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The Washington Institute's "Settlements and Solutions" Project Brings Data, History to Trump Peace Plan


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A New Update on Interactive Map Provides Context for Territorial Solutions in Trump Peace Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Institute for Near East Policy's "Settlements and Solutions" project has been updated to include proposed maps from the Trump administration's "Peace to Prosperity" vision, the research institution announced today.

The Trump administration's peace plan, unveiled last month, demonstrated that territory remains one of the major components of a future two-state solution. 

"Settlements and Solutions," an interactive map of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, is a first-of-its-kind product from the Washington Institute's Project on Arab-Israel Relations, helmed by Ziegler Distinguished Fellow David Makovsky. A crucial resource for politicians, policymakers, and journalists, this tool depicts the geographical and demographic delineation of settlement activity, providing important context and detail for what a future two-state solution would have to take into account.

"When we plugged the Trump administration's proposed peace plan into our project, it was like going from black-and-white to color film," remarked  David Makovsky. "With our map, we're able to see what the effect of this plan would look like, on the ground, in every single settlement in the West Bank."

Although Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has recently walked back statements intending to apply Israeli law to West Bank settlements immediately as a result of the Trump peace plan, he has since stated that if elected he would move forward with legislation that would effectively annex 30 percent of the West Bank, with or without an agreement with the Palestinians.

"Settlements and Solutions" allows users to delve into the details of the Trump peace plan, which grants Israeli sovereignty to over 113 settlements in the West Bank, encompassing nearly half a million settlers. In addition, the interactive map depicts the 77 settlements, with a combined 104,000 people, that lie outside both the Green Line and security barrier, including the 15 separate enclaves of Israel within the proposed Palestinian state subject to Israeli administration.

Follow "Settlements and Solutions" (@SetsAndSolutions) on Twitter to stay on top of its latest developments.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

With Help from CNN, Cagaptay Book Zooms Up Bestseller List - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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With Help from CNN, Cagaptay Book Zooms Up Bestseller List


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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Beyer Family Fellow Soner Cagaptay’s book, Erdogan’s Empire: Turkey and the Politics of the Middle East, was named by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria as the “best book on Turkey” and was an Amazon bestseller in the Middle East category this month. Dr. Cagaptay is the director of the Institute’s Turkish Research Program.

“This is the third in a series of books by Soner that documents the evolution of the Turkish president’s leadership. It is an absolutely fascinating work,” said Executive Director Robert Satloff. “We are proud that so many in the policymaking community turn to Soner to help explain Turkish affairs and its leader.”

Since the book launch in September, Dr. Cagaptay has spoken at multiple high-profile events around the United States and the world. In January, he discussed Turkish foreign policy and Turkey-European Union relations with members of the European Parliament Geoffrey Van Orden CBE, Turkish Permanent Representative to NATO Bazat Ozturk at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Previously, Dr. Cagaptay interviewed with Laura Trevelyan on BBC World to discuss the current developments in Syria during Turkey's offensive mission on the ground in relation to his book. The same month, Dr. Cagaptay presented at The Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University in October and at the American University in Cairo Middle East Studies Center in September. He also spoke at the U.S. Department of State’s Ralph Bunche Library on Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman foreign policy.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Jordan's King Abdullah II Addresses Key Mideast Issues in Exclusive Washington Institute Interview - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Jordan's King Abdullah II Addresses Key Mideast Issues in Exclusive Washington Institute Interview


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a rare, unscripted interview with Washington Institute Executive Director Robert Satloff, Jordan's King Abdullah II shared his views on a range of issues affecting the Middle East, from the implications of potential U.S. military withdrawal, to the complicated state of Jordan-Israel relations, to the threat of a resurgent ISIS.

The conversation was the highlight of the Scholar-Statesman Award presentation, in which the research organization bestowed its highest honor on the king at a special gala in New York City.

