The Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) and the Middle East Institute (MEI) invite you to join a 3-part webinar series: “Annexation & What it Means: Views from the Ground & Around the World.”
Israel has been de facto annexing land in the West Bank since the inception of its military occupation of Palestinian territories following the 1967 war. Now, under the new Netanyahu-Gantz government and in close coordination with the Trump Administration, the Israeli government is poised to formalize and massively expand the extent of that annexation. What will this mean for Palestinians and for Israelis? What does it mean for the international community? And what happens next – in Israel, Palestine, the region, and the world?
This three-part webinar series, co-moderated by FMEP’s Lara Friedman and MEI’s Khaled Elgindy, will engage leading voices from Israel and Palestine, in addition to U.S., European, and Arab perspectives.
Part 1: U.S. & International Perspectives on Annexation
Wednesday, May 13 (11:30am-1:00pm ET)
Tamara Cofman Wittes is a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, where she focuses on U.S. policy in the Middle East. Wittes served as deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs from November of 2009 to January 2012, coordinating U.S. policy on democracy and human rights in the Middle East during the Arab uprisings. Wittes is a co-host of Rational Security, a weekly podcast on foreign policy and national security issues. She is currently writing a book, Our SOBs, on the tangled history of America’s ties to autocratic allies. Wittes joined Brookings in December of 2003. Previously, she served as a Middle East specialist at the U.S. Institute of Peace and director of programs at the Middle East Institute in Washington. She has also taught courses in international relations and security studies at Georgetown University. Wittes was one of the first recipients of the Rabin-Peres Peace Award, established by President Bill Clinton in 1997.
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.
Hugh Lovatt is a policy fellow with the Middle East and North Africa programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations. Since joining ECFR, Lovatt has focused extensively on EU policy towards the Middle East Peace Process (MEPP), domestic Palestinian politics, and Israeli regional policy. Lovatt co-led a 2016 track-II initiative to draft an updated set of final status parameters, and has worked to advance the concept of EU Differentiation, which was enshrined in UN Security Council Resolution 2334. Lovatt also co-developed an innovative online project mapping Palestinian politics. His most recent publications include Rethinking Oslo: How Europe can promote peace in Israel-Palestine (July 2017) and Gaza’s fragile calm: The search for lasting stability (November 2018). He is regularly interviewed or quoted in international media, including by AFP, Reuters, Newsweek, France24, and Al Jazeera. Prior to this, Lovatt worked as a researcher for International Crisis Group and as a Schuman Fellow in the European Parliament focusing on Middle-East policy.
Marwan Muasher is vice president for studies at Carnegie, where he oversees research in Washington and Beirut on the Middle East. Muasher served as foreign minister (2002–2004) and deputy prime minister (2004–2005) of Jordan, and his career has spanned the areas of diplomacy, development, civil society, and communications. Muasher began his career as a journalist for the Jordan Times. He then served at the Ministry of Planning, at the prime minister’s office as press adviser, and as director of the Jordan Information Bureau in Washington. In 1995, Muasher opened Jordan’s first embassy in Israel, and in 1996 he became minister of information and the government spokesperson. From 1997 to 2002, he served in Washington again as ambassador, negotiating the first free-trade agreement between the United States and an Arab nation. He then returned to Jordan to serve as foreign minister, where he played a central role in developing the Arab Peace Initiative and the Middle East roadmap. In 2004, he became deputy prime minister responsible for reform and government performance and led the effort to produce a ten-year plan for political, economic, and social reform. From 2006 to 2007, he was a member of the Jordanian Senate. From 2007 to 2010, he was senior vice president of external affairs at the World Bank. He is the author of The Arab Center: The Promise of Moderation (Yale University Press, 2008) and The Second Arab Awakening and the Battle for Pluralism (Yale University Press, 2014).
Lara Friedman (co-host), Foundation for Middle East Peace
Lara Friedman is the president of FMEP and a former U.S. Foreign Service Officer. With more than 25 years working in the Middle East foreign policy arena, Friedman 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.
Khaled Elgindy, (co-host), the Middle East Institute
Khaled Elgindy is senior fellow and director of the Program on Palestine and Palestinian-Israeli Affairs at MEI. He is the author of the newly released book, Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump (Brookings Institution Press, 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.
Details and registration links for the rest of the series:
Part 2 – Palestinian Perspectives (Friday, May 15, 11am-12pm ET)
Part 3 – Israeli Perspectives (Monday, May 18, 11am-12pm ET)