Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism

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Event.png Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism(conference)  PowerbaseRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Date2 July 1979 - 5 July 1979
LocationJerusalem,  Israel
PlannersBenjamin Netanyahu, Jonathan Institute, Le Cercle
ParticipantsBenjamin Netanyahu, Benzion Netanyahu, Shimon Peres, Paul Johnson, Hugh Fraser, Henry M. Jackson, Menachem Begin, Chaim Herzog, Richard Pipes, Brian Crozier, Aharon Yariv, Lord Chalfont, Ray S. Cline, Gideon Rafael, John C. Danforth, David Barrett, Robert Moss, Mordechai Abir, Edward Teller, Thomas C. Schelling, Asher Ben-Natan, Joop Den Uyl, Annie Kriegel, Frank Cluskey, Jack Kemp, Piero Luigi Vigna, Bayard Rustin, George Will, Gerhard Löwenthal, Michael Elkins, Norman Podhoretz, Midge Decter, Ben Wattenberg, Jacques Soustelle, Meir Shamgar, Merlyn Rees, Harry van den Bergh, Mordecai Ben-Ari, Joseph W. Bishop, Hans Josef Horchem, Manlio Brosio, Eric Blumenfeld, Alun Gwynne Jones, George H. W. Bush, George Keegan Jr, Shlomo Gazit, Vladimir Bukovsky
DescriptionThe birthplace of the "War on Terror" doctrine, "a major international forum for the movement against détente".

The Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism (JCIT) was a seminal event in the development of the "war on terror". It was convened by the Jonathan Institute on 2-5 July 1979 at the Hilton Hotel, Jerusalem, Israel. It was attended by about 700 guests, almost all citizens of Israel, UK and US, but with a few other Western Europeans.[1][2] It was followed up in 1984 by the more widely publicised Washington Conference on International Terrorism.

Own words

The conference aimed, in the words of its founder, Benjamin Netanyahu, "to focus public attention on the grave threat that international terrorism poses to all democratic societies, to study the real nature of today’s terrorism, and to propose measures for combating and defeating the international terror movements."[3] It was not widely reported upon at the time, and no pictures were readily available on the internet as of 2019.


Tom Secker suggests that the ideology of the current "War on Terror" was conceived at the JCIT,[4] while Tom Griffin termed it in his PhD thesis "a major international forum for the movement against détente".[5]

A Canadian academic[Who?] noted that the conference featured: "pre-emptive attacks on states that are alleged to support “terrorists”; an elaborate intelligence system apparatus; slashed civil liberties, particularly for Palestinians targeted as potential terrorists, including detention without charge, and torture; and propaganda to dehumanize “terrorists” in the eyes of the public. George H. W. Bush and George Shultz, Reagan’s Secretary of State enthusiastically endorsed this concept. Bush Sr. gave a speech at JCIT advocating precisely the type of “war on terror” that his son implemented in 2001."[6]

Deep political connections

Brian Crozier, chairman of Le Cercle, spoke at the conference, as did his friends Robert Moss, Alun Gwynne Jones and Gerhard Lowenthal, all of whom have attended Le Cercle. Launching a "war on terror" is a close fit with other known activities of the group such as interfering in party politics, setting up "anti-communist" groups and brokering weapons deals. Many Cercle members set up groups to carry out "terrorism research".


In 1981, the Jonathan Institute published the speeches in a book, International Terrorism: Challenge and Response, edited by Netanyahu.[7][8]

Opening Session: The Face of Terrorism

Second Session: State Support for International Terrorism

Third Session: The Threat Posed by Terrorism to Democratic Societies

Fourth Session: Current Response of Democratic Societies

Fifth Session: Terrorism and the Media

Sixth Session: Proposed Countermeasures for the Democratic World

Closing Session: The Challenge to Free Men


JCIT EIR 1979.png

In July 1979 Executive Intelligence Review published a one page article by Jeffrey Steinberg on JCIT entitled: Jerusalem conference plots International terrorist bloodbath. It named as JCIT visitors Robert Moss, Brian Crozier, Ray Cline, Lord Chalfont, Paul Johnson, Henry Jackson, Jacques Soustelle, Chaim Herzog, Midge Decter and Ben Watenberg.[10]


Related Quotation

Document:Sins of Statecraft - The War on Terror Exposed“a group of powerful elites from various countries gathered at an international conference in Jerusalem to promote and exploit the idea of ‘international terrorism.’ The (Jerusalem) conference (on International Terrorism, or JCIT) established the ideological foundations for the ‘war on terror.’ JCIT’s defining theme was that international terrorism constituted an organized political movement whose ultimate origin was in the Soviet Union. All terrorist groups were ultimately products of, and could be traced back to, this single source, which - according to the JCIT - provided financial, military, and logistical assistance to disparate terrorist movements around the globe. The mortal danger to Western security and democracy posed by the worldwide scope of this international terrorist movement required an appropriate worldwide anti-terrorism offensive, consisting of the mutual coordination of Western military intelligence services.”Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed2005


Known Participants

41 of the 45 of the participants already have pages here:

