Leadership

Dialogue2020-Dec7

By November 18, 2020 No Comments

Steve McCabe (UK)

Steve McCabe is the Member of Parliament for Birmingham, Selly Oak and Parliamentary Chair of Labour Friends of Israel since February 2020.

Previously he was as an Adviser for the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work. He’s a former social worker.

During his parliamentary career he has served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Rt Hon Charles Clarke during his spells as Education Secretary and Home Secretary. He also served as a Government Whip from 2006-2010 and was the Lord Commissioner who signed the orders to purchase Northern Rock.

Since the 2010 election he has served on the Home Affairs Select Committee and Labour’s Parliamentary Committee. From 2013-2015 Steve served as the Shadow Minister for Children and Families.

Since the 2015 election, Steve has been a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee which he joined because of his view that we need new models of welfare if we are to preserve the essence of the Welfare State.

Lord Eric Pickles (UK)

CFI Parliamentary Chairman (House of Lords)

Lord Pickles is a Conservative Member of the House of Lords, and was the Conservative Member of Parliament for Brentwood and Ongar from 1992 until 2017. He was the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government from 2010 to 2015, and the Chairman of the Conservative Party from 2009 to 2010. Lord Pickles was appointed a Knight Bachelor in May 2015 for his services to local government, and was elevated to the House of Lords in June 2018.

Throughout his political career, Lord Pickles has been a tireless advocate for Israel and the Jewish community. He has joined CFI on numerous delegations to the Israel, first visiting the country with CFI in 1994, and served as CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman from May 2015 until he stood down as a Member of Parliament in April 2017. He was appointed CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman in the House of Lords after his ennoblement in June 2018.

Lord Pickles has led a number of high profile CFI parliamentary delegations to Israel and the West Bank. In February 2017, Lord Pickles planted a tree at the Yad Kennedy Memorial in the Aminadav Forest in Jerusalem in honour of his knighthood, accompanied by three former Secretaries of State.

Lord Pickles currently leads the UK Government’s work on post-Holocaust initiatives, working with academics, survivors and educational and social organisations in the UK, having been appointed as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues in September 2015. He has played an integral role in the planning for a new national Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre, and is a co-Chair of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation.

Lord Pickles was instrumental in the drafting of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which then-Prime Minister Theresa May announced the UK would be adopting at CFI’s Annual Business Lunch in December 2016. The IHRA definition is now used by UK police, councils, universities, and schools.

Prior to his election to Parliament in 1992, Lord Pickles worked as a Consultant in Employment Practice and Local Government Editor for Conservative Newsline (1990-92).

Christian Porter (AU)

Christian Porter has been Australia’s Attorney-General since December 2017. Following the May 2019 election, he has also taken on responsibility for the Industrial Relations portfolio and has become Leader of the House. He previously served as Minister for Social Services.

As Attorney-General, Christian played a key role in the modernisation of Australia’s national security laws with the successful passage of the Espionage and Foreign Interference, and Foreign Influence and Transparency Scheme legislation, which represent the most substantial reforms to Australia’s national security legislation since the 1970s.

Christian is also focused on reforming the family court system to help families save time and costs in family law disputes.

In Social Services, Christian steered the critical transition of the National Disability Insurance Scheme from trial to national roll out and oversaw a suite of welfare reforms which, combined with strong job growth, saw 140,000 fewer people relying on welfare – resulting in the lowest level of welfare dependency in working age Australians since the 1980s.

Before entering Federal Parliament, Christian was a Minister in the Western Australian State Government, holding the portfolios of Attorney-General, Minister for Corrective Services and Treasurer. As WA Treasurer, Christian delivered successive budget surpluses, reduced recurrent expenditure growth by more than 6 per cent and was central to delivering funding for key projects such as the new Perth Stadium and Elizabeth Quay. As WA Attorney-General, Christian reformed the jury system and pursued a range of legislative reforms that significantly reduced all reported crime.

Christian holds a Bachelor of Economics, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Australia, as well as a Master of Science (Political Theory) from the London School of Economics.

Prior to politics, Christian worked as a lawyer in both the commercial and government settings; beginning his career at Clayton Utz and then later working as a Senior State Prosecutor for the Director of Public Prosecutions WA, where he prosecuted criminal trials for the State. He has also lectured at the University of Western Australia in law, public policy and economics and, immediately before entering Federal Parliament, Christian was a Professor of Law at Curtin University.

