FMEP/MEI Webinar series: The Implications of the Israel-UAE Deal

Sep 1 2020


online only


FMEP/MEI Webinar series: 

The Implications of the Israel-UAE Deal

On August 13th, President Trump announced that Israel and the United Arab Emirates had agreed to “finalize a historical [sic] peace agreement” that would involve full normalization of relations between the two nations. Trump stated: “Not since the Israel-Jordan peace treaty was signed more than 25 years ago has so much progress been made towards peace in the Middle East.”

In this context, the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) and the Middle East Institute (MEI) invite you to join a 2-part webinar series: The Implications of the Israel-UAE Deal. These 2 webinars, co-moderated by FMEP’s Lara Friedman and MEI’s Khaled Elgindy, will explore what the Israel-UAE deal does (and doesn’t) mean, the political context that led to it happening now, and its implications for the future. Details/sign up for Part 1 – Israeli & Palestinian Expert Perspectives below;  details/sign up for Part 2,  U.S. Expert Perspectives see here.


Part 1 – Israeli & Palestinian Expert Perspectives on the Israel-UAE Deal

 September 1, 2020, 11:00am EDT



Elizabeth Tsurkov, Forum for Regional Thinking

Sam Bahour, Ramallah-based business consultant 

Marwa Fatafta, Al Shabaka

Join us for this discussion with Israeli and Palestinian experts to examine the domestic context and implications of the deal, including what it means for Israelis and Palestinians – their leadership, its opposition, and their peoples; for Israeli-Palestinian relations; and the implications of greater Israel-UAE collaboration in the areas of trade, arms, and technology.

Panelist bios

Elizabeth Tsurkov is a Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a Research Fellow at the Forum for Regional Thinking. She is also a PhD student at the Princeton University’s department of Politics. Her work focuses on the Syrian civil war, Iraq, Israel-Palestine and movements for social change in the Middle East. Tsurkov’s writings have appeared in the New York Times, New York Review of Books, Foreign Policy, and +972 Magazine, among other outlets. She has over a decade of experience in civil society and human rights organizations in the Middle East, and particularly in Israel. She earned an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University, and a second M.A. in Political Science at the University of Chicago. @Elizrael

Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-American freelance business consultant working for Applied Information Management (AIM) based in Al-Bireh/Ramallah, Palestine. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Palestine Telecommunications Company and the PLAZA Shopping Center. He is a Director at the Arab Islamic Bank and serves in various capacities in several community organizations. Sam writes frequently on Palestinian affairs and has been widely published and serves as a policy advisor of Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network. He is co-editor of HOMELAND: Oral History of Palestine and Palestinians and blogs at  @SamBahour

Marwa Fatafta is a policy analyst at Al-Shabaka, The Palestinian Policy Network working on questions of leadership, governance and accountability, and an advisory board member of 7amleh: The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media. She also leads Access Now’s work on digital rights in the Middle East and North Africa region as the MENA Policy Manager.  Previously Marwa worked as a MENA Regional Advisor at Transparency International Secretariat in Berlin, and previously as a Communications Manager at the British Consulate in Jerusalem. She was a Fulbright scholar and holds an MA in International Relations from Syracuse University and MA in Development and Governance from the University of Duisburg-Essen.

Moderator bios

Lara Friedman (co-moderator) is the president of FMEP and a former U.S. Foreign Service Officer. With more than 25 years working in the Middle East foreign policy arena, Friedman is a leading authority on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, with particular expertise on the Israeli-Arab conflict, Israeli settlements, Jerusalem, and the role of the U.S. Congress. She is published widely in the U.S. and international press and is regularly consulted by members of Congress and their staffs, by Washington-based diplomats, by policy-makers in capitals around the world, and by journalists in the U.S. and abroad. @LaraFriedmanDC

Khaled Elgindy (co-moderator) is senior fellow and director of the Program on Palestine and Palestinian-Israeli Affairs at MEI. He is the author of the newly released book, Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump (Brookings Institution Press, April 2019). Elgindy previously served as a fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution from 2010 through 2018. Prior to arriving at Brookings, he served as an adviser to the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah on permanent status negotiations with Israel from 2004 to 2009, and was a key participant in the Annapolis negotiations of 2007-08. Elgindy is also an adjunct instructor in Arab Studies at Georgetown University. @elgindy_