James Sorene


James joined BICOM in August 2015. He was previously a UK Government civil servant, Head of Communications and Official Spokesman for Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg from 2011 to May 2015. Prior to that, James held senior positions in communications at the Department of Health and the Home Office. From 1997 to 2000 he was Head of Public Affairs at the Israeli Embassy in London. He holds a Law Degree from Queen Mary University of London and a Masters in Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Lorin Bell-Cross

Research Analyst

Lorin Bell-Cross joined BICOM in October 2013 as a Researcher. He is also Assistant Editor of BICOM’s Fathom Journal. Lorin speaks fluent Hebrew, having lived in Israel for eight years. During his time there, he was a member of Sadakaa-Reut, a youth organisation dedicated to promoting justice and equality among Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel.

Lorin studied History and Politics at the University of York and was awarded first class marks for his analysis of Middle Eastern strategic thinking.

Tony Fineberg

Finance Officer/ Office Manager

Tony is BICOM’s Finance and Office Manager. He is an experienced Certified Accountant who has held senior management positions in multinationals as well as in high street names and latterly, just prior to joining BICOM, for 12 years as a Financial Controller of the Transport Research Laboratory. He has also held a number of Trustee positions, including for a large pension fund, a professional Association and within his Synagogue.

Outside of work he is currently involved in an innovative project to create a cross denominational Progressive Jewish community in his home borough of Harrow.

Ruth Fisher

Donor Relations & Events Manager

Ruth joined BICOM in 2006 as Office Manager and then became Donor Relations and Events Manager. Prior to BICOM, Ruth lived in Israel for 15 years where she worked in pivotal administrative roles at the Jerusalem Foundation, The Jewish Agency, and APAX.  Whilst in Israel, Ruth was a presenter on the first all-English speaking radio station, something she continues with much success to this day in London.  She holds a Diploma in Bi-Lingual Secretarial Studies in French and Spanish.

Judith Flacks

Press Officer

Judith Flacks joined BICOM in December 2014 as the Press Officer. Judith served as the Campaigns Director at the Union of Jewish Students, and as the Manager of Leadership Initiatives at the Jewish Federation of Orange Country, California. Judith graduated from the University of Sussex, where she was the comment and opinion editor of the student paper. She also sat on the AJC ACCESS board in Los Angeles, and has worked with and interned at a range of organisations relating to Israel and the Middle East.

Dr. Toby Greene

Senior Research Associate

Dr. Toby Greene, based in Israel, is the Director of Research for BICOM and the Deputy Editor of BICOM’s Fathom journal. He frequently writes on Israel and the region for a range of print and online publications and has provided expert analysis on Israeli affairs for media outlets including the BBC, Sky and ITN. He is a Visiting Scholar in the Politics department at Tel Aviv University where he also teaches a course on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His book, ‘Blair, Labour and Palestine: Conflicting Views on Middle East Peace After 9/11’ was published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2013 and was described as “an important contribution” by the LSE Review of Books. Before moving to Israel he was Head of Policy and Research for Labour Friends of Israel. Toby holds a PhD in politics and Middle East studies from University College London.

Twitter: @toby_greene_

Brigadier General (res.) Michael Herzog

Senior Visiting Fellow

Since 1993, Brigadier General (Res.) Michael Herzog has participated in most of Israel’s negotiations with the Palestinians, Jordanians and Syrians, whilst serving in senior positions in the IDF and in Israel’s ministry of defence. He participated in the Wye Plantation summit, the Camp David summit, the Taba negotiations, the Annapolis summit and subsequent negotiations.

In the course of his career, Michael Herzog served as head of the Strategic Planning Division of the IDF and worked with four ministers of defence as senior military aide and advisor, and as chief of staff. From June 2009 to March 2010, he served as special emissary for Israel’s prime minister and minister of defence in the efforts to relaunch the peace process. As well as being a Senior Visiting Fellow at BICOM, he is an international fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Professor Alan Johnson

Senior Research Fellow

Alan Johnson is the Editor of Fathom: for a deeper understanding of Israel and the region, a free quarterly journal, app and website. He was a professor of democratic theory and practice at Edge Hill University before joining BICOM in 2011. He founded and edited Democratiya, a free online journal of international politics from 2005 until its incorporation into Dissent magazine in 2009, where he serves on the editorial board. He was a co-author of the 2006 ‘Euston Manifesto’, a modern statement of social democratic antitotalitarianism, and in 2007 he edited Global Politics After 9/11: The Democratiya Interviews.

Alan recently completed a study for the UK government, examining journeys taken by young British Muslims ‘in and out of extremism’ and developing strategies to counter radicalisation. He blogs weekly at The Daily Telegraph and World Affairs.

Asya Kovarsky

Stakeholder Relations and Digital Communications Officer

Asya Kovarsky joined BICOM in August 2014 as the Stakeholder Relations and Digital Communications Officer. She is a Russian-born Israeli and graduated in 2013 with a degree in Communications and Journalism and Latin American studies from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Asya has served in the Israeli Defence Forces as a researcher in the Intelligence Corps and has interned with MediaCentral, an independent Israeli media-liaison NGO.

She has also lived in Argentina and Belgium and speaks Spanish, Russian and French.

Richard Pater

Director of BICOM in Israel

Richard Pater is Director of BICOM in Israel.  Richard regularly briefs British audiences on Israeli politics and security issues. He has appeared on the BBC and has been quoted in the Telegraph, Guardian and Spectator magazine as well as writing in a range of publications. He is also responsible for the delegations of senior journalists and political figures that BICOM brings to Israel. Richard joined BICOM in 2008 from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, where he served as a liaison for foreign press. He was a key address for journalists during major events including the Second Lebanon War, and received the Prime Minister’s prize for excellence for his service. Richard has served in the IDF armoured brigade, where he twice received commendations, and continues to serve as a non-commissioned officer in the reserves. He holds a BA in Philosophy and Politics from Manchester University.

Twitter: @Richard_Pater

Iran's Nuclear Programme

BICOM Poll of Polls

The BICOM Poll of Polls is produced for BICOM by Arieh Kovler based on a selected basket of opinion polls published in Israel each week.