Mr. Biden Goes to the Middle East

Jul 11 2022


Mr. Biden Goes to the Middle East

Monday, July 11th, 2022

Co-sponsored with Jewish Currents

Listen to this conversation as a podcast.

In mid-July, President Biden is expected to make his first visit as President of the United States to Israel and the Persian Gulf. What is the point of his visit? What does it mean for U.S. policy vis-a-vis Israel and the Gulf? What does it mean for Palestinians? To explore these and other questions, FMEP and Jewish Currents held a conversation with U.S.-based experts Peter Beinart (CUNY), Dana El Kurd (University of Richmond), Lara Friedman (FMEP), and Trita Parsi (Quincy). 


​​Peter Beinart teaches national reporting and opinion writing at the Newmark J-School and political science at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is editor-at-large for Jewish Currents, an MSNBC political commentator, and a fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He is also a nonfiction author and former Rhodes Scholar. His first book, The Good Fight, was published by HarperCollins in 2006. His second book, The Icarus Syndrome, was published by HarperCollins in 2010. His third, The Crisis of Zionism, was published by Times Books in 2012. Peter tweets at @PeterBeinart

Dana El Kurd is an assistant professor at the University of Richmond, a non resident senior fellow at the Arab Center Washington, and non resident fellow at the Middle East Institute in the Palestine program. Her work focuses on authoritarianism, international intervention, and state-society relations in the Arab world. Her book, Polarized and Demobilized: Legacies of Authoritarianism in Palestine, was released in January 2020 with Oxford University Press. She tweets at @danaelkurd.

Lara Friedman is the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP). With more than 25 years working in the Middle East foreign policy arena, Lara is a leading authority on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, with particular expertise on Israel/Palestine and the role of the U.S. Congress. In addition to her work at FMEP, Lara is a Contributing Writer at Jewish Currents and a non-resident fellow at the U.S./Middle East Project (USMEP). Prior to joining FMEP, Lara was the Director of Policy and Government Relations at Americans for Peace Now, and before that she was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, serving in Jerusalem, Washington, Tunis and Beirut. She holds a B.A. from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service; in addition to English, Lara speaks French, Arabic, Spanish, (weak) Italian, and muddles through in Hebrew. Lara tweets at @LaraFriedmanDC

Trita Parsi is an award-winning author and the 2010 recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. He is an expert on US-Iranian relations, Iranian foreign policy, and the geopolitics of the Middle East. He has authored three books on US foreign policy in the Middle East, with a particular focus on Iran and Israel. He was named by the Washingtonian Magazine as one of the 25 most influential voices on foreign policy in Washington DC in both 2021 and 2022, and preeminent public intellectual Noam Chomsky calls Parsi “one of the most distinguished scholars on Iran.” He tweets at @tparsi.

Resources shared in the webinar: 

Follow our panelists: 

From Dana El Kurd: 

From Trita Parsi: 

In the 7/9/22  Washington Post: Joe Biden: “Why I’m going to Saudi Arabia” →

Peter Beinart published on this topic on 7/11/22: “Making the Middle East Safe for Tyranny” →