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David Makovsky

Ziegler Distinguished Fellow
Director, Project on Arab-Israel Relations
Irwin Levy Family Program on the U.S.-Israel Strategic Relationship


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David Makovsky is the Ziegler distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute and director of the Project on Arab-Israel Relations.

Areas of Expertise

Israel, Palestinians, Arab-Israeli Relations, Peace Process, U.S. Policy

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Current Research

Israeli-Palestinian relations, U.S.-Israeli relations, American campuses and Israeli-Palestinian relations

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Biography

David Makovsky is the Ziegler distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute and director of the Project on Arab-Israel Relations. He is also an adjunct professor in Middle East studies at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). In 2013-2014, he worked in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of State, serving as a senior advisor to the Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations.

Author of numerous Washington Institute monographs and essays on issues related to the Middle East Peace Process and the Arab-Israeli conflict, he is also coauthor, with Dennis Ross, of the 2019 book Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel's Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny (PublicAffairs) and the 2009 Washington Post bestseller Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East (Viking/Penguin). His 2017 interactive mapping project, "Settlements and Solutions," is designed to help users discover for themselves whether a two-state solution is still viable. His 2011 maps on alternative territorial solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were reprinted by the New York Times in the paper's first interactive treatment of an op-ed. His widely acclaimed September 2012 New Yorker essay, "The Silent Strike," focused on the U.S.-Israel dynamics leading up to the 2007 Israeli attack on Syrian nuclear facilities.

Mr. Makovsky is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. His commentary on the peace process and the Arab-Israeli conflict has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Chicago Tribune, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and National Interest. He appears frequently in the media to comment on Arab-Israeli affairs, including PBS NewsHour.

He has testified before the full U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the full U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, and on multiple occasions before the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs Middle East Subcommittee.

In last several years, he has made over 120 visits to American college campuses to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He has done a TEDx talk on this issue for the college audience.

Before joining The Washington Institute, Mr. Makovsky was an award-winning journalist who covered the peace process from 1989 to 2000. He is the former executive editor of the Jerusalem Post, was diplomatic correspondent for Israel's leading daily, Haaretz, and is a former contributing editor to U.S. News and World Report. He served for eleven years as that magazine's special Jerusalem correspondent. He was awarded the National Press Club's 1994 Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence for a cover story on PLO finances that he cowrote for the magazine.

In July 1994, as a result of personal intervention by then Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Mr. Makovsky became the first journalist writing for an Israeli publication to visit Damascus. In total, he has made five trips to Syria, the most recent in December 1999 when he accompanied then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. In March 1995, with assistance from U.S. officials, Mr. Makovsky was given unprecedented permission to file reports from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for an Israeli publication.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Makovsky received a bachelor's degree from Columbia University and a master's degree in Middle East studies from Harvard University.

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Languages Spoken / Read

  • Hebrew

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Publications

Be Strong and of Good Courage

September 3, 2019

Monographs

Myths, Illusions, and Peace:

April 29, 2009

Monographs

Settlements and Solutions

February 14, 2020

Interviews and Presentations

Imagining the Border:

January 20, 2011

Strategic Reports

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Most Recent Analysis

Did Pompeo’s Visit Shift the Annexation Debate in Israel and Washington?

May 20, 2020

On Annexation, Netanyahu Must Choose a Lasting Legacy

May 5, 2020

Israel’s Rush to ‘Apply Sovereignty’ in the West Bank: Timing and Potential Consequences

April 22, 2020

Benny Gantz Did the Right Thing by Putting His Country First

April 7, 2020

Gantz’s Gamble

March 27, 2020

Israel’s Political Battle Goes to Court

March 24, 2020

As Israel’s Kingmaker Gets Off the Fence, Gantz Gets a Boost

March 9, 2020

Israel’s Electoral Marathon: Coalition Scenarios and Policy Implications

February 28, 2020

The Problem with Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan

February 23, 2020

Settlements and Solutions

Is It Too Late for Two States?

February 14, 2020

See all analysis by this author

Selected Outside Publications

Contributor to Middle East Contemporary Survey (Tel Aviv: Dayan Center for Middle East Studies, 1995)

Contributor to Triumph without Victory (Random House/Times Books, 1992)

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