Dozens of world leaders in Jerusalem for Holocaust Forum pose complex security challenge

The forum marking 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz will be the third-largest gathering of world leaders in Israel.

Sara Rubenstein ,

Old City of Jerusalem
Old City of Jerusalem
Dario Sanchez/FLASH90

The city of Jerusalem and Israel Police are in the last stages of preparing for a complex security challenge with the arrival of dozens of leaders for the fifth annual World Holocaust Forum next week.

This year's forum, which will take place on Thursday, January 23 at Yad Vashem, will mark 75 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp

At least 47 world leaders are visiting Israel to attend the forum. It will also be the first official visit of Prince Charles of Britain and only the second official visit to Israel by a British royal family member since the founding of the Israeli state in 1948. In Israeli history, the only two events which drew a larger gathering of international leaders were the funerals of Shimon Peres in 2016 and Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.

President Reuven Rivlin is hosting about 40 of the leaders at an official dinner and discussion at the President's Residence the day before the forum, at which King Felipe VI of Spain will deliver a speech.

Holocaust scholar Prof. Yehuda Bauer is delivering an address at the forum and the song "The Last Survivor" will be sung by Israeli singers Amir Benayoun, Miri Mesika and David D'Or. The forum and the gathering at the President's Residence will be broadcast live.

Many leaders will be staying at the King David Hotel in downtown Jerusalem and the necessary security arrangements will cause many of the surrounding streets to be closed off and traffic jams in the capital city are expected.

List of world leaders attending the World Holocaust Forum:

  • US Vice President Mike Pence
  • US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
  • President of France Emmanuel Macron
  • President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen
  • Governor-General of Canada Julie Payette
  • Governor-General of Australia David Hurley
  • President of Russia Vladimir Putin
  • Prince Charles of Britain
  • King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander
  • King Felipe VI of Spain
  • President of Italy Sergio Mattarella
  • President of Slovenia Borut Pahor
  • President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier
  • President of Hungary János Áder
  • President of Greece Prokopis Pavlopoulos
  • Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven
  • President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson
  • President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zolenskyy
  • President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades
  • President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda
  • Crown Prince Haakon of Norway
  • Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen
  • President of Finland Sauli Niinistö
  • President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
  • President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev
  • President of Romania Klaus Iohannis
  • President of Slovakia Zuzana Čaputová
  • Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Andrej Babiš
  • President of Albania Ilir Meta
  • President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian
  • President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili
  • Speaker of the Latvian Parliament Ināra Mūrniece
  • President of Moldova Igor Dodon
  • Minister of State of Monaco Serge Telle
  • Chairman of the House of Representatives of Belarus
  • President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović
  • President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić
  • President of Bosnia and Herzegovina Željko Komšić
  • Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg
  • President of Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski
  • President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović
  • President of the European Council Charles Michel
  • President of the European Parliament David Sassoli
  • Vatican Representative Kurt Koch




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