Israel, Palestine & the Role of Congress: An Accelerated Learning Series


The Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) and the Middle East Institute (MEI) and are proud to release “Israel, Palestine & the Role of Congress: An Accelerated Learning Series.” Co-hosted by FMEP’s Lara Friedman and MEI’s Khaled Elgindy, this learning series takes a deep dive into 8 key topics in the U.S. relationship with Israel and the Palestinians. These series – which ran during February to March 2021 – was originally presented exclusively for members of the House and Senate and Congressional Staff, and is now being released as an educational tool for the public at large. You can listen to a podcast with Lara and Khaled introducing the series here.

Part 1 – Israel & Palestine: Why It Matters in Congress

Recorded February 5, 2021. Video & resources available here

Featuring: Salem Barahmeh (Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy), Zaha Hassan (Carnegie Endowment), & Shibley Telhami (Brookings/University of Maryland)

In this session we explore the basics of the Israel-Palestine conflict, including the often distorted lens through which it is viewed and the unique role that Congress plays in shaping America’s Israel-Palestine policy.

Part 2 – Human Rights, Occupation & Democracy

Recorded February 12, 2021. Video & resources available here.

Featuring: Issa Amro (Youth Against Settlements), Hagai El-Ad (B’Tselem), & Noura Erekat (Rutgers University)

In this session we look at human rights conditions in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, with a particular focus on Occupation — what it is, how it affects the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, what it means for Israel’s own citizens and the status of Israel’s democracy.

Part 3 – Settlements, Annexation & the 2-State Solution

Recorded February 19, 2021. Video & resources available here.

Featuring: Zena Agha (Middle East Institute), Rashid Khalidi (Columbia University), & Daniel Seidemann (Terrestrial Jerusalem)

In this session we focus on Israel’s 53 year-old project of building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and what this means on the ground in terms of both de facto and de jure annexation of land beyond Israel’s internationally recognized sovereign borders.

Part 4 – The Gaza Strip

Recorded February 26, 2021. Recording & resources available here.

Featuring: Tania Hary (Gisha), Omar Shaban (PalThink), and Jehad Abusalim (American Friends Service Committee)

In this session we examine the situation in the Gaza Strip, including how the Gaza Strip came to be isolated from the West Bank and besieged by Israel, the role of Hamas and related Palestinian political dynamics, and the humanitarian situation in light of repeated Israeli military campaigns, more than a decade of blockade, and now COVID.

Part 5 – Palestinian Refugees and the Role of UNRWA

Recorded March 5, 2021. Video & resources available here.

Featuring: Illana Feldman (George Washington University), Gwyn Lewis (UNRWA), Diba Abu Nejila (humanitarian professional)

In this session we focus on Palestinian refugees – one of the core issues of the conflict and which under the Olso Accords was to be resolved in the context of permanent status talks between Israelis and Palestinians. We will examine how Palestinians became refugees, the role and development of UNRWA as the organization responsible for Palestinian refugees, and the debate around the continued status of many Palestinians as refugees today.

Part 6 – Free Speech & Right to Protest

Recorded March 12, 2021. Video & resources available here.

Featuring: Dima Khalidi (Palestine Legal), Yousef Munayyer, PhD (Arab Center Washington DC),  and Hadar Susskind (Americans for Peace Now).

In this session we examine current attempts to curtail criticism of Israel, Zionism, and advocacy for Palestinian rights and their implications for free speech and a healthy policy debate on Israel and Palestine.

Part 7 – U.S. Aid to Israel and the Palestinians

Recorded March 19, 2021. Recording & resources available here.

Featuring: Joel Braunold (S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace), Seth Binder (POMED), and Carol Daniel Kasbari (Middle East Institute)

In this session we dig into the role that U.S. foreign assistance plays in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including condition-free assistance to Israel and the far-reaching conditions, restrictions, vetting, and oversight imposed on aid to the Palestinians.

Part 8 – Palestinian Politics & Governance

Recorded March 26, 2021. Recording & resources available here.

Featuring: Sam Bahour (Applied Information Management), Dana El Kurd (Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies), and Omar Rahman (Brookings Doha Center).

In this session we explore issues related to internal Palestinian politics, including the question of if, when and how to hold elections, political and institutional reforms, political succession (post-Abbas), and prospects for Fatah-Hamas reconciliation.