On the threat of violent extremism:

  • "ISIS has been defeated maybe in Syria and Iraq, people can say, but it's not been totally destroyed. And actually in the past couple of months, we've seen a re-emergence of them close to our borders in western Iraq."
  • "The outlaws of Islam are those that believe that all of us, everyone in this room, are heretics and unless we believe in what they say, they have the right to put us all to the sword…. There is a battleground inside of Islam … to be able to get rid of this scourge. So that what we call the takfiri (outlaw) jihadist is going to be a challenge for all of us.”

On Arab-Israeli peace:

  • "Israel's future is being part of the Middle East, [but] unless we can solve the Israeli-Palestinian issue, we'll never have the full integration that all of us deserve."
  • "Unfortunately, we're in pause mode, as you well know that Israelis have gone through a series of elections, we may be seeing another three months of elections ... that is not going to be good for anybody."
  • As every day passes, "it's going to be much more difficult, for the Palestinian and Israeli states to go forward together."

On Jordanian-Israeli relations:

  • “The Jordanian-Israeli relationship is at an all-time low, in part, because of Israeli domestic issues. We are hoping that Israel will decide its future, whether it's in the next several weeks or in the next three months.”
  • "I hope that whatever happens in Israel over the next two or three months, we can get back to talking to each other on simple issues that we haven't been able to talk about for the past two years."

On calls for U.S. withdrawal from the Middle East:

  • "Unless you solve the problem, you’re going to have to come back and revisit it at a tremendous cost to everybody. And so again, the United States is in a unique position of being the most powerful, capable country in the world, and with that comes more responsibility to help stabilize the world. In my personal opinion, sometimes when you move out of a campaign before it’s over, you’re only going to be back tomorrow to try and fix it again, having lost all that ground."

On the role of youth in future of the region: 

  • "Just know that there is a younger generation of people in our part of the world, who just want to get on with their lives. Whether you’re Israeli, or Jordanian, or Palestinian, or Yemeni, or Iranian, we want to be able to find jobs, we want to settle down with a family, we want to be able to move on...So give the young people your love and your consideration because they will make the world better if we give them a chance."

For media inquiries, contact Erika Naegeli at 202-452-0650 or via email.

About The Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Jordan's King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein Receives Washington Institute Scholar-Statesman Award - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Jordan's King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein Receives Washington Institute Scholar-Statesman Award


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NEW YORK CITY – In a packed ballroom at the Plaza Hotel in New York City last night, The Washington Institute bestowed its highest honor, the Scholar-Statesman Award, on Jordan's King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein and paid tribute to outstanding civic leaders and Institute patrons Merryl and James Tisch.

With Queen Rania and Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II looking on, the Jordanian monarch accepted the award from Institute President Shelly Kassen and Chairman James Schreiber with a mix of humility and pride. “I am truly delighted to be here tonight. I hope to continue to merit the faith that you have placed in me with this award,” said the king, who recently marked 20 years on the throne.

Watch videos of the event.

A highlight of the event was a fascinating, unscripted conversation between the king and Executive Director Robert Satloff, touching on a broad range of topics, from the complicated state of Jordan-Israel relations to the implications of popular protests currently raging across the region to lessons from his 20 years on the throne.

Read highlights of the conversation.

Asked to address the potential for U.S. disengagement from the region, the king drew on his military experience to express great sympathy for the years of American deployments in the region but underscored the potentially high cost of premature moves to diminish the U.S. presence. “The issue from our point of view is that unless you solve the problem, you will have to come back to fix it,” he said.

In addition, the Institute paid tribute to Merryl and James Tisch, longtime civic leaders, Institute Trustees, and supporters of many charitable causes in New York, the country, and abroad. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) offered remarks in their honor.

View a gallery of photographs from the event.

This year’s Scholar-Statesman Award Dinner was chaired by John Shapiro, a member of the Institute’s Board of Directors.

