Israel Council on Foreign Relations
Founded by Dr. David Kimche

The Israel Council on Foreign Relations (ICFR) is a non-partisan forum for the study and debate of foreign policy operating under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress. Established in 1989 by the late Dr. David Kimche and a group of prominent practitioners and scholars of international affairs, the Council aspires to stimulate public awareness of world events and insightful discussion of foreign policy issues, particularly regarding Israel, the Middle East, and Jewish affairs.

The ICFR is a favored platform for distinguished foreign visitors who wish to present their views in a nongovernmental setting, and regularly organizes public and closed-door lectures and symposia. Since its inception, the Council has hosted numerous heads of state, prime ministers, foreign ministers and other outstanding guests from abroad, as well as prominent local scholars and politicians. A wide cross section of Israeli society, including government officials, Israeli and foreign diplomats, university professors, leading business people, journalists, and promising students, participates in the activities of the Council, which accommodates a wide range of viewpoints.

In 2006, the ICFR launched its flagship publication, The Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, which appears three times per annum and is published by the London-based Taylor & Francis.

Through the ICFR's Israeli–European Young Diplomats Forum, European Diplomats currently posted in Israel are able to meet with their Israeli counterparts to discuss issues of common interest.

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ICFR Board

International Editorial and Advisory Board

  • Mr. Ya'akov Ahimeir
  • Amb. Moshe Arad
  • Prof. Shlomo Avineri
  • Amb. Colette Avital
  • Justice Gavriel Bach
  • Mr. Alessandro Benedetti
  • Dr. Benedetta Berti
  • Dr. Nir Boms
  • Prof. Irwin Cotler
  • Dr. Charles D. Freilich
  • Dr. Yosef Govrin
  • Prof. Alexander J. Groth
  • Mr. Efraim Halevy
  • Ms. Orna Hozman-Bechor
  • Prof. Aharon Klieman
  • Prof. Joel Kotek
  • Prof. Ruth Lapidoth
  • Prof. David Menashri
  • Dr. Arye Oded
  • Amb. Mordechai Palzur
  • Prof. Sharon Pardo
  • Prof. Dina Porat
  • Mr. Shabtai Shavit
  • Mr. Robin Shepherd
  • Mr. Robert Singer
  • Prof. Alfred Tovias
  • Mr. David Witzthum

Founder: Dr. David Kimche (1928–2010)
President: Dan Meridor
President Emeritus: Ambassador Avi Primor
Director: Dr. Laurence Weinbaum
Associate Director: Yvette Shumacher

Recent Guest Lecturers

Daniel Mitov

Foreign Minister of Bulgaria, who spoke on “The Tectonic Changes in the Middle East and How They Resonate in Europe: A View from Sofia.”

Ditmir Bushati

Foreign Minister of Albania, who spoke on “Reflections on the Past and the Present in Albanian Foreign Policy."
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Stanislaw Tillich

Prime Minister of the German State of Saxony (in cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung), who spoke on "Saxony: From Hotbed of East Germany’s Non-Violent Revolution to Crossroads of United Europe.”

Adrian Miahi Cioroianu

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania, who spoke on "The Eve of the Bucharest Summit: The New Romania, NATO and Israel." The event was sponsored by Bank Leumi.
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Péter Szijjártó

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, who spoke on “The Crisis in Europe: The Hungarian Perspective.”

Plamen Oresharski

Prime Minister of Bulgaria, who spoke on "The Strategic Dimension of the Bulgarian–Israeli Partnership."
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Nickolay Mladenov

Foreign Minister of Bulgaria, who spoke on "EU Policy for the Middle East: A Bulgarian Perspective."

Karel Schwarzenberg

Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, who spoke at a roundtable discussion on "The Middle East as Seen from Middle Europe."
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Juan Orlando Hernández

President of Honduras

Gregor Gysi

Chairman of DIE LINKE faction, head of the opposition in the German Bundestag and former Chairman of the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), who spoke on "Europe and the Crisis in Ukraine: Is the International Community Facing a New East–West Conflict?"
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Araz Azimov

Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, who spoke at a closed dinner on "Azerbaijan's Place in the Middle East and its Security Concerns."

Victor Yushchenko

resident of Ukraine, who spoke on "Ukraine and Israel: A Dialogue for the Future."
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Algirdas Butkevičius

Prime Minister of Lithuania

Frans Timmermans

Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, who spoke on "Israel and the EU: Beyond the Horizon."
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Daniel Ayalon

Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel, who spoke on "Challenges to Israeli Foreign Policy."
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Sahana Pradhan

Foreign Minister of Nepal, who spoke on "The Foreign Policy of Nepal in the Changed Political Context."
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Konrad Pawlik

Deputy Foreign Minister of Poland, who spoke on “Poland’s view of events in Ukraine.”