Speaker Biographies

(in alphabetical order)

Diba Abu Nejila is a humanitarian protection professional with twelve years’ experience in the humanitarian and development sector, with extensive experience from emergencies, in the early recovery phase and during cessation of hostilities. She is an accomplished trainer in international law, humanitarian principals and protection, and has specific expertise in gender and gender-based violence, including sexual violence and sexual exploitation and abuse.  In addition, she is a certified member and trainer at the World Youth Alliance. Diba is a Palestine refugee from Gaza, and has worked for ten years with UNRWA in Gaza working on gender, neutrality and protection, and is one of the first female UNRWA Area Chiefs in Gaza. She received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Arizona.

Jehad Abusalimis from Gaza, Palestine. He is the Palestine activism education and policy associate at the American Friends Service Committee in Chicago. He is also a Ph.D. candidate at the History and Hebrew and Judaic Studies joint program at New York University, studying Arab intellectual writings on Zionism from the first half of the twentieth century.  Jehad also studies the social and political history of the Gaza Strip, focusing on the impact of the Nakba on life in Palestine’s Gaza district and 1950s political life in the Gaza Strip.  His writings appeared in +972 Magazine, Al-Jazeera English, Middle East Eye, Journal for Palestine Studies and Vox, and contributed to the anthologies Gaza as Metaphor and Palestine: a Socialist Introduction. He’s currently editing a forthcoming anthology tentatively entitled Gaza: Reimagining the Boundaries of Possibility.

Zena Agha is a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute. She previously served as the US Policy Fellow for Al-Shabaka; the Palestinian Policy Network based in New York. Her areas of expertise include climate change and Palestinian adaptive capabilities, British and Zionist colonial cartography and Palestinian counter-mapping efforts, satellite imagery over Palestine-Israel and Israeli spatial practices.  Agha’s writing has appeared in several international publications including The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Nation, The Independent and Foreign Affairs and her media credits include the BBC World Service, Voice of America and BBC Arabic.  Zena is the recipient of numerous fellowships including the Library Innovation Lab at the Harvard Law School and the Asian American Writer’s Workshop. She was awarded the Kennedy Scholarship to study at Harvard University, completing her Master’s in Middle Eastern Studies.

Issa Amro is an internationally recognized human rights defender in Hebron, Palestine. Nicknamed “the Palestinian Ghandi,” Amro is the founder and coordinator of Youth Against Settlements (YAS) – an organization working to strengthen the Hebron community’s steadfastness against the expansion of illegal settlements and document Israeli human right violations. In 2009, Amro won the One World media award for his involvement in B’Tselem’s “Shooting Back” campaign (using cameras to document abuses in Hebron). In 2010, Amro was named by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) human rights defender of the year in Palestine. In January 2021, Amro was indicted by Israeli military courts on six counts relating to his activism against the occupation. Amnesty International has termed the charges (now indictments) “baseless” and stated that they are “solely related” to Amro’s work as a human rights defender.

Sam Bahour is an American-Palestinian writer and management consultant living in Ramallah. Sam does business consulting as Applied Information Management (AIM), specializing in business development with a niche focus on the information technology sector and start-ups. He is also the Chairman of Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy. He helped establish PALTEL and the PLAZA Shopping Center. Until recently, he served on the board of trustees of Birzeit University and was the University’s treasurer.  He is also a Director at the Arab Islamic Bank and a board member at Just Vision. Bahour is co-editor of HOMELAND: Oral History of Palestine and Palestinians (Olive Branch Press). He writes frequently on Palestinian affairs and his work is posted at

Salem Barahmeh is the Executive Director of the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy (PIPD). He is currently a Non-Resident Fellow at the US Middle East Project and previously worked as an international affairs advisor to Dr. Hanan Ashrawi at the PLO and the Palestine Investment Fund. He has also worked at Portland Communications in London, as a Policy and Public Affairs Advisor to Gulf governments, and for the Palestinian Embassy to the United States. Salem received a BA in Government from Lawrence University and an MA in Law and Politics from King’s College London.

Seth Binder is the Advocacy Officer at POMED. Previously, he served as the program manager and research associate at the Center for International Policy’s (CIP) Security Assistance Monitor program, where he focused on U.S. security assistance and arms sales policy. Among others, he has authored articles and publications on U.S. security assistance to Palestine, Yemen, and Tunisia and has been quoted in numerous outlets including TIME, Al-Jazeera, and Foreign Policy. He is the co-author of Mohammed VI’s Strategies for Moroccan Economic Development (Routledge Press, 2020) and “The Moroccan Spring and King Mohammed VI’s Economic Policy Agenda: Evaluating the First Dozen Years,” a chapter in The Birth of the Arab Citizen and the Changing of the Middle East. Seth received his B.A. in History from Oberlin College and M.A. in International Relations from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs where he received certificates in Advanced Study in Middle Eastern Affairs and International Counterterrorism.