The award celebrates outstanding leaders who, through their public service and professional achievements, exemplify the idea that sound scholarship and a discerning knowledge of history are essential to wise and effective policy and the advancement of peace and security in the Middle East. Past Scholar-Statesman honorees have included President Bill Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, as well as former secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice, George P. Shultz, and Henry Kissinger.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

The Washington Institute to Honor Jordan's King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein with Prestigious 'Scholar-Statesman Award' - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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The Washington Institute to Honor Jordan's King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein with Prestigious 'Scholar-Statesman Award'


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Research Organization to Pay Tribute to Community Leaders Merryl and James Tisch

‪Washington, D.C.‬ – The Washington Institute for Near East Policy will present its 2019 Scholar-Statesman Award to King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan at a gala event in New York City ‪on November 21, 2019‬, the research organization announced today. The Institute will also pay tribute to Institute Trustees Merryl and James Tisch, leaders in the business, educational, and philanthropic communities.

"It is our great privilege to recognize His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan for his courageous leadership and profound commitment to peace and moderation," stated Institute leaders Executive Director Robert Satloff, President Shelly Kassen, and Chairman James Schreiber. "In a region troubled by violence and extremism, the King has shown over two decades on the throne that a mix of compassion and strength is a recipe for visionary statesmanship."

King Abdullah II has been the head of Jordan's monarchy since 1999, following the passing of his father, King Hussein. Throughout his reign, he has prioritized investing in the potential of his people, countering violent extremism, and working to expand the prospects for peace in the Middle East. The 41st generation direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, King Abdullah II has been recognized around the world for efforts to advance harmony and peace within Islam and among the world's great religions.

The Scholar-Statesman Award celebrates outstanding leaders who, through their public service and professional achievements, exemplify the idea that sound scholarship and a discerning knowledge of history are essential to wise and effective policy and the advancement of peace and security in the Middle East. Past Scholar-Statesman honorees have included President Bill Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, as well as former secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice, George P. Shultz, and Henry Kissinger. 

The Scholar-Statesman Award Dinner, chaired by Institute Board of Directors member John Shapiro of New York City, will also pay tribute to Merryl and James Tisch, longtime supporters of the Institute and other charitable organizations in New York City, around the country, and abroad. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) will offer remarks in their honor.

A member of the Institute's Board of Directors, Merryl is the chair of the State University of New York and served formerly as chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents. Among her many leadership roles, she sits on the boards of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York City Charter Revision Commission, the Citizens Budget Commission, and the Trust for Cultural Resources of the City of New York.

James Tisch is the president and chief executive officer of Loews Corporation, and is also the chairman of the board of directors of Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. He is co-chairman of the board of trustees of the Mount Sinai Health Systems, where he and Merryl endowed the Tisch Cancer Institute in 2008. He has led numerous nonprofits boards including WNET, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, United Jewish Communities, and UJA-Federation of New York.

For questions about the Scholar-Statesman Award Dinner or for press requests to cover the event, please email ‪before November 20, 2019‬.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

New Podcast: Decision Points: The U.S.-Israel Relationship - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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New Podcast: Decision Points: The U.S.-Israel Relationship


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Hosted by David Makovsky

"Decision Points" is a new Washington Institute podcast that provides fresh insights into critical moments in the U.S.-Israel relationship from prominent historians and policymakers. The series is hosted by Ziegler Distinguished Fellow David Makovsky, a renowned expert on U.S.-Israel relations, including territorial solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Each episode highlights an important event in the 70-year history between Israel and the U.S., from President Truman's recognition of the State of Israel, to the internal U.S. government deliberations over Israel's wars, to Washington's involvement in the Israel-Palestinian peace process.

David Makovsky will be joined by a distinguished figure who has been intimately involved in Middle East affairs as a policymaker, journalist, or political leader. Guests include Michael Oren, the former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.; Natan Sharansky, a human rights activist and former Israeli government minister; and Martin Indyk, the former U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations.

