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Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

October has been a busy month at the Council. We’ve had programs about issues ranging from the resource curse of oil to the ways game theory can be applied to national security challenges. There was one region, the Middle East, which was given particular attention as we strove to provide the community with multiple perspectives of the region, its people, and the challenges they face.

On October 15, we welcomed Ambassador Hossam Zaki, Senior Political Advisor to Egypt’s Foreign Minister. He spoke about the Arab-Israeli conflict as well as Egypt’s work to aid peace and stability in the Palestinian territories. Dalia Mogahed, Senior Analyst and Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, joined us on October 21 to discuss the results and findings of Gallup’s recent survey of 50,000 Muslims from more than 35 countries.

Then, on October 22, we hosted a conversation between the former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert and Council CEO Jane Wales. Olmert responded to questions about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the economic situation in the West Bank and Gaza, but particularly focused on the peace proposal he made to the Palestinians in September 2008. We concluded our Middle East perspectives series on October 27 with a program featuring Ambassador Maen Areikat, PLO Representative to the United States. Areikat discussed the ongoing hardships that Palestinians endure under occupation as well as how the Palestinians must heal internal divisions between Hamas and Fatah in order to secure a Palestinian state.

If you missed a program, check our online archive. To learn more about Gallup’s survey of Muslims, go to MuslimWestFacts.com. You can also read an editorial by Maen Areikat from the SF Chronicle here.

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This month the World Affairs Council is dedicating three programs to the Middle East peace process with the intent of providing three very different perspectives. The first will come from Ambassador Hossam Zaki, Senior Political Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, Ahmed Aboul Gheit. The Council will welcome Ambassador Zaki this Thursday, October 15 at noon. Egypt has been a primary member of peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine, and has also been serving as an intermediary between Hamas and Fatah with the goal of forming a Palestinian unity government.

Our second event will feature former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on October 22 at 6:30 PM. The Council will also host a counterpoint perspective with PLO Representative Maen Areikat on October 27 also at 6:30 PM. The BBC published an interview yesterday with Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Foreign Minister, who discussed the prospects of an early solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. You can read it here.

In addition to these programs, the Council will also welcome Dalia Mogahed, Senior Analyst and Executive Director at the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, on October 21 at noon. She will present findings from Gallup’s largest study of Muslims. The results challenge conventional wisdom and shed greater light on what motivates Muslims worldwide, whose population is now measured at 1.57 billion.

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Ahead of a very busy week at the United Nations, President Barack Obama met yesterday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. President Obama said, “My message to these two leaders is clear. Despite all the obstacles, despite all the history, despite all the mistrust, we have to find a way forward.” To read more about the President’s meeting, check out this article from the The New York Times.

Offering San Francisco the opportunity to join in this discussion first-hand, the World Affairs Council will be hosting leaders from both Israel and Palestine next month. Join us on October 22 to hear former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and on October 27 for a program with Maen Areikat, the Chief PLO Representative to the United States.

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