The U.S.-Israel Partnership: Can New Governments Overcome Old Challenges

April 14, 2010


Each year, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings convenes leading Israeli and American policymakers, journalists, and members of the public and private sectors for discussion of the most critical issues in the Middle East. This past year, the Saban Forum was held in Jerusalem on November 14-16, 2009, and featured remarks by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a conversation with President William J. Clinton, a meeting with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah, and a discussion with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Congressman Henry Waxman.

The theme of the Forum was “The U.S.-Israel Partnership: Can New Governments Overcome Old Challenges?” and participants examined several challenges both governments must address, including Iran’s continued pursuit of nuclear capabilities, the stalled peace process, and the growing desire for energy independence. At the same time, the forum explored the state of the U.S.-Israeli relationship, and asked whether the Obama administration and Netanyahu government see eye-to-eye on the solutions to the challenges their countries face.

The Saban Forum Proceedings presents summaries and photographs of the dialogue sessions, the list of participants, the program, and a transcript of the event’s keynote address.

Download the full Saban Forum Proceedings » (PDF)


proceedingsparticipants.jpg Participants » (PDF)

Saban Forum 2009 Israeli, American, and International Participants

proceedingsprogram.jpg Program » (PDF)

The program schedule for Saban Forum 2009

proceedingsopeningSession.jpgOpening Session: Israeli and American Worldviews » (PDF)

Moderator: David Ignatius, Columnist, The Washington Post
Participants: Avigdor Liberman, Deputy Prime Minister
James Steinberg, Deputy Secretary of State

proceedingsbreakfastconversation.jpg A Breakfast Conversation with Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: Peacemaking in Wartime » (PDF)

Moderator: Samuel Berger, Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group

proceedingsfayyadplan.jpg Presentation of the Fayyad Plan: Palestine: Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State » (PDF)

With Stanley Fischer, Governor, Bank of Israel

proceedingsclintonconversation.jpg A Conversation with President William J. Clinton » (PDF)

Moderator: Nahum Barnea, Political Columnist, Yedioth Ahronoth

proceedingskeynote.jpg Keynote Address: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu » (PDF)

Keynote remarks at the Saban Forum 2009 Gala Dinner by the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu

proceedingsschwarzeneggerconversation.jpg A Conversation with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Fight for Alternative Energy Sources » (PDF)

Moderator: Shai Agassi, CEO, Better Place
Speaker: Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California)

proceedingsdialoguesessionone.jpg Dialogue Session One: Assessing Progress with Iran » (PDF)

Moderator: Kenneth M. Pollack, Director, Saban Center at Brookings
Participants: James Steinberg, Deputy Secretary of State
Dan Meridor, Deputy Prime Minister
Uzi Arad, National Security Advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu
Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut)

proceedingsdialoguesessiontwo.jpg Dialogue Session Two: The Prospects for Israeli-Syrian Peace » (PDF)

Moderator: Itamar Rabinovich, Bronfman Distinguished Fellow, Saban Center at Brookings
Participants: Gen. Amos Yadlin, Israel Defense Forces
Frederic C. Hof, Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace

proceedingsluncheonsession.jpg Luncheon Session: Assessing the Israeli and American Roles in Peacemaking » (PDF)

Moderator: Rep. Nita Lowey (D-New York)
Participants: Tzipi Livni, Opposition Leader and Head of the Kadima Party
Rep. Howard Berman (D-California)

proceedingsdialoguesessionthree.jpg Dialogue Session Three: Strengthening Palestinian Security and Governance Capabilities » (PDF)

Moderator: Bruce Riedel, Senior Fellow, Saban Center at Brookings
Participants: Yuval Diskin, Director, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet)
Rep. Jane Harman (D-California)
Daniel Shapiro, National Security Council

proceedingsconcludingdialoguesession.jpg Concluding Dialogue Session: Assessing the State of the U.S.-Israel Strategic Relationship » (PDF)

Speaker: Ehud Barak, Minister of Defense
Interviewed by: Eliot Cohen, Professor of Strategic Studies, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies