Richard Branson talks technology with teens in Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, December 15, 2011
Richard Branson

Richard Branson

Virgin founder Richard Branson has met a group of Jewish and Arab teenagers in Israel.

Sir Richard spent ten hours in the country, to attend a communications conference in Tel Aviv.

The billionaire entrepreneur, whose Virgin Group has more than 400 arms including in the airline, media and music industries, was the guest of honour at the 2011 Bezeq expo.

As well as addressing the 3,000 guests at the conference, Sir Richard hosted a group from the MYTecC youth movement in his hotel suite. The movement includes young Israelis and Arabs and is centred around promoting dialogue through technology.

Sir Richard said he was unable to tell "which of you are Jews and which are Arab".

He said he would be delighted to be involved in the programme.

"As an entrepreneur and business leader I know that when we have a problem we immediately try to solve it," he said. "If you have a sore and you do not treat it, it can become fatal."

Elsewhere at the conference, Sir Richard met the chairman and chief executive of Bezeq, Israel's largest communications company. He said of his visit: "I have met so many young entrepreneurs that I understand why Israel is at the forefront of technology. I just hope your politicians manage to solve your problems so you can live in peace."

Before leaving to catch a flight to Portugal, Sir Richard wrote on Twitter that it had been a "wonderful" visit.

Last updated: 12:38pm, December 15 2011