The podcast is both a history lesson, a biography of the key Israelis and Americans that shaped the modern bond between the two nations, and a quest to understand how these decision points continue to reverberate today.

Listen to "Decision Points" wherever you get your podcasts.

Apple Podcasts

Google Play Podcasts

Spotify

Stitcher

iHeartRadio

THE HOST

David Makovsky  is the Ziegler Distinguished Fellow in The Washington Institute's Irwin Levy Family Program on the U.S.-Israel Strategic Relationship and director of the Project on Arab-Israel Relations. He is a former senior advisor to the U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, as well as a sought-after expert in U.S.-Israel diplomatic relations and territorial solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel's Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny, Makovsky's recent book co-authored with Washington Institute counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow Ambassador Dennis Ross, is available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at a variety of independent booksellers.

Dana Stroul Named the Shelly and Michael Kassen Fellow - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Dana Stroul Named the Shelly and Michael Kassen Fellow


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dana Stroul, a veteran policymaker who joined The Washington Institute last year after service in both the Pentagon and Capitol Hill, has been named the Shelly and Michael Kassen Fellow, the research organization announced today.

"Less than a year since leaving government and joining the think tank world, Dana has established herself among policymakers and journalists as a top-tier expert on a broad array of issues -- from foreign policy on Capitol Hill, to policy options for Gulf security, to the future of U.S. policy in Syria," said Institute Executive Director Robert Satloff. “We are fortunate to have her as a key member of our senior research team."

“We are privileged to have the opportunity to support Dana’s important work,” said Shelly and Michael Kassen, longtime Institute trustees from Westport, CT. “Her practical experience from both the executive and legislative branches and her strong, centrist voice epitomize the finest attributes of The Washington Institute.“

Shelly Kassen has served as president of the Institute since 2016.

While at the Institute, Stroul has authored a number of policy papers and opinion pieces for The Washington Post, National Public Radio, and The Hill on topics ranging from the Middle East peace process, to U.S. policy with Iran, to U.S. arms sales to Gulf states. She also served as the Democratic co-chair for the Congressionally-mandated Syria Study Group, which released its  report and bipartisan recommendations in September 2019. Stroul also testified before foreign affairs committees in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives alongside Washington Institute Managing Director Michael Singh, the Republican co-chair of the study group.

Dana Stroul joined the Institute in December 2018 after five years as a senior professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where she covered the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey. In that capacity, she played a central role in the oversight of the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, which included overseeing U.S. foreign assistance and weapons sales, as well as crafting relevant legislation.

Before working on Capitol Hill, Stroul served in the Middle East policy office of the Secretary of Defense. From 2008 to 2013, she focused on a range of topics including U.S.-Egypt relations, the U.S. military drawdown in Iraq,  and a review of  U.S. government  policies and programs in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. In addition, Stroul also worked at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on economic-political affairs, at the U.S. Institute of Peace on civilian-military relations in Iraq, and at the National Democratic Institute on Gulf Affairs. 

Stroul holds a bachelor's degree in religious and Middle East studies from the University of Virginia and a master of science in foreign service from Georgetown University. She also studied at the American University in Cairo and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.

Air Force Lt. Col. Conor Hiney Joins the Washington Institute as a Military Fellow - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Air Force Lt. Col. Conor Hiney Joins the Washington Institute as a Military Fellow


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Lieutenant Colonel Conor Hiney of the United States Air Force has joined the Washington Institute for Near East Policy as a visiting military fellow, the research institution announced today.

Lt. Col. Hiney is a command navigator with over 2,000 hours in the F-15E fighter jet and has flown over 400 combat hours. Previously, he was the director of operations and commander of the 17th Weapons Squadron at the U.S. Air Force Weapons School in Nevada. He has also worked at the AFCENT Air Warfare Center in the United Arab Emirates conducting training in multiple Persian Gulf and GCC countries.