Richard Marles (AU)

Richard Marles was elected to Federal Parliament as the Member for Corio in November 2007.

Richard was born in 1967, raised in Geelong, and educated at Geelong Grammar School. He has a LLB (Hons) and BSc from Melbourne University.

He began his career with legal firm Slater and Gordon. In 1998, he became federal assistant secretary of the Transport Workers’ Union where he was responsible for bargaining with national transport companies and managing the union’s activities in the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.

In 2000, he became assistant secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions and ran the Working Hours Case, which gave workers the right, for the first time, to refuse unreasonable amounts of overtime. He was a member of the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission and led the ACTU’s work on OHS. He also led an innovative program of co-operation between the Australian and Papua New Guinea union movements.

He has previously served as Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry, Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Trade, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and today is deputy leader of the Opposition and shadow minister for Defence.

 

Gideon Sa’ar (IL)

Former Israeli Minister for the Interior

Gideon Sa’ar was born in Tel Aviv. He is the oldest son of Bruriah and Shmuel Zarechansky. His mother is a teacher and his father is a paediatrician who immigrated to Israel from Argentina. Gideon began his IDF service as a combat soldier and later served as an intelligence officer in the Golani Brigade. He studied at Tel Aviv University, earning an undergraduate degree in political science with honors along with an undergraduate degree in law. During his studies, he served as the political reporter at the weekly newspaper, Ha’olam Hazeh (This World). He went on to cover party politics for the daily newspaper Hadashot (News) and legal issues for the news program on Channel 2 television. After passing the bar exam, Sa’ar worked as an an aide to the Israeli attorney-general

and the Israeli state attorney and as a prosecutor in the Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office. He also established his own law firm in Tel Aviv. In 1999, he was appointed the government secretary for the first Netanyahu government. In 2001, then-prime minister Ariel Sharon reappointed him to this

position. In 2003, Sa’ar was first elected to the Knesset as a member of the Likud party and served as the Likud faction head, a position which he filled for six years. He also was the coalition chairperson. In the 17th Knesset, Sa’ar served as the deputy speaker of the Knesset and the chairperson of the Committee to Advance the Status of Women. He was the first (and thus far only) man to lead this committee.

Gideon was among the most outstanding legislators in the Knesset. His achievements included extending paid maternity leave, improving the process of selecting Supreme Court justices, and anchoring the doctrine of “abuse of power” in Israeli criminal law.

Twice in a row, in the Likud party’s primaries in 2008 and 2012, he was elected to the highest position on the Likud party’s list of candidates for the Knesset. In 2009, he was appointed the Israeli minister of education, a position he filled for four years. During his term in office, he spearheaded significant advances, including free preschool for children aged three and four, a major restructuring agreement with the secondary-school teachers union, and the establishment of the eighth university in Israel, Ariel University. At the same time, he served as a member of the diplomatic-security cabinet, including during Operation Pillar of Defense against Hamas and other military actions. In 2013,Gideon was appointed the Israeli minister of interior. He also was responsible for significant reforms in this capacity, including extending daylight savings time and coping with the phenomenon of illegal infiltration of Israel’s borders. Sa’ar’s many public roles and responsibilities also have including serving on the judicial selection committee, the judicial selection committee for religious courts, and the search committee for Israel’s attorney-general.

In November 2014, he resigned from his positions in the Knesset and the government following his announcement that he was taking a break from political life.

Isaac "Buji" Herzog (IL)

Profile coming soon

Ehud Olmert

Profile coming soon

Tony Abbott (AU)

Tony was elected Prime Minister by the Australian people on September 7, 2013 and served for two years.

In his time as PM, the carbon tax and mining tax were repealed, free-trade agreements were finalised with China, Japan and Korea; the people smuggling trade from Indonesia to Australia was halted; Australia became the second largest military contributor to the US-led campaign against Islamic State in Iraq; the biggest federally-funded infrastructure program in Australian history commenced; and Australia hosted the G20 meeting of global leaders in Brisbane in November 2014.

In 2014, and again in 2015, he spent a week running the government from a remote indigenous community.

