Israel & Palestine: Why It Matters in Congress
Recorded February 5, 2021
Featuring: Salem Barahmeh (Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy), Zaha Hassan (Carnegie Endowment), & Shibley Telhami (Brookings/University of Maryland). Co-moderated by Khaled Elgindy (Middle East Insitute) and Lara Friedman (FMEP).
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.
This webinar is Part 1 of an 8-part series of webinars. For recordings of the other sessions in this series, please click here.
Resources shared during this webinar
Follow the panelists and moderators on Twitter:
- Salem Barahmeh – https://twitter.com/Barahmeh
- Zaha Hassan – https://twitter.com/zahahassan
- Shibley Telhami – https://twitter.com/ShibleyTelhami
- Khaled Elgindy – https://twitter.com/elgindy_
- Lara Friedman – https://twitter.com/LaraFriedmanDC
From Salem Barahmeh:
- “America Joins Israel’s Campaign to Smear and Silence Palestinians”
- “Palestinians are fighting to dismantle apartheid, not just annexation”
- “Israelis, Ask Yourselves: At What Point Do Palestinian Lives Matter?”
- “Biden Can’t Free Palestine” (Foreign Policy)
From Shibley Telhami:
- “Israel is about to reveal its West Bank annexation plans. How will Congress respond?” (Brookings)
- “What do Americans think of the BDS movement, aimed at Israel?” (Brookings)
- “Changing American Public Attitudes On Israel/Palestine: Does It Matter For Politics?” (POMEPS)
- “Why the discourse about Palestinian payments to prisoners’ families is distorted and misleading” (Brookings)
From Zaha Hassan:
- “The Israel-UAE Accord is a Mere Sideshow” (Newsweek)
- “How a Proposed New Fund to Bolster the Palestinian Economy Stands to Benefit Israeli Settlers” (Carnegie Endowment)
- “Trump’s funding cuts to Palestinian refugees put lives at risk“
- “From Clinton to Obama, U.S. peace deals have paved the path to apartheid” (+972 Magazine)
- Lara Friedman – “Cutting Off Payments to Palestinian Families Won’t Stop Terrorism” (The Nation)
- “The U.S., like Israel, is wielding the violence of an occupying power” (+972 Magazine)
- “Israel continues policy of forcibly transferring Palestinians” (B’Tselem)
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.
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 Times, Salon, Al Jazeera English, CNN, and others.
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.
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.
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.