From Truman to Obama: The Past, Present, and Future of U.S.-Israel Relations

August 15, 2016
12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

From Truman to Obama: 
The Past, Present, and Future of U.S.-Israel Relations

Monday, August 15, 2016
12:30pm – 1:45pm 

Lunch and registration will begin at 12:15pm


The Foundation for Defense of Democracies  hosted a by-invitation-only lunch conversation on Monday, August 15 at 12:30pm featuring Ambassador Dennis Ross and Professor Kenneth Stein to discuss the past, present, and future of U.S.-Israel relations. The discussion was moderated by FDD Senior Counselor John Hannah. The event was open to government officials, Hill staff, foreign policy professionals, members of the diplomatic corps, the think tank and foreign policy communities, and press.

Ambassador Dennis Ross is counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Prior to returning to the Institute in 2011, he served two years as special assistant to President Obama and National Security Council senior director for the Central Region, and a year as special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. A highly skilled diplomat, Amb. Ross was U.S. point man on the peace process in both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. He was instrumental in assisting Israelis and Palestinians to reach the 1995 Interim Agreement; he also successfully brokered the 1997 Hebron Accord, facilitated the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty, and intensively worked to bring Israel and Syria together. A scholar and diplomat with more than two decades of experience in Soviet and Middle East policy, Amb. Ross worked closely with Secretaries of State James Baker, Warren Christopher, and Madeleine Albright. Amb. Ross is the author of several influential books on the peace process, most recently Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, October 2015).

For 40 years, Professor Kenneth W. Stein has taught Middle Eastern History and Political Science at Emory University.  Professor Stein's scholarship focuses on the politics of modern Arab world, American foreign policy toward the Middle East, modern Israel and the Arab-Israeli negotiating process. His scholarly publications include History Politics and Diplomacy of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, A Documentary Source Compilation (2015), an e-book; Heroic Diplomacy: Sadat, Kissinger, Carter, Begin, and the Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace (New York: Routledge, 1999); Making Peace Among Arabs and Israelis: Lessons from Fifty Years of Negotiating Experience (Washington, DC: United States Institute for Peace, 1991); and The Land Question in Palestine, 1917-1939 (Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1984)  He just published an article, “What if the Palestinian Arab Elite Had Chosen Compromise Rather than Boycott in Confronting Zionism?”  He is the founding Director of the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel, the oldest such Israel Study Center in the United States, and President of the Center for Israel Education, whose work focuses on informing learners of all ages about Israeli history, society, and politics.

John Hannah is senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where he brings two decades of experience at the highest levels of U.S. foreign policy. During the first term of President George W. Bush, he was Vice President Dick Cheney’s deputy national security advisor for the Middle East, where he was intimately involved in U.S. policy toward Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, the peace process, and the global war on terrorism. In President Bush’s second term, Mr. Hannah was elevated to the role of the vice president's national security advisor. In his previous government service, Mr. Hannah worked as a senior advisor to Secretary of State Warren Christopher during the Bill Clinton administration, and as a senior member of Secretary of State James Baker's Policy Planning Staff during the presidency of George H. W. Bush. Outside of government, Mr. Hannah has served as deputy director and senior fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He has also practiced law, specializing in international dispute resolution.