Joel Braunold is the managing director of the S Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace having consulted leading organizations, funds and foundations on public policy and issues surrounding financing of violence prevention and peacebuilding in the domestic and international contexts. He served as the Executive Director of the Alliance for Middle East Peace, during which he built its global footprint, impact and brand leveraging over $50 million into the field of peacebuilding. He has worked regularly with the US State Department, USAID, the National Security Council and Congress on the needs of the peace building community. Outside the US, Joel works with national governments and multilateral institutions. Joel is an alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and holds a BA(Hons) in philosophy from Bristol University. He is a board member of the Alliance for Peacebuildng, is the recipient of the Avi Schaefer Peace Innovation Prize, is a senior fellow for the Alliance for Youth Movements and holds Honorary Life Membership to the National Union of Students (UK). He was selected as an Emerging Leader by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs for their class of 2018.

Carol Daniel Kasbari, Ph.D, is a social scientist with an interdisciplinary doctoral degree in conflict analysis and resolution with 20+ years of experience designing and leading programs in the field of conflict mitigation, peacebuilding, advocacy, and nonviolent resistance in very complex international environments focusing on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and Europe. She is a Non-resident Scholar with MEI’s Program on Palestine and Palestinian-Israeli Affairs, has participated in several second track negotiations of Palestinians and Israelis, and led hundreds of dialogue sessions among adversaries in different political contexts, including Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, and Bosnia. She was a consultant for UNESCO’s division of Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace for eight years, where she led media and education programs in the Middle East. And later on, she worked with the EU program for peace to lead and design educational programs and workshops for critical media consumption at several academic institutions in Arabic and English. In 2009, she led CMM programs funded by USAID and international NGO’s such as Search for Common Ground and Catholic Relief Services, where she ran multimillion-dollar programs on conflict sensitive reporting and peace journalism and trained hundreds of media professionals, facilitators and advocates from the region. She acquired her Ph.D. from the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (Carter School), at George Mason University in Virginia, where she currently teaches as an adjunct professor. Her research captures the effects of “everyday resistance on relations of power in the Occupied Palestinian Territories” and she currently writes for peer reviewed academic articles on decolonizing resistance, the immediate outcomes of everyday resistance, and peacebuilding through the lenses of local ordinary citizens. She received numerous awards such as the John Burton award for her academic excellence twice, and James H. Laue Scholarship for her service to the field of conflict resolution. She also received the George Mason Provost fellowship for conducting her field research and in 2019 and the prestigious dissertation Award of the AAUW (American Association of University Women) in addition to the George Mason’s advisory board scholarship. She has written several papers and presentations, as well as a number of op-eds in The Washington PostThe New York Times, and local media outlets in the Middle East.

Hagai El-Ad is the executive director of B’Tselem בצלם بتسيلم, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Previously he was director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI, 2008–2014) and the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance (JOH, 2000–2006). In 2014, El-Ad was among Foreign Policy’s “100 Leading Global Thinkers”. In 2016 and again in 2018, he spoke before the United Nations Security Council calling for international action in order to end the occupation.

Khaled Elgindy is a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute where he also directs MEI’s Program on Palestine and Israeli-Palestinian Affairs. He is the author of the newly-released book, Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump, published by Brookings Institution Press in 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.

Dana El Kurd received her PhD in Government from The University of Texas at Austin in June 2017. She specializes in Comparative Politics and International Relations. Dana works as a researcher at the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies and as an assistant professor at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. Theoretically, Dana is interested in the conflicts between states and their societies and the contentious politics they produce. She examines how authoritarian regimes try to implement policies and how external intervention may affect their success. Her research lies at the intersection of comparative and IR research, particularly with regards to international influence on regime development. Substantively, Dana is interested in international involvement and authoritarianism within the Arab world. Her multi-method research focuses on how authoritarian regimes in the Arab world have maintained durability, as well as the societal impact of this authoritarianism on political engagement.

Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney and an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University, New Brunswick in the Department of Africana Studies and the Program in Criminal Justice. Her research interests include human rights law, humanitarian law, national security law, refugee law, social justice, and critical race theory. Erakat is a Co-Founding Editor of Jadaliyya, an electronic magazine on the Middle East that combines scholarly expertise and local knowledge. She is the author of Justice for Some: Law and in the Question of Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2019). She currently serves on the board of the Institute for Policy Studies; on the board of the Arab Studies Institute; is a Policy Advisor to Al-Shabaka; serves of the Editorial Committee of the Journal for Palestine Studies; and is a founding board member of the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival. Erakat served as Legal Counsel for the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the House of Representatives from 2007-2009. Prior to her time on Capitol Hill, Erakat received a New Voices Fellowship to work as the national grassroots organizer and legal advocate at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation where she helped seed BDS campaigns nationally as well as support the cases brought against two former Israeli officials in U.S. federal courts for alleged war crimes. Erakat worked as the Legal Advocacy Coordinator for the Badil Center for Refugee and Residency Rights from 2010-2013. In that capacity, she drafted their submissions to the human rights treaty bodies and lobbied the US Congress as well as diplomatic missions at the United Nations on their behalf. During her undergraduate career, Erakat helped launch the divestment campaign along with the Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Berkeley in 2001.

Ilana Feldman is Vice Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs and Professor of Anthropology, History, and International Affairs at George Washington University. Her research has focused on the Palestinian experience, both inside and outside of historic Palestine, examining practices of government, humanitarianism, policing, displacement, and citizenship. She is the author of Governing Gaza: Bureaucracy, Authority, and the Work of Rule, 1917-67 (2008), Police Encounters: Security and Surveillance in Gaza under Egyptian Rule (2015), Life Lived in Relief: Humanitarian Predicaments and Palestinian Refugee Politics (2018); and co-editor (with Miriam Ticktin) of In the Name of Humanity: The Government of Threat and Care (2010).

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 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. 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.

Tania Hary is the Executive Director of Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, whose goal is to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza residents. Hary received her B.A. in modern literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz and an M.A. in international affairs, with a focus on socioeconomic development, from the New School in New York. Prior to joining Gisha, Tania worked on advocacy and fundraising initiatives for not-for-profit organizations promoting human rights in Iran, children’s rights in Argentina, and the rights of refugees. Tania regularly travels to the United States and Europe, giving lectures and presentations about access in Gaza. She is relied upon as a source of information and analysis by diplomats, foreign offices and international organizations and has been published in Haaretz, the Forward, Ma’an, and +972 Magazine.

Zaha Hassan is a human rights lawyer and visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Her research focus is on Palestine-Israel peace, the use of international legal mechanisms by political movements, and U.S. foreign policy in the region. Previously, she was the coordinator and senior legal advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team during Palestine’s bid for UN membership, and was a member of the Palestinian delegation to Quartet-sponsored exploratory talks between 2011 and 2012. She regularly participates in track II peace efforts and is a contributor to The Hill and Haaretz. Her commentaries have appeared in the New York TimesSalonAl Jazeera EnglishCNN, and others.

Dima Khalidi is the founder and director of Palestine Legal and Cooperating Counsel with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). She oversees Palestine Legal’s array of legal and advocacy work to protect people speaking out for Palestinian rights from attacks on their civil and constitutional rights. Prior to founding Palestine Legal in 2012, Dima worked with CCR as a cooperating attorney on the Mamilla Cemetery Campaign, submitting a Petition to United Nations officials to stop the desecration of an ancient Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem, and advocating on behalf of Palestinian descendants of individuals interred in the cemetery. Dima has a JD from DePaul University College of Law, an MA in International and Comparative Legal Studies from the University of London – SOAS, and a BA in History and Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan.

Rashid Khalidi is Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University. He received a B.A. from Yale University in 1970 and a D. Phil. from Oxford University in 1974, and has taught at the Lebanese University, the American University of Beirut, and the University of Chicago. He was President of the Middle East Studies Asociation, is co-editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies. He served as an advisor to the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid and Washington Arab-Israeli peace negotiations from October 1991 until June 1993. Khalidi is author of eight books, including The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: Settler-Colonial Conquest and Resistance, 1917-2017 (2020), and Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (rev. ed. 2010), and has co-edited three other books and published over 110 academic articles. He has written op-eds in the New York TimesWashington Post, and many other newspapers, and has appeared widely on TV and radio in the US and abroad.

Gwyn Lewis is the Director of UNRWA Operations West Bank, and leads all programmatic and operational components of UNRWA operations throughout the West Bank. An Irish national, Ms. Lewis has over 18 years of experience in humanitarian and development work. Prior to joining UNRWA in September 2016, she has worked with international organizations in the humanitarian and development field. Before being assigned to Jerusalem, she was the Deputy Director for Programs in UNRWA Lebanon. Prior to working in UNRWA, Ms. Lewis managed the Global Clusters Coordination section in UNICEF’s Emergency Division. She joined UNICEF from FAO in 2012, where she focused on Humanitarian Policy and supporting FAO country offices in providing humanitarian response. Prior to that, Ms. Lewis worked with OCHA in Geneva building UN and NGO partners and supporting the roll out of the humanitarian reform agenda. Previously, Ms. Lewis worked for both OCHA and the ICRC in the occupied Palestinian territory. She has also worked with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo and various NGOs in Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Albania. Ms. Lewis holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Masters in International Relations.

