Israel | Wilson Center


Book Talk: <i>Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978</i>

In a discussion of his newly released memoir, Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978, Kai Bird detailed stories of his experiences growing up in the Middle East and provided historical analysis of events in the region, most notably the Arab-Israeli conflict. Bird noted that a main intention in writing this memoir was to blend his personal accounts with "some serious history" of the Middle East in the time he grew up there.

Ambassador's Roundtable: The Obama Administration and Arab-Israeli Peace

President Obama's efforts thus far to engage Israeli and Palestinian leadership in the peace process are generally perceived in opposing lights.

Religion and the Israel-Palestinian Conflict

While religion is often cited as a determining component of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, religion's significance and use for Israelis and Palestinians is considerably more complex, according to three experts on the conflict. The three panelists discussed the role of religion in the ongoing conflict and addressed religion's function in prospects for peace.

Is There Another Path to Peace? Civil Society Leaders on the Peace Process

Female activists discussed the role of women and civil society in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, emphasizing the need to include women from civil society to bring about peace that represents more than an absence of war. Members of The International Women's Commission (IWC) highlighted the opportunity and need to bring women from Israel, the Palestinian territories, and the international community to the negotiation table.

The U.S.-Israeli Relationship: Where Is It Going?

In opening the discussion, Miller stated that the pursuit of Israeli-Palestinian peace is currently stuck. He believes that Obama has not performed well on this issue so far; though he added that this is not unusual in the first year of an administration. According to Miller, the most fascinating ingredient in the Israeli-Palestinian equation is how the U.S. manages, or in Obama's case, mismanages its relationship with Israel. He stressed that American cooperation with the Israelis is essential if the U.S. is going to achieve its objectives in this region.

The New Turkish Foreign Policy: Is There a Place for Israel?

Barkey started by outlining the modern history of Turkish-Israeli affairs. He indicated that since Israel's inception in 1948, Turkish-Israeli ties have been generally amicable, though often conditional on agreement over delicate regional issues. Early setbacks in this alliance include the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the 1980 coup led by Turkey's military generals, and the 1996 election of Turkey's first Islamist president, Necmettin Erbakan.

Iran, the Middle East and America: A View From Israel

 Menashri began the discussion by acknowledging recent developments in Iran and putting the events within the historical framework of the 1979 Revolution. He identified three essential questions about the nature of the Revolution that have shaped modern Iran. Regarding whether the Revolution was Islamic, he argued the Revolution's character went much deeper than a religious movement because it incorporated individuals from across the political and religious spectrums.

The U.S., Hamas, and the Pursuit of Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Miller began the discussion by highlighting that one of the primary difficulties of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is dealing with a divided and dysfunctional Palestinian movement. He indicated it was critical that the Obama administration has made Israeli-Palestinian peace a top priority, including Obama's appointment of George Mitchell as special envoy to the Middle East. Even with a focus on peace negotiations, however, Miller pointed out that there are no good policy options with regard to dealing with the Hamas-Fatah rift, only a choice between bad and worse ones.

The One-State Solution is a Fantasy...But What About Two?

On On September 10, 2009, the Middle East Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars hosted a panel discussion with Robert Malley, Director of the Middle East program, International Crisis Group and a former Special Advisor for Arab-Israeli affairs to President Clinton; Hossein Ibish, author of the recently published book What's Wrong with the One-State Agenda? and Senior Fellow, American Task Force on Palestine; and Aaron David Miller, Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center, who also chaired the meeting.

Economic Development and Conflict Resolution: What Role Can It Play in Arab-Israeli Peacemaking?

On September 9, 2009, the Middle East Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center, together with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), hosted a panel discussion with Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, University of Maryland, College Park and Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Saban Center, Brookings Institution; David Makovsky, Ziegler Distinguished Fellow and Director, Project on the Middle East Peace Process, Washington Institute for Near East Policy; and Aaron David Miller, Public Policy Scholar