"It is a pleasure and a privilege to host Lt. Col. Hiney for the next year at the Institute," Washington Institute Executive Director Dr. Robert Satloff said. "His perspective on U.S. policy in the Middle East is invaluable to our research, and we hope to provide him with the resources and expertise he needs to better serve the U.S. Air Force."

Lt. Col. Hiney received a bachelor's of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia and a master's in business administration (MBA) from Trident University.

Read his first PolicyWatch, entitled "Plugging the Gaps in Saudi Arabia's Air Defenses" co-authored with Michael Knights.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.

IN MEMORIAM: Mary Kalbach Horan and Gina Vailes - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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IN MEMORIAM: Mary Kalbach Horan and Gina Vailes


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WASHINGTON, DC -- The Washington Institute for Near East Policy mourns the loss of beloved colleagues Mary Kalbach Horan and Gina Vailes whose passion, warmth, and generosity will be dearly missed. These longtime Institute professionals passed away within four days of each other after long and hard-fought battles with cancer.

Mary, the director of publications, joined the Institute in 2008 and imbued the organization’s publications with clarity and elegance. “She made everything she touched better - better to read, better to look at. We are all beneficiaries of her wisdom and creativity,” Executive Director Robert Satloff said.

Before joining the Institute, Mary had worked on a variety of topics in publishing: fiction, nonfiction, scientific, software development, and telecommunications. More broadly, she also worked in the publications world as a type compositor, graphic artist, and website designer. In addition, Mary was an accomplished musician and artist, as well as an avid gardener and dog lover.

Gina was the Institute’s administrative assistant since 2005. Known as the warm, selfless gatekeeper of the Institute, she was dedicated to helping others, staff and visitors alike. From guiding interns and Institute newcomers in the ways of Washington, to making sure that hundreds of events went smoothly, Gina touched the lives of countless TWI scholars, staff, and guests. “She was committed not just to our mission but to the well-being of everyone who walked through our doors,” Executive Director Robert Satloff and Managing Director Michael Singh wrote.

The entire TWI family sends its deepest condolences to Gina and Mary’s family and friends on their passing.

French Diplomat Charles Thépaut Joins The Washington Institute - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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French Diplomat Charles Thépaut Joins The Washington Institute


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Charles Thépaut has joined the Washington Institute for Near East Policy as a visiting fellow, the research institution announced today. Thépaut, a French diplomat and expert in Middle Eastern and North African affairs, will be in residence at the Institute for a year.

“We are delighted to welcome to the Institute such an outstanding scholar-diplomat as Charles Thépaut,” said Executive Director Dr. Robert Satloff. “I am confident his insight and expertise will enhance our appreciation of French and broader European foreign policy as well as our understanding of key trends and developments in the Middle East and North Africa.”  

Charles Thépaut has worked for the French Foreign Ministry in Syria, Algeria, Iraq, and most recently as the political advisor for foreign policy at the French Embassy in Berlin, Germany. He has also been involved with the Global Coalition Against ISIS.

Fluent in French, English, Arabic, and German, Thépaut received his master's of arts in international relations and diplomacy studies at the College of Europe in Bruges. He  also holds a master's degree in public affairs from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Lille - Sciences Po Lille. He has taught Middle Eastern politics at Sciences Po Lille as well as at Paris Dauphine University. He is a frequent contributor to French think tanks and international relations journals, where he focuses on European foreign policy and Middle Eastern affairs.

Thépaut's most recent book, Le monde arabe en morceaux : des printemps arabes à Daech (The Arab World in Pieces: From the Arab Spring to Daesh), was published by Armand Colin in February 2017.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.

Veteran Foreign Affairs Correspondent Roy Gutman Joins The Washington Institute - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Veteran Foreign Affairs Correspondent Roy Gutman Joins The Washington Institute


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Veteran journalist and author Roy Gutman has joined the Washington Institute for Near East Policy as an associate fellow, the research institution announced today. A Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent, Gutman brings to the Institute four decades of experience reporting on war, war crimes and Middle East affairs at some of the world's most prestigious publications.

