The promising dynamic generated by the actions of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in acting to stop violence against Israel and by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in broadening his government in advance of Israel’s disengagement from Gaza is creating a new sense of hope and opportunity in the decades-long standoff.
At this briefing, sponsored by the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, a panel of Palestinian and Israeli experts directly involved in the unfolding events will discuss the new political landscape in the Middle East and provide their analysis of the prospects for progress. Ziad Abu Amr is a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza and plays a key mediating role between the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas faction. Amnon Lipkin-Shahak served as the chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) before entering politics as a member of the Center Party, serving as deputy prime minister in the previous Barak government. He has since joined the Labor Party and is now an adviser to Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres. Ghaith al Omari is political adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and previously served as legal adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team. Eival Gilady served as head of the IDF’s Strategic Planning branch, where he had responsibility for developing the Gaza Disengagement Plan. He now serves as an adviser to the Sharon government.
The appearance of these Israeli and Palestinian panelists has been made possible by the generous support of Daniel Abraham who has enabled Brookings to bring them to Washington to participate in the sixth session of the Daniel Abraham Israeli-Palestinian Workshop.