Sali Berisha

Prime Minister of Albania, who spoke on "'Righteous among the Nations'—Albania's History of Friendship with Jews and the Jewish State."
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Robert Serry

UN Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace Process, who spoke on "Israel, the UN and the Peace Process."
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Tzipi Livni

Foreign Minister of Israel, who spoke on "Israel and the Middle East at a Crossroad."
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Angel Tîlvăr

Minister Delegate of Romanians Abroad

Leonel Fernández Reyna

President of the Dominican Republic, who spoke on the challenges to statecraft in the modern era.
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Rachida Dati

French Minister of Justice (in cooperation with the IDC Herzliya European Studies Center) who spoke on "France in the Process of Change: Law, Reform and Society."
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Sir Ronald Cohen

Chairman of the Portland Trust, who spoke on "The Role of Economic Initiatives in Peacemaking."
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Enver Hoxhaj

Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Relations, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs (2011–2014), Republic of Kosovo, who spoke on “The Foreign Policy of Small States: The Case of Kosovo.”

Joschka Fischer

Former Vice Chancellor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany (in cooperation with the IDC Herzliya Center for European Studies and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung), who spoke on "The German Foreign Ministry and the Nazi Past."
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Salam Fayyad

Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, whose speech on "The Current State of Affairs Between Us" was delivered by Riad Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Information.

Vuk Draskovic

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, who spoke on "Serbs and Jews."

James P. Kreindler and Steve R. Perles

James P. Kreindler, Kreindler & Kreindler, New York City and Steve R. Perles, Perles Law Firm, P.C., Washington, DC, who spoke on “Terror Litigation in the US Courts.”

Moshe Zimmermann

Professor of German History and Member of the Historical Commission of the German Foreign Ministry, who spoke on "Secrets and Revelations: The Wartime History of the German Foreign Ministry."
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Jimmy Carter

Thirty-Ninth President of the United States, who spoke on "My Study Trip to the Middle East."
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Vaira Vike-Freiberga

President of Latvia, who spoke on "Latvia and Israel."

Lubomír Zaorálek

Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, who spoke on "Reflections on Czech–Israeli Relations in Light of EU Policies."

Miguel Angel Moratinos

Foreign Minister of Spain, who spoke on "The Peace Process: Facts and Expectations."

Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka

Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, who spoke on "The Current Political Situation in Sri Lank and a Vision for the Future." The event was sponsored by Ms. Rina Pushkarna, proprietor of the Tandoori chain of Indian restaurants.
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James Wolfensohn

Special Envoy of the Quartet, who spoke on "After the Withdrawal: What Next?"

Peter Lizak, Director

Policy Planning Department,Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, who spoke on “European Neighborhood Policies.”

Mohammad Afzal Khan

Lord Mayor of Manchester, who spoke on "Muslims in the UK and Europe."

The Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs

Founded in 2006, Тhe Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs is the Council's flagship publication. In a short time, the journal has succeeded in developing a strong reputation, attracting the writings of many leading authorities in various aspects of foreign affairs from Israel and abroad.

In an attempt to engage and encourage tomorrow's diplomats and scholars, it has also published a number of papers by outstanding graduate students from institutions in Israel, Australia, Canada, India and the US.

The journal regularly publishes the proceedings of lectures presented at the Council and these constitute an important record of the remarks of visiting foreign officials. The journal is now circulated worldwide, and among its subscribers are ministries of foreign affairs, Israeli and foreign embassies, major university libraries and institutes/councils of foreign affairs

Subscription information

Founding Publisher: Dr. David Kimche (1928-2010)
Publisher: Dan Meridor
Senior Editor: Prof. Aharon Klieman
Chief Editor: Dr. Laurence Weinbaum
Managing Editor: Yvette Shumacher

Israel Council on Foreign Relations
4 Washington Street

Tel: +972 2 633 3003
Fax: +972 2 659 8100

The ICFR Israeli–European Young Diplomats Forum

The ICFR Israeli–European Young Diplomats Forum, launched in April 2011, enables young diplomats (under 40 years of age) and their European counterparts currently posted in Israel to enhance their knowledge of, and exchange ideas on, issues of common interest. It also affords participants an unparalleled networking opportunity.

Forum members interact through Monthly Policy Talks, which are Chatham House-style meetings devoted to specific themes relevant to the European–Israeli agenda. As a result, the European ambassadors of tomorrow acquire both a substantive knowledge of Israel and a network of Israeli contacts, both of which are beneficial to the evolution of relations between Israel and the EU. Similarly, the Israeli participants gain an invaluable understanding of Europe.

The project has received support from the EU Delegation to Israel, Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and numerous EU embassies in Israel.

To see latest photos form Young Diplomats Events, please visit our Facebook Page.

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Upcoming Events

Katharina von Schnurbein—EU Commission Coordinator on Antisemitism

Location: Van Leer Institute, 43 Jabotinsky Street, Jerusalem

Date/Time: Thursday July 14, 2016, 18:00

L tall invitation to leccture by katharina von schnurbein july 14  2016

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Jerusalem, Israel



Fax: 02-659-8100