On December 6-8, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings hosted its 10th annual Saban Forum, titled “Power Shifts: U.S.-Israel Relations in a Dynamic Middle East.” This year’s event featured remarks by U.S. President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, all of which were webcast.
The 2013 Forum examined the political changes taking place across the Middle East, including the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks; the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran; and the deepening Syrian civil war and resulting humanitarian crisis. Forum speakers and participants discussed the implications of these events on U.S. interests in the region, U.S.-Israel relations and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Over the past 10 years, the Forum has served as a venue for unparalleled dialogue on U.S.-Israel relations between American and Israeli officials, business executives, policymakers and thought leaders from across the political and social spectrum. As a result, the Saban Forum has become a seminal event, generating creative new ideas to address the issues confronting the United States and Israel in the Middle East.
The Saban Forum has hosted many distinguished leaders, including President William J. Clinton, President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, HM King Abdullah of Jordan, President Shimon Peres, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, former British Prime Minister and Middle East Envoy Tony Blair, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice and Henry Kissinger.
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For the past year, you've seen that perhaps no leverage that the US and the West thought it had — aid, sanctions, the freezing of Afghanistan's reserves — has really had an effect on Taliban behavior. The Taliban has essentially done what they had always done. The Afghan people have been in a humanitarian crisis because the Taliban hasn't budged.