conference has become an important meeting place for public figures and world leaders from all sectors,” Israel Maimon, Chairman of the Israeli Presidential conference, said. “It is unique in challenging us to think together about our collective tomorrow, with the expectation that we can work to shape our future."
The conference will kick-off with a celebration of President Peres's birthday, highlighted by a performance by legendary international singer Barbra Streisand. Among the planned sessions for Facing Tomorrow 2013 are "Tomorrow's Wars - No Longer Science Fiction," "Economic Principles vs. Social Values: Harmony or Conflict?" and "Can Understanding Yesterday Help in Shaping Tomorrow?"
President Clinton will be receiving the Presidential Medal of Distinction from Peres during the plenary session "Leadership that Makes a Difference," on the morning of June 19.
The session will also include Blair, Gorbachev, and Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
British physicist Stephen Hawking had also been scheduled to participate at this year’s conference, but he chose to cancel his participation and endorse an academic boycott of the Jewish state.
Facing Tomorrow 2013 takes place from June 18-20, 2013 at Jerusalem's International Convention Center. The conference is organized in partnership with Hebrew University. More than 5,000 participants are expected to attend this year’s conference.
The first Israeli Presidential Conference took place in May 2008, one week after Israel celebrated its 60th year of independence, and on the basis of its success became an annual event. The conference is centered around discussions, panels and plenary sessions aimed at answering one question: how can we foster a better tomorrow for the international community, Israel and the Jewish world?