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11: Israel: Can democracy exist without peace?

Breakout / Global power
english language

The State of Israel is celebrating its 70th birthday this year. To mark this moment, a human rights lawyer, a former minister of intelligence, and a researcher of populism and extremism will address a controversial question: how can democracy based on the rule of law be guaranteed as long as there is no peace between Israel and Palestine?


Research Associate, INSS - The Institute for National Security Studies, Tel Aviv
Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intelligence, Israel, Jerusalem
President & Chair of the Board, NIF - New Israel Fund, Jerusalem
Deputy Editor, Foreign Policy, Washington, D.C. Chair


Research Associate, INSS - The Institute for National Security Studies, Tel Aviv

 Adi Kantor is a research associate in the Europe Research Program at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv. Her research fields are: Europe-Israel relations, Germany, modern Antisemitism, populism, the radical right, trauma and memory. She holds an M.A. from the Center for German Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a B.A. in Political Science and in the Interdisciplinary Program (with focus on German Studies) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. While in Germany she studied at the Universities of Freiburg and Berlin. Ms. Kantor worked at the Israeli Embassy in Berlin and at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) on the project Israel: Regional and Global Conflicts, Domestic and Foreign Policy, and National Security.
 Ms. Kantor will pursue her PhD at the Department of Counseling and Human Development at the University of Haifa focusing on trauma, resilience and inter-generational transmission among German and Jewish/Israeli families after 1945.


Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intelligence, Israel, Jerusalem

1988-1992 Minister of Justice, Government of Israel, Jerusalem
1996-1997 Minister of Finance, Government of Israel, Jerusalem
1999-2001 Chairman of Foreign Affairs and Defence, Knesset Committee
2001-2003 Minister for Strategic Affairs, Government of Israel, Jerusalem
2003-2006 Senior Fellow, Israel Democracy Institute, Jerusalem
2004-2006 Chairman of the Committee on Israel's Defence Doctrine
2003-2008 Chairman, Jerusalem Foundation
2006-2009 Deputy Chairman of the Board, INSS- The Institute for National Security Studies, Tel Aviv-Jaffa
2009-2013 Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intelligence, Government of Israel, Jerusalem


President & Chair of the Board, NIF - New Israel Fund, Jerusalem

 Attorney Talia Sasson, President of the New Israel Fund (NIF) and Chair of its board. She serves on the public councils of numerous peace and human rights organizations. In 2009, she ran for the Knesset as representative of The New Movement & Meretz. From 2004 to 2010, Mrs. Sasson taught a course on "Defending Israel's Democracy through Law" at Tel-Aviv University's Law Faculty. At the request of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, from August 2004 to March 2005, Mrs. Sasson served as a special legal advisor for the government. In that capacity, she authored the Sasson Report on illegal outposts and law enforcement on Israelis in the West Bank. From 1979 to February 2004 she worked in the State Attorney’s office. From 1989 to 1993 she headed the Civil Department in the Office of the District Attorney of Jerusalem. From 1996 to 2004, she headed the Special Tasks Division of the State Attorney’s office. In this role, she represented the government of Israel before the Supreme Court for thirteen years in civil, criminal, constitutional and administrative cases and was also involved in various security and military issues. Mrs. Sasson is the author of At the Edge of the Abyss: Is the victory of the settlements the end of Israeli democracy? which was published in 2015.


Deputy Editor, Foreign Policy, Washington, D.C.

 Sarah Wildman is a deputy editor at Foreign Policy and author of Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind. She received the 2010 German Marshall Fund’s Peter R. Weitz Prize for European coverage. Long a regular contributor to the New York Times, Slate, and the New Yorker online, she served as global identities writer at Vox. Wildman has been a Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting Fellow (Jerusalem & Paris); Arthur F. Burns fellow in Berlin; Milena Jesenska Fellow in Vienna; and Pew Fellow in International Journalism in Paris. A former New Republic staffer, Wildman also worked for the Advocate magazine. She was the Barach nonfiction fellow at Wesleyan University (2014) and a Dart Center fellow at Columbia School of Journalism (2015).

Political Symposium

show timetable


13:30 - 16:30My Europe - My StoryPartner
17:00 - 18:30OpeningPlenary
19:00 - 20:30New perspectives on EU enlargementPlenary
21:30 - 23:30Drink receptionSocial


08:30 - 09:30DER STANDARD Morning BriefingPlenary
08:30 - 09:30POLITICO Morning BriefingPlenary
09:00 - 12:00Alpbach Hikes: Hiking with pioneers - Mindfulness in educationPartner
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 01: Whoever has the money has the power? The future financing of the EUBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 02: EU-Russia relations: Attempting a cool-headed analysisBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 03: Citizens don’t bite: Experiences and learnings from successful participation projects in EuropeBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 04: European security and the Mediterranean: A simulationBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 05: A world without nukes? The impact of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear WeaponsBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 06: Women and youth empowerment: The Sustainable Development Goals in practiceBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 07: Democracies under pressure: Civil society and populismBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 08: Implementing the SDGs: The challenges countries face and the solutions they offerBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 09: European security in the age of hybrid threats: Rethinking military and civilian cooperation?Breakout
15:00 - 16:15Sovereignty in the EU: Who decides?Plenary
17:00 - 18:15Democracies under pressurePlenary
18:30 - 20:30Green Finance: Private capital against climate changePartner
18:30 - 20:30Lessons from the best: What we can learn from Europe’s most sustainable regionsPartner
18:45 - 20:15The subsidiarity principle under scrutinyPlenary
20:00 - 22:00European-Israeli DinnerSocial
20:15 - 21:00POLITICO Happy HourSocial


08:30 - 09:30DER STANDARD Morning BriefingPlenary
08:30 - 09:30POLITICO Morning BriefingPlenary
09:00 - 12:00Alpbach Hikes: Hiking with pioneers - Mindfulness in politicsPartner
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 10: Living the Swiss militia principle: Ensuring resilience through involvementBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 11: Israel: Can democracy exist without peace?Breakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 12: Defending democracy in the digital age: From theory to practiceBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 13: The end of oil: Global systems in transitionBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 14: Are you acting or reacting? Countering climate change through new partnershipsBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 15: Culture and identity: What level of adaptation is required for successful integration?Breakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 16: Promoting sustainable developmentBreakout
10:00 - 12:30Breakout Session 17: Democracies under pressure: The media and populismBreakout
13:00 - 14:45From grey to green: Green infrastructure as a way out of the biodiversity crisisPartner
14:30 - 15:45Global power shifts: Implications for Europe and AsiaPlenary
16:15 - 17:45European Union - Russia: What to do?Plenary
18:15 - 19:15The future of the EU: Priorities of the Austrian EU Council PresidencyPlenary


09:00 - 12:00Alpbach Hikes: Hiking with pioneers - Mindfulness in businessPartner
09:30 - 10:30The rule of law under scrutinyPlenary
11:00 - 12:30Reconciling (bio)diversity protection and efforts to mitigate climate changePlenary