Yousef Munayyer is a non-resident Fellow at Arab Center Washington DC (ACW). He writes on the Arab-Israeli conflict and is a member of the editorial committee of the Journal of Palestine Studies. Some of his published articles can be found in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Boston Globe, Foreign Policy, Journal of Palestine Studies, Middle East Policy, and others. Dr. Munayyer holds a PhD in International Relations and Comparative Politics from the University of Maryland.

Omar H. Rahman is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, where he is writing a book on Palestinian fragmentation in the post-Oslo era. Rahman is a writer, analyst, and multimedia journalist specializing in Middle East politics and American foreign policy. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Lawfare, PBS NewsHour, VICE, Quartz, The National, Al Jazeera English, and World Politics Review, among others. Prior to joining Brookings, Rahman was a research analyst at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, where he focused on the geopolitics of reconstruction in Yemen, Arab Gulf foreign policy in the Horn of Africa, and the political economy of the Gulf region. As a journalist, Rahman was most recently an editor at World Politics Review in New York, where he focused on the Middle East and North Africa. Prior to that, he was the Senior Middle East Correspondent for Argus Media in Dubai, covering the energy industry in the region, as well as an editor and market reporter for Argus Media in New York. Rahman holds a Master’s degree in Politics & Global Affairs from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he was a White House Correspondents’ Association scholar and an International Fellows Program scholar. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. Rahman has guest lectured on Palestinian identity, the Egyptian revolution, and the international relations of the Middle East at George Washington University. He spoke on panels including the United Nations Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East in Geneva and been interviewed by numerous print and television outlets for his expertise on the Middle East.

Daniel Seidemann is a practicing attorney in Jerusalem who specializes in legal and public issues in East Jerusalem. He has participated in numerous Track II talks on Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians and served in an informal advisory capacity to the final status negotiations as a member of a committee of experts commissioned by Prime Minister Barak’s office to generate sustainable arrangements in Jerusalem. He is the founder and director of Terrestrial Jerusalem, an Israeli nonprofit that works to identify and track developments in Jerusalem that could impact the political process or permanent status options, destabilize the city, spark violence, or create humanitarian crises.

Omar Shaban, PalThink for Strategic Studies
Omar Shaban is the founder and director of the Gaza-based PalThink for Strategic Studies, an independent think tank with no political affiliation. He is an analyst of the political-economy of the Middle East and is a regular writer and commentator for the Arab and international media. Shaban is a founder of Palestinian groups for Amnesty International, the deputy head of the board of Asala, an association promoting microfinance for women, and a member of the Institute of Good Governance.

Hadar Susskind is the President and CEO of Americans for Peace Now. Hadar most recently served as Senior Vice President of Government Relations for the Council on Foundations, and prior to that as the Director of Bend the Arc Jewish Action and Bend the Arc Jewish Action PAC. Before joining Bend the Arc, Hadar was Vice President of the Tides Foundation. Hadar also served as Vice President for Policy and Strategy at J Street and Vice President and Washington Director for the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA). Previously, Hadar held positions at a number of other Jewish organizations including the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL), the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) and the Israel Policy Forum. Hadar currently serves on the boards of Ameinu and the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center. He has also served on the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Initiatives Task Force on the Environment, as well as the Board of Directors of the Coalition on Human Needs, the Public Policy Committee of Independent Sector and the Leadership Council of Nonprofit VOTE.

Shibley Telhami is a nonresident senior fellow with the Center for Middle East Policy, in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. He is the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland. In the past, Telhami served as a senior advisor to the U.S. Department of State, advisor to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, advisor to Congressman Lee Hamilton, and as a member of the Iraq Study Group. Shibley is an expert on U.S. policy in the Middle East, on Arab politics, and on shifting political identities in the Arab world. He regularly conducts public opinion polls in the Arab world, Israel, and the United States. Among his many publications are “The World Through Arab Eyes: Arab Public Opinion and the Reshaping of the Middle East” (Basic Books, 2013), “The Peace Puzzle: America’s Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace 1989-2011” (Cornell University Press, 2013), and the best-selling “The Stakes: America in the Middle East” (Basic Books, 2003), selected by Foreign Affairs as one of the top five books for that year. In addition, he was selected by the Carnegie Corporation of New York with the New York Times as one of the “Great Immigrants” for 2013.