The topic today is Israeli settlements, with our focus on Psagot — a settlement located deep inside the West Bank that according to news reports will enjoy a history-making visit soon from US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. To discuss this visit and Psagot settlement, this episode features Dror Etkes, settlement expert and founder of the organization Kerem Navot, together with Fadi Quran, Campaigns Director at Avaaz, whose family’s land was confiscated for Psagot, and Lara Friedman, President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace.
Fadi Quran is Campaigns Director at Avaaz and a Popular Struggle community organizer. He previously served as UN Advocacy Officer with Al-Haq’s legal research and advocacy unit. Apart from his work in advocacy and international law, Fadi is also an entrepreneur in the alternative energy field, where he has founded two companies bringing wind and solar energy to Palestine and other countries in the region. Fadi holds degrees in Physics and International Relations from Stanford University.
Dror Etkes is the founder of the organization Kerem Navot, which conducts comprehensive land-use research on the ongoing dispossession of Palestinians from their land in the West Bank. Dror has been closely following Israeli settlement and land management policy in the West Bank since 2002.
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.