As opposition leader at the 2010 election, he reduced a first-term Labor government to minority status before comprehensively winning the 2013 election.

Between 1996 and 2007, he was successively parliamentary secretary, minister, cabinet minister, and leader of the House of Representatives in the Howard government. As health minister, he expanded Medicare to include dentists, psychologists and other health professionals and resolved the medical indemnity crisis. As workplace relations minister, he boosted construction industry productivity through the establishment of a royal commission against union lawlessness. And as employment minister, he developed private-sector job placement services and work-for-the-dole for long-term unemployed people.

Tony served as the member for Warringah in the Australian parliament between 1994 and this year. As the local MP, he was instrumental in the creation of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust to preserve the natural and built heritage of his electorate and elsewhere.

Before entering parliament, he was a journalist with The Australian, a senior adviser to opposition leader John Hewson, and director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy. He has degrees in economics and law from Sydney University and in politics and philosophy from Oxford which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

He is the author of three books: The Minimal Monarchy (1995), How to Win the Constitutional War (1997), and Battlelines (2009).

He is a Member of the Australian War Memorial Council, and a Director of the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation.

Since 1998, he has convened the Pollie Pedal annual charity bike ride which has raised almost $7 million for organisations such as Soldier On, Carers Australia, and other charities. He still does surf patrols with the Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club and serves as a Deputy Captain with the Davidson Rural Fire Brigade. He was appointed by the UK Government as an Advisor to the Board of Trade in 2020.

He is married to Margaret and they are the parents of three daughters – Louise, Frances and Bridget.

 

Paul Kelly (AU)

Profile coming soon

Yossi Klein Halevi (IL)

Yossi Klein Halevi is a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and a Non-Resident Fellow of the TRENDS think tank in Abu Dhabi.

He co-directs the Hartman Institute's Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI), which teaches emerging young Muslim American leaders about Judaism, Jewish identity and Israel. Over a hundred Muslim leaders have participated in the unique program.

Halevi’s 2013 book, "Like Dreamers," won the Jewish Book Council's Everett Book of the Year Award. His latest book, "Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor,” is a New York Times bestseller.

He writes for leading op-ed pages in North America, including the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. He is a former contributing editor to the New Republic.

He is frequently quoted on Israeli, Middle Eastern and Jewish affairs in leading media around the world, and is one of the best-known lecturers on Israeli issues in the American Jewish community and on North American campuses.

He is the recipient of the 2019 “Figure of Reconciliation” Award of the Polish Council of Christians and Jews.

Born in Brooklyn, he received his BA in Jewish studies from Brooklyn College, and his MS in journalism from Northwestern University.

He moved to Israel in 1982 and lives in Jerusalem with wife, Sarah, who helps direct a center for Jewish meditation. They have three children.

Joan Ryan (UK)

Rt Hon Joan Ryan is the honorary president of Labour Friends of Israel. She served as a member of the British House of Commons until November 2019 and served in the government of Tony Blair.

In February 2019, she resigned from Labour over the failure of its hard-left leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to tackle antisemitism in the party. Her resignation, which attracted widespread media coverage, sharply criticised Corbyn for “presiding over a culture of antisemitism and hatred of Israel”.

Joan was re-elected in the 2017 General Election with an increased majority of 10,247. She regained the seat in the 2015 General Election, having previously served as the representative for the constituency from 1997 to 2010. In Autumn 2019 she announced she would not be restanding for Parliament.

A former teacher, Joan held a senior role in a London local authority before being elected as an MP. She served in the whips office before Tony Blair appointed her to the Home Office. After Gordon Brown became prime minister in 2007, Joan was appointed vice-chair of the Labour party and became the government’s Special Representative to Cyprus.

Joan served as chair of Labour Friends of Israel from 2015-2019. In parliament, she led the campaign to prevent UK aid being used by the Palestinian Authority to incite violence and glorify terrorism. She also worked with the Alliance for Middle East Peace to promote the establishment of an International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace. Thanks to her efforts, the British government last year became the first in the world to endorse the Fund. Following her appointment by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Joan joined the Panel of Chairs in 2017. Its members chair Public Bill Committees and other general committees, as well as debates in Westminster Hall.

