Jerusalem: Annexation, the impact on human rights, and the US Embassy move

Apr 13 2018


2456 Rayburn House Office Building,
Washington, DC

Jerusalem: Annexation, the impact on human rights, and the US Embassy move

Friday, April 13, 8:30-9:30 am

2456 Rayburn HOB

Sponsored by Amnesty International USA, Al-Shabaka: the Palestinian Policy Network, & the Foundation for Middle East Peace

Defying decades of US policy and international consensus, President Trump declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, stating that the decision was a “recognition of reality.” With the embassy move looming on May 14, to what extent does US policy reflect the realities on the ground? Zena Agha and Yara Hawari, respective US and Palestine Policy Fellows for al-Shabaka; the Palestinian Policy Network and Raed Jarrar, Advocacy Director for the MENA region at Amnesty International join Lara Friedman in discussing the impact on Palestinians and examining the short- and long-term alternatives to secure a just peace.

Speakers include: Lara Friedman, President of Foundation for Middle East Peace as moderator; Raed Jarrar, Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA; and Zena Agha and Yara Hawari, Policy Fellows of Al Shabaka: the Palestinian Policy Network.


Zena Agha is the US Policy Fellow for Al-Shabaka; The Palestinian Policy Network. Her areas of expertise include Israeli settlement policy, related mapping efforts and the status of Jerusalem. She has previously worked at the Iraqi Embassy in Paris and the Palestinian delegation at UNESCO. Zena’s media credits include The Independent, The Nation, PRI’s the World, the BBC World Service and BBC Arabic. She was awarded a Kennedy Scholarship to study at Harvard University, where she completed her Master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies.

Yara Hawari is the Palestine Policy Fellow of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network. She completed her PhD in Middle East Politics at the University of Exeter where she focused on oral history projects and memory politics within an indigenous studies framework. Her other areas of expertise include the Palestinian Citizens of Israel and Jerusalem. Her articles have been published in The Independent, Al Jazeera English, and Middle East Eye. Her previous professional experience includes working at Kenyon Institute in East Jerusalem and the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford.

Lara Friedman is President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. She was formerly Director of Policy and Government Relations at Americans for Peace Now, and before that a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, serving in Jerusalem, Washington, Tunis, and Beirut. Lara is an authority on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, with particular focus on the Israeli-Arab conflict, settlements, Jerusalem, and the role of the U.S. Congress. Lara works closely with Jerusalem expert Danny Seidemann and his NGO “Terrestrial Jerusalem,” participates in various Track II Israeli-Palestinian efforts, and is a non-resident fellow at the U.S./Middle East Project (USMEP).

Raed Jarrar is the Advocacy Director MENA for Amnesty International USA, Raed leads the organization’s engagement with the US government on issues pertaining to human rights in the Middle East and North Africa. He is widely recognized as an expert on political, social, and economic developments in the region. He has testified in numerous Congressional hearings and briefings, and he is also a frequent guest on national and international media outlets in both Arabic and English.