Mordechai AbirJCIT
David BarrettSpoke on "The Threat of Terrorism in a Broader Concept" at the JCIT
Mordecai Ben-AriAcademic who spoke at the infamous Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism on "Protecting the Airways".
Asher Ben-Natan"A central figure in Israel’s defense and diplomacy establishment" who spoke at the 1979 JCIT
Harry van den BerghDutch politician who spoke at the 1979 Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism on "Maintaining the Balance"
Joseph BishopA member of the Committee on the Present Danger, he spoke at the seminal 1979 Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism on "Legal Measures to Control Terrorism in Democracies."
Manlio BrosioThe last Secretary General of NATO who was appointed before he attended the Bilderberg.
Vladimir BukovskyRussian dissident who spoke at the 1979 JCIT.
George H. W. BushSkull and bones mastermind of the bush family busine$$.
Ray ClineSenior CIA, spoke at the 1979 Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism
Brian CrozierArch espionage insider who founded his own intelligence agency
John DanforthSpoke at the 1979 JCIT on "Terrorism Versus Democracy". He was a mentor of Le Cercle visitor, Paul Dietrich.
Midge DecterNeocon "polemical powerhouse"
Michael ElkinsClose connections to Israeli intelligence operations. Worked for the BBC,CBS and Newsweek. The first journalist to report at the beginning of the Six-Day War, and a speaker at the 1979 JCIT.
Hugh FraserOfficer in the Special Operations Executive and MI5.
Shlomo GazitDirector of Israeli military intelligence Aman 1974-1978
Chaim HerzogSpook who spoke on "State Support for International Terrorism" at the 1979 JCIT, later President of Israel for a decade
Hans Josef HorchemSpooky speaker at the JCIT who took early retirement to lead the Institut für Terrorismusforschung
Henry JacksonSuspected deep state operative who attended 3 Bilderbergs in the 1960s and spoke at the 1979 Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism on "Terrorism as a Weapon in International Politics".
Paul JohnsonInfluential author in US and British right-wing politics
Alun Gwynne JonesUK politician, Cercle visitor, the only person who spoke more than once at the JCIT
Jack KempClosely associated with the hawkish wing of the Republican Party.
Annie KriegelFrench historian who spoke at JCIT on "Public Opinion, Intellectuals and Terrorism in Western Europe."
Gerhard LöwenthalGerman deep state operative
Robert MossRight-wing activist who specialized in anti-communist writing, attended Le Cercle, later became a shamanic counselor
Benjamin NetanyahuIsraeli deep politician who has been Prime Minister of Israel
Shimon PeresSpooky Israeli politician
Richard PipesHawkish cold warrior historian
Norman PodhoretzOne of the founding fathers of the neoconservative movement
Gideon RafaelA co-founder of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, and speaker at the 1979 JCIT.
Merlyn ReesA UK home secretary who spoke at the 1979 Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism.
Bayard RustinQuaker activist who spoke at the JCIT on "Democracy and Terrorism"
Thomas SchellingUS academic who coined the phrase "collateral damage" in 1961.
Meir ShamgarChaired the 6th session (on "Proposed Countermeasures for the Democratic World") of the 1979 Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism.
Jacques SoustelleFrench OAS operative, in exile between 1961 and 1968, speaker at the 1979 JCIT
Edward TellerDirector of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, "the father of the hydrogen bomb".
Joop Den UylPolitician. Dutch Prime Minister. Deep state functionary. Teenage Adolf Hitler fan. While leading the most "socialist" coalition in Dutch history Den Uyl's cabinet secretly smuggled weapons to Israel for the Yom Kippur War, trained their soldiers, set up the first national counterterrorism units used in controversial missions, cover-up Prince Bernhard Northrop Affair.
Piero Luigi VignaItalian magistrate who spoke at the 1979 Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism on Italian Responses to "terrorism".
Ben J. WattenbergDemocratic Party Cold War hardliner that moved to neoconservatism during the 1970s.
George WillUS political commentator, spoke at the Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism on "Calculating the Public Interest".
Aharon YarivSpoke at the 1979 Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism, on "Arab State Support for Terrorism".


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Jonathan Institute, extract from The "Terrorism" Industrybook extract1990Edward S. Herman
Document:Sins of Statecraft - The War on Terror Exposedpaper29 July 2006Brian Bogart


3star.png 8 November 2017 Robin  A good overview of this seminal conference
The Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism is little remarked upon, even in the independent media, but deserves much greater attention since it ties together George H. W. Bush, Benjamin Netanyahu and Le Cercle. The article lacks details, but is a recommended starting point for anyone seeking to understand the "War on Terror".
Many thanks to our Patrons who cover ~2/3 of our hosting bill. Please join them if you can.


  1. Benjamin Netanyahu, International Terrorism: Challenge and Response, Jonathan Institute, 1981, Foreword.
  2. Benjamin Netanyahu, International Terrorism: Challenge and Response, Jonathan Institute, 1981, Foreword.
  3. International Terrorism: Challenge and Response - Foreword
  4. Paywalled :-( but a sampler is available.
  7. Google Books (Some sections readable)
  8. Amazon
  9. Benjamin Netanyahu, International Terrorism: Challenge and Response, Jonathan Institute, 1981, Contents.
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