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.
|Participants » (PDF)
Saban Forum 2009 Israeli, American, and International Participants
|Program » (PDF)
The program schedule for Saban Forum 2009
|Opening Session: Israeli and American Worldviews » (PDF)
Moderator: David Ignatius, Columnist, The Washington Post
|A Breakfast Conversation with Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert: Peacemaking in Wartime » (PDF)
Moderator: Samuel Berger, Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group
|Presentation of the Fayyad Plan: Palestine: Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State » (PDF)
With Stanley Fischer, Governor, Bank of Israel
|A Conversation with President William J. Clinton » (PDF)
Moderator: Nahum Barnea, Political Columnist, Yedioth Ahronoth
|Keynote Address: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu » (PDF)
Keynote remarks at the Saban Forum 2009 Gala Dinner by the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu
|A Conversation with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Fight for Alternative Energy Sources » (PDF)
Moderator: Shai Agassi, CEO, Better Place
|Dialogue Session One: Assessing Progress with Iran » (PDF)
Moderator: Kenneth M. Pollack, Director, Saban Center at Brookings
|Dialogue Session Two: The Prospects for Israeli-Syrian Peace » (PDF)
Moderator: Itamar Rabinovich, Bronfman Distinguished Fellow, Saban Center at Brookings
|Luncheon Session: Assessing the Israeli and American Roles in Peacemaking » (PDF)
Moderator: Rep. Nita Lowey (D-New York)
|Dialogue Session Three: Strengthening Palestinian Security and Governance Capabilities » (PDF)
Moderator: Bruce Riedel, Senior Fellow, Saban Center at Brookings
|Concluding Dialogue Session: Assessing the State of the U.S.-Israel Strategic Relationship » (PDF)
Speaker: Ehud Barak, Minister of Defense
[Trump has] given Iran the moral high ground and that is an exceptionally difficult thing to do given the history and reality of Iran's misdeeds at home and in the region. It's just malpractice on the part of an American president.
The way the Trump administration is moving forward [with its Iran policy] is just so hostile to all aspects of Iran that it’s unlikely to produce any traction with the Iranian people or to encourage divisions within the system.
The intent of [any U.S. action] to do with the IRGC is basically to cast a very broad shadow over sectors of the Iranian economy and exacerbate the compliance nightmare for foreign businesses that may be considering trade and investment with Iran.