Understanding the Palestinian UN Initiative

November 19, 2012
12:00 pm -

Event Description

This briefing is sponsored by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Understanding the Palestinian UN Initiative:
What the Palestinian unilateral maneuver means for US interests
 A Conversation with Dr. Jonathan Schanzer and Ghaith al-Omari

Monday, November 19, 2012
Capitol Visitor Center
CVC-217 (Congressional Meeting Room South)*
Lunch will be served
12:00 pm – 1:00pm
RSVP by Friday, November 16

Co-Hosted by Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX) and Ted Deutch (D-FL)

As the Palestinian Authority moves towards unilateral action at the United Nations, there are growing concerns for the United States, Israel, and the Palestinian people. The Palestinian Authority will likely succeed this month at the United Nations and with that open up a number of issues that the United States will have to contend with on the international stage. This will challenge the efforts of those who seek to achieve a secure and lasting peace in the region.

What does the Palestinian unilateral maneuver mean for US interests? What role can Congress play in ensuring that a return to direct negotiations without preconditions is the only way forward towards a two-state solution?

Ghaith Al-Omari is Executive Director at the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP). Prior to that, he served in various positions within the Palestinian Authority, including Director of the International Relations Department in the Office of the Palestinian President, and advisor to former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. In these capacities, he provided advice on foreign policy — especially vis-à-vis the United States and Israel — and security. He has extensive experience in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, having been an advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team throughout the permanent status negotiations (1999–2001). Mr. al-Omari is a lawyer by training and a graduate of Georgetown and Oxford universities. Prior to his involvement in the Middle East peace process, he taught international law in Jordan and was active in human rights advocacy.

Dr. Jonathan Schanzer is the Vice President of Research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.  He worked as a terrorism finance analyst at the US Department of the Treasury, where he played an integral role in the designation of numerous terrorist financiers.  Dr. Schanzer has also worked for several other US-based think tanks: the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Jewish Policy Center, and the Middle East Forum. Dr. Schanzer has studied Middle East history in four countries, and earned his Ph.D. from Kings College London, where he wrote his dissertation on the US Congress and its efforts to combat terrorism in the 20th century.

*Room number is subject to change

Supported by the Fred Halpern Congressional Briefing Series


International Organizations Palestinian Politics