Occupied Thoughts: “Breaking the Israel-Palestine Status Quo”: Zaha Hassan and Daniel Levy with Peter Beinart


In this new episode of “Occupied Thoughts,” Peter Beinart interviews Zaha Hassan and Daniel Levy about the new Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report, “Breaking the Israel-Palestine Status Quo,” co-authored with Hallaamal Keir and Marwan Muasher.

The report aims to offer new ways forward, arguing that “[i]nstead of reviving a moribund peace process or simply abandoning U.S. engagement, President Joe Biden’s administration should place a rights-based approach at the center of its strategy.” On April 20th, Carnegie hosted a forum on this report with Marwan Muasher, Zaha Hassan, Daniel Levy, Khaled Elgindy, Salih Booker, and FMEP’s Lara Friedman, which you can watch here.

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You can also watch this conversation on YouTube.

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.

Daniel Levy is the President of the U.S. / Middle East Project. From 2012 to 2016, he was Director for the Middle East and North Africa at the European Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to that he was a senior Fellow and Director of the New America Foundation’s Middle East Taskforce in Washington DC and a Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation. Earlier he worked as an analyst for the International Crisis Group’s Middle East Programme. Daniel Levy was a Senior Advisor in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office and to Justice Minister Yossi Beilin during the Government of Ehud Barak (1999-2001). He was a member of the official Israeli delegation to the Israel/ Palestine peace talks at Taba under Barak and at Oslo B under Yitzhak Rabin (1994-95), as well as being lead drafter of the model peace agreement (“Geneva Initiative”). Levy is a Trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in New York, a Council Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the board of the European Middle East Project. He was a founder of J Street and was a founding Board member of Molad – the Center for the Renewal of Israeli Democracy. Levy was a founding editor of the Middle East Channel at foreignpolicy.com and is a regular Middle East commentator on TV and radio, including with BBC, CNN, and Al Jazeera, and has been published in various outlets among them the NYT, FT and Guardian.

Peter Beinart is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He is also a Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York, a Contributing opinion writer at the New York Times, an Editor-at-Large at Jewish Currents, and a CNN Political Commentator.