Israeli Foreign Policy in the Shadow of the Occupation

Mar 13 2017


Vanderbilt Room, Roosevelt Hotel
45 E. 45th Street,
New York, NY 10017


As Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank nears its 50th year, Israeli foreign relations have rarely been more confident. U.S. support for Israel has never seemed stronger, foreign direct investment is at a high, and speculation is growing on the prospects of cooperation between Israel and the Arab world. President Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly favor an “outside-in” approach to Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, in which Arab states help bring Palestinians to the negotiating table to break years of deadlock.

At the same time, the failure to resolve the Palestinian issue may impose a hard ceiling on Israel’s relations with many countries. Israel continues to face censure from the international community for its settlement enterprise, particularly in the EU, where several large investment corporations have divested from businesses connected to the settlements. For their part, Arab nations insist that close relations will be impossible as long as Israel continues to occupy the West Bank and deny independence to Palestinians.

Please join us for a discussion of the opportunities and challenges facing Israel’s foreign relations in the near future.

Light refreshments will be served at 6:00 PM. The event will start at 6:30 PM.


Michael Koplow is Policy Director of the Israel Policy Forum and an analyst of Middle Eastern politics and U.S. foreign policy in the region. Previously, he was the founding program director of the Israel Institute from September 2012 through September 2015. He holds a M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in political science from Georgetown.

Sangwon Yoon is a writer and expert on Asia, the Middle East, and the intersection of geopolitics, technology, and financial markets. She covered Israel-Palestine for the Reuters in Jerusalem before moving on to Bloomberg, where she covered the UN and then the U.S. State Department for several years. She speaks Hebrew and Arabic, and is based in New York.

Ambassador Richard Murphy is a Board Member of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. As a career officer for 34 years with the US State Department he was Ambassador to Syria, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania and the Philippines and served as Assistant Secretary of State for Near East and South Asian Affairs 1983-1989. On retirement from government service he worked with the Council on Foreign Relations from 1989-2004 as the Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for the Middle East. He is also a Non-Resident Expert at the Middle East Institute.

Peter Beinart (moderator) is a Nonresident Fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He is also Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York, a Contributor to The Atlantic and National Journal, a Senior Columnist at Haaretz, and a CNN Political Commentator.