FORMER Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak will be the keynote speaker at JNF Australia’s annual dinner events in August and September.
The former soldier and politician, who played a pivotal role in peace negotiations with Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, will speak in Melbourne on August 29, in Perth on September 2 and in Sydney in September 4.
“Ehud Barak’s story is the story of the State of Israel,” JNF Australia CEO Dan Springer said.
“His life has interwoven with all the country’s wars and most of its major operations, triumphs and challenges since independence, both as Israel’s most decorated warrior and as a statesman in pursuit of peace.
“Ehud is therefore the perfect choice to represent Israel in its 70th year and to share with us his personal account of key events in its history, together with current threats and opportunities, as it continues to realise the vision of the state’s founders.”
Barak served as Israel’s 10th prime minister from 1999 to 2001. Prior to that he served as minister of internal affairs under Yitzhak Rabin and minister of foreign affairs under Shimon Peres in the mid-1990s.
He later served as minister of defence under Ehud Olmert and Benjamin Netanyahu between 2007 and 2013.
He was also personally involved in the negotiation and implementation of the 1994 peace treaty with Jordan, and his proposals at the 2000 Camp David talks with the Palestinians remain a key blueprint for ending the conflict.
Before politics, Barak had an illustrious 36-year career in the IDF, serving through all levels before assuming the position of Chief of General Staff.
During his service, he was a founding member of Israel’s most elite commando unit Sayeret Matkal, later becoming its commander and led many of the country’s most significant – and some still classified – operations, including the Sabena and Entebbe hostage rescues.
For more information or to book tickets, call 1300 563 563 or visit www.jnf.org.au