The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is often treated by analysts as little more than a supporting actor in larger dramas in the region, with analysis focused nearly exclusively on how developments in Jordan might impact issues beyond its borders, most notably Israel’s security and the Israel-Palestine conflict. This is a mistake. Like any sovereign nation, Jordan’s policies and actions are driven by its own internal political and social dynamics, as well as its own sense of its national security interests and priorities. Understanding these dynamics is a prerequisite for any analysis of Jordan’s policies and behavior vis-à-vis issues beyond its borders, including issues like Israel’s possible annexation of parts of the West Bank.
The Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) is pleased to invite you to join us for a conversation (via Zoom) with two leading experts on Jordan, Merissa Khurma and Ghaith Al-Omari to explore these issues.
Merissa Khurma is the program manager of the Middle East Program at the Wilson Center. She was a non-resident fellow in the International Security program at New America. Khurma served as director of the Office of Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein (2010- 2013) and as press attaché and director of the Information Bureau at the Embassy of Jordan in Washington, D.C. (2003-2010). Khurma has a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, a master of science in international security and foreign policy from Georgetown University, and a bachelor of art in political science from McGill University.
Ghaith al-Omari is a senior fellow in The Washington Institute’s Irwin Levy Family Program on the U.S.-Israel Strategic Relationship. Previously he served as the executive director of the American Task Force on Palestine. He also served as advisor to the negotiating team during the 1999–2001 permanent-status talks in addition to holding various other positions within the Palestinian Authority. Mr. al-Omari is a lawyer by training and a graduate of Georgetown and Oxford universities. Prior to his involvement in the Middle East peace process, he taught international law in Jordan and was active in human rights advocacy.
Lara Friedman is the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) and a leading authority on Israel-Palestine issues and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. She is published and cited widely in the U.S. and international press, is a Contributing Writer at Jewish Currents, and is a non-resident fellow at the U.S./Middle East Project (USMEP).