During her time away from Parliament, Joan was the Chief Executive of the Global Tamil Forum working on human rights and humanitarian issues in Sri Lanka. She served as the Chair of the charity Riders for Health, from 2011-2015, which has helped to improve access to life-saving treatment and medical care for 21 million people across seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa. She was the deputy director of the successful NO to AV national referendum campaign on the UK voting system. In addition, Joan worked as a training consultant strengthening democracy and parliamentary procedures with a number of organisations.

 

Tony Abbott (AU)

Tony was elected Prime Minister by the Australian people on September 7, 2013 and served for two years.

In his time as PM, the carbon tax and mining tax were repealed, free-trade agreements were finalised with China, Japan and Korea; the people smuggling trade from Indonesia to Australia was halted; Australia became the second largest military contributor to the US-led campaign against Islamic State in Iraq; the biggest federally-funded infrastructure program in Australian history commenced; and Australia hosted the G20 meeting of global leaders in Brisbane in November 2014.

In 2014, and again in 2015, he spent a week running the government from a remote indigenous community.

As opposition leader at the 2010 election, he reduced a first-term Labor government to minority status before comprehensively winning the 2013 election.

Between 1996 and 2007, he was successively parliamentary secretary, minister, cabinet minister, and leader of the House of Representatives in the Howard government. As health minister, he expanded Medicare to include dentists, psychologists and other health professionals and resolved the medical indemnity crisis. As workplace relations minister, he boosted construction industry productivity through the establishment of a royal commission against union lawlessness. And as employment minister, he developed private-sector job placement services and work-for-the-dole for long-term unemployed people.

Tony served as the member for Warringah in the Australian parliament between 1994 and this year. As the local MP, he was instrumental in the creation of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust to preserve the natural and built heritage of his electorate and elsewhere.

Before entering parliament, he was a journalist with The Australian, a senior adviser to opposition leader John Hewson, and director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy. He has degrees in economics and law from Sydney University and in politics and philosophy from Oxford which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

He is the author of three books: The Minimal Monarchy (1995), How to Win the Constitutional War (1997), and Battlelines (2009).

He is a Member of the Australian War Memorial Council, and a Director of the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation.

Since 1998, he has convened the Pollie Pedal annual charity bike ride which has raised almost $7 million for organisations such as Soldier On, Carers Australia, and other charities. He still does surf patrols with the Queenscliff Surf Life Saving Club and serves as a Deputy Captain with the Davidson Rural Fire Brigade. He was appointed by the UK Government as an Advisor to the Board of Trade in 2020.

He is married to Margaret and they are the parents of three daughters – Louise, Frances and Bridget.

 

Stephen Crabb (UK)

Member of Parliament for Preseli Pembrokeshire
CFI Parliamentary Chairman (House of Commons)

Stephen Crabb has been the Member of Parliament for Preseli Pembrokeshire since being first elected in the 2005 General Election.

In September 2017, Stephen was announced as the new Parliamentary Chairman of CFI in the House of Commons.

Stephen was elected Chair of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee in January 2020.

Stephen served as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from March 2016 until Prime Minister May’s July 2016 reshuffle. Prior to this he served as Secretary of State for Wales from July 2014 until March 2016. From September 2012 until July 2014 he served jointly as Lord Commissioner to the Treasury and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales.

Stephen served on the Committee on Exiting the European Union from September 2017 until November 2019.

Shortly after he entered the House of Commons, Stephen was appointed to the Welsh Affairs Select Committee on which he sat from July 2005 until December 2007. He later joined the International Development Select Committee and in January 2009 was appointed as an Opposition Whip. In May 2010 he joined the Government as an Assistant Whip to the Treasury.

From 2010 to 2012 Stephen led Project Umubano, the Conservative Party’s social action project in Rwanda and Sierra Leone. He was formerly a patron of the Burma Campaign UK, the London based group campaigning for human rights and democracy in Myanmar.

Prior to being elected, Stephen was a marketing consultant and had previously worked in communications and policy roles with London Chamber of Commerce and the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services.

In his previous role as Secretary of State for Wales, Stephen announced £3 million of investment into South Wales from Israeli companies on the day of Wales’ European Championship qualification football match against Israel, when he met a delegation of Israeli investors in Cardiff.