News Release

Brookings Announces 2005 Saban Forum in Israel

November 11, 2005

As events in the Middle East continue to unfold at a rapid pace, the Saban Forum will hold its second annual U.S.-Israel dialogue November 11–13. Organized by the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies of Tel Aviv University, the Saban Forum will bring a high-level bipartisan American delegation of officials and opinion leaders together in Jerusalem with their Israeli counterparts to discuss “Dealing with Twenty-first Century Challenges.” Participants include Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former President William J. Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

The Saban Forum will provide an opportunity to take a step back to analyze such events as Israeli disengagement in the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank, the Iraqi constitution, and political upheaval in Syria, and the role of these events within larger trends in the Middle East.

The program begins on Saturday, November 12, with keynote addresses from former President Clinton and Israeli President Moshe Katsav. On Sunday, November 13, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will deliver her first speech in Israel, followed by a speech by Israeli Prime Minister Sharon. The program will also feature remarks from Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, and former Deputy Secretary of State and current Brookings Institution President Strobe Talbott.

In addition to Senator Clinton, the bipartisan U.S. delegation includes two prominent members of the House of Representatives—Christopher Shays (R-CT), vice chairman of the Committee on Government Reform; and Tom Lantos (D-CA), the ranking Democratic member on the Committee on International Relations.

The Saban Forum is the sole high-level dialogue between Israelis and Americans. It was established in the belief that a free-flowing, candid discussion in a private setting between Israelis and Americans with different perspectives can benefit both sides and strengthen the understanding between them. It is coordinated by Martin Indyk, director of the Saban Center at Brookings and Hirsh Goodman, senior fellow at the Jaffee Center.

About the Saban Center for Middle East Policy

The Saban Center for Middle East Policy was established in 2002 at the Brookings Institution and has quickly become one of the most dynamic centers for research and analysis of U.S. policy in the Middle East. Founded with the help of the prominent Los Angeles philanthropist and entrepreneur Haim Saban, the center fosters research and discussion on some of the most crucial problems facing the United States in the Middle East today. The Saban Center draws on a diverse staff with expertise in such issues as regime chance and nation building in Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and U.S. policy towards the Islamic world.

About the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies

The Center for Strategic Studies was founded in 1977 at the initiative of Tel Aviv University. In 1983 the Center was named the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies (JCSS) in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Mel Jaffee. The purpose of the Jaffee Center is to conduct basic research that meets the highest academic standards on matters related to Israel’s national security and Middle Eastern regional and international security affairs. The Center also aims to contribute to the public debate and governmental deliberation of issues that are, or should be, at the top of Israel’s national security agenda.

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.