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President Shimon Peres's conference marking 60 years of Israeli independence will bring world-renowned well-wishers to the capital, from Steven Spielberg and Barbra Streisand to US President George W. Bush, former USSR president Mikhail Gorbachev, ex-US secretary of state Henry Kissinger and Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair.
The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute is developing the program for the "Facing Tomorrow" conference, which will be held on May 13-15 at the Jerusalem International Convention Center (Binyenei Ha'uma). The conference will focus on "The Global Tomorrow, The Jewish Tomorrow and The Israel Tomorrow."
"'Facing Tomorrow' will be a synergistic gathering of major world leaders, Jews and non-Jews, thinkers and doers, poets and physicists, rabbis and entrepreneurs, including the next generation of leadership, young men and women of exceptional promise and originality. President Peres is deeply committed to the success of 'Facing Tomorrow' and will be personally engaged in the conference throughout its proceedings," the organizers promise.
The foreign participants at the conference will also include former Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid, French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, former German foreign minister Joscka Fischer, the last president of Czechoslovakia and the first president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel, News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, social networking Web site Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg, and Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
Also slated to participate are Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Peres's convention is a private initiative, separate from the government's official Independence celebrations, which will start on the evening of May 7, following the annual Remembrance Day for fallen soldiers.
The celebration of the state's 60th anniversary will continue into 2009.
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