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Fleur Hassan-Nahoum to lead World Zionist Congress’s Kol Israel faction

Kol Israel is the ideological successor to the General Zionist Party.

Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum. Credit: Courtesy.
Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum. Credit: Courtesy.

Outgoing Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum was installed this week as secretary-general of Kol Israel, becoming the first woman to lead the non-ideological faction within the World Zionist Congress whose predecessors supported the views of the state’s first president, Chaim Weizmann.

Hassan-Nahoum took up the post during a ceremony on Sunday in Weizmann Hall at the Jewish Agency’s headquarters in Jerusalem, the same building where Weizmann took the oath of office on Feb. 17, 1949.

She succeeds veteran Jewish educator and organizer Aaron Weil. She was first elected to the Jerusalem City Council in 2016, and was named deputy mayor two years later, serving as the Israeli capital’s “unofficial foreign minister.”

Her role in promoting tourism and business in Jerusalem through the difficult pandemic years and since the Hamas onslaught on Oct. 7 has been noteworthy. Fluent in Spanish as well as Hebrew and English, Hassan-Nahoum has given countless TV and video interviews stating Israel’s position to the world in clear, decisive presentations.

She is a co-founder of the UAE-Israel Business Council, active after the Abraham Accords connecting with female business groups and Arab journalists. She is also the Jewish state’s first special envoy for innovation in the Foreign Ministry, appointed by then-minister Eli Cohen.

Hassan-Nahoum, 50, was born in London and grew up in Gibraltar. She qualified as a barrister in London in 1997 and practiced law in the U.K. before making aliyah with her husband in 2001. Following in the footsteps of her late father, the former prime minister of Gibraltar Sir Joshua Abraham Hassan, she dove into public service soon after getting settled.

Without labels

The global organization Kol Israel, a partnership of the World Confederation of United Zionists and Tnuat HaMercaz Haliberalit HaNoar HaTzioni (“The Liberal Center Zionist Youth Movement”), is the ideological successor to the General Zionist Party. Independent of political parties and religious denominations, Kol Israel engages with the majority of world Jewry looking to connect with Israel without labels or limitations.

“I am honored to take part in the leadership of the Kol Israel faction, the flagbearer of modern, innovative Zionism,” said Hassan-Nahoum. “I have watched from the sidelines as national institutions, once the leaders of the Jewish world, have fallen into politicization and stagnation.

“We will emerge from October 7 and this war changed, individually and as a people. It is time to invigorate the system with new blood, to make the unity of the Jewish people a priority, and to write the next chapter of our movement that will move Zionism forward for the next generation.”

Kol Israel Chairman David Yaari said, “Fleur brings a lifelong career as an advocate for and promoter of strong relations between global Jewish communities and Israel. She is a welcome and important voice of unity at this critical time.

“With deep leadership experience and a well-developed network of Jewish, Zionist and institutional relationships, Fleur will play a crucial role in expanding our partnerships with Jewish communities around the world,” Yaari said.

Hassan-Nahoum has also been appointed to the Board of the Jewish Agency, having been a leading candidate for chairwoman in the 2021 selection process.

Yaakov Hagoel, World Zionist Organization chairman, joined Kol Israel faction members in congratulating the World Confederation of United Zionists and Hassan-Nahoum.

“We are thrilled to welcome Fleur into this new position. Her passion for the people and State of Israel combined with her commitment to public service are important and refreshing additions to the WZO leadership,” he said. “We need to work together to make sure that the crisis that Israel faces today we turn into an opportunity, for renewed vision and commitment.” 

Speaking at the event, Gil Troy, academic historian and author of The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland—Then, Now, Tomorrow, described the current moment as “our chance to remember what unites us—to understand that we have unity, even if we don’t have uniformity.”

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