Last week, Israel released additional Palestinian prisoners as part of its continued commitment to final-status negotiations with the Palestinians. Israel pursues these talks even as it confronts a tumultuous region and a shifting geopolitical environment amongst regional states. Amidst renewed international diplomacy over Iran’s nuclear program, Israel views anxiously the prospect of a thaw between the United States and Iran. Simultaneously, both Israel and the United States face difficult challenges in setting national budgets and spurring economic growth. All these developments test the strength of the U.S.-Israeli relationship at a moment that both governments view as critical.
On November 14, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings hosted His Excellency Naftali Bennett, Israeli Minister of Economy, Religious Services and Jerusalem & Diaspora Affairs, for an address on Israel’s economy and security in a changing Middle East. Minister Bennett is the leader of the Jewish Home Party in Israel’s Knesset. Saban Center director and senior fellow Tamara Cofman Wittes moderated a question and answer session with Minister Bennett following his formal remarks.