Bicom aims to win back Israel in UK

Britain's largest-ever conference to promote support for Israel will take place in the spring, encouraging the Jewish community and friends of Israel to "turn back the negative tide".

The event - Winning Britain back for Israel - will be held in central London on May 15.

Organised by Bicom, the conference has the backing of the JC, the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Union of Jewish Students.

Lorna Fitzsimons, Bicom chief executive, said: "This advocacy conference is the biggest of its kind to happen outside the US. Together we can create a more supportive environment in Britain for Israel.

"This conference is to ensure that anyone who wants to be an advocate for Israel gets access to the world experts in every field. The impact of 1,000 Jews and non-Jews coming together to advocate for Israel will be historic."

During the day-long convention, attendees will hear from high-profile political and diplomatic speakers from Britain and Israel, choose from 30 training sessions giving advice on lobbying and media training, and be shown lessons how to defend Israel online.

It is hoped the event will attract supporters of Israel of all ages and religious levels – from "Wizo to Birthright", as one organiser described it.

For those who cannot make it to the venue, the event will also mark the launch of the first UK-wide activists' network, encouraging Israel advocates to organise local meetings and events and access online training.

Edward Misrahi, a Bicom board member, said: "We all have to rise to the challenge and make the conference a success. This is a game-changer. It is long overdue, and very exciting."

Last updated: 12:52pm, March 10 2011