British supporters of Israel join Zionist Federation and New Israel Fund election night debates

By Marcus Dysch and Simon Rocker, January 23, 2013
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The impact of Israel’s elections on the country’s peace prospects and social cohesion were high on the agenda at special events held by the Zionist Federation and the New Israel Fund on Tuesday night.

As the results of the exit polls unfolded, around 200 people took part in discussions at the ZF meeting with members of an expert panel including Raanan Gissin, a former senior adviser to Ariel Sharon, and Zalmi Unsdorfer, chairman of Likud UK.

Alan Aziz, ZF director, said: “The ZF is immensely proud to showcase Israel’s democracy to those supportive of Israel in the UK."

The event was organised with Hampstead Garden Suburb and Muswell Hill Synagogues.

The better than expected electoral showing of Israel's centre-left lifted the mood among liberally-minded NIF supporters.

A capacity audience of 170 heard analysis from Chatham House political scientist Yossi Mekelburg, Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland and Israeli journalist Eti Shechtman.

The meeting was jointly promoted by New North London, Finchley Reform Synagogue and North-Western Reform Synagogues.

One of the new MKs in Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party, Rabbi Shay Piron, is a past recipient of NIF UK's human rights award.

Last updated: 6:24pm, January 23 2013