"We're pleased to welcome one of this era's most consequential foreign affairs reporters to the Institute," said Washington Institute Executive Director Robert Satloff.

“Roy has spent decades shedding light on the most brutal aspects of war, indelibly shaping the public record toward greater truth and justice. At the Institute, he will focus his efforts on one of the most under-reported stories of the past decade — how the Islamic State was able to extend its grip on a vast swath of the Middle East, right under the eyes of multiple governments, armies and intelligence agencies. The lessons of his research will have enormous implications for the battle to prevent ISIS from rising once again.”

Gutman spent five years reporting on the Middle East for McClatchy as Baghdad bureau chief and as the Middle East bureau chief based in Istanbul. Previously, his reporting on ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina, including the first documented accounts of Serb-run concentration camps, won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting, the George Polk Award for foreign reporting, and the Selden Ring Award for investigative reporting. Gutman shared the George Polk award for foreign reporting in 2013 with McClatchy colleagues for chronicling the complexities of the civil war in Syria.

Roy Gutman is the author of Banana Diplomacy (1988) and A Witness to Genocide (1993), and co-edited Crimes of War: What the Public Should Know (second edition, 2007). How We Missed the Story, Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban, and the Hijacking of Afghanistan, was published in a second edition in 2013 by USIP press. He is also a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London.

Gutman holds a bachelor's degree in history from Haverford College and a master's degree in international relations from the London School of Economics.

About The Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact : Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.

Will Turkey's Purchase of Russian Missiles Rupture U.S. Ties? - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Will Turkey's Purchase of Russian Missiles Rupture U.S. Ties?


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The impending delivery of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to Turkey threatens to rupture U.S.-Turkey relations.

In a new Washington Institute video, Beyer Family Fellow and Director of the Turkish Research Program Soner Cagaptay explains how an interconnected set of political and military fears and desires led the Turkish military to purchase these Russian weapons in spite of U.S. interests.

The purchase of Russian missiles is a turning point in Turkish foreign policy. According to Cagaptay, this purchase could bookend nearly two centuries of Turkish security policy, whereby the country has allied itself with Western powers as a counterbalance to Russia. But the move does not come without ramifications: U.S. sanctions and exposure to Russian interests in the region. 

The Institute's leading expert on U.S.-Turkey relations breaks down why the lure of technology transfer and Russian political leverage in Syria prompted Turkish President Erdogan to purchase the S-400 missile defense system. Cagaptay also forecasts the potential responses in the U.S. Congress, at the State Department, and in the White House — and how the U.S.-Turkish relationship can make it out of this crisis intact.

Watch the video on Washington Institute's website.

FEATURED IN THIS VIDEO

Soner Cagaptay  is the Beyer Family fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute. He has written extensively on U.S.-Turkish relations, Turkish domestic politics, and Turkish nationalism, publishing in scholarly journals and major international print media, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Foreign Affairs, and The Atlantic. 

His newest book, Erdogan's Empire: Turkey and the Politics of the Middle East, will be released in October 2019.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact : Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.

In Memoriam: Jennie I. Litvack, 1963-2019 - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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In Memoriam: Jennie I. Litvack, 1963-2019


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Beloved Wife of Washington Institute Executive Director Robert Satloff

With great sadness, The Washington Institute mourns the passing of Jennie Ilene Litvack, wife of the organization’s longtime director and a cherished member of the Institute family for more than thirty years. She was 55.

A native of Montreal, Jennie received her undergraduate degree at Duke University, where she met fellow student Rob Satloff, and then went on to earn her master’s and doctoral degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. Rob and Jennie were together from the mid-1980s, married in 1990 and lived joyfully over the years in Oxford, England; Yaounde, Cameroon; Zichron Yaakov, Israel; Rabat, Morocco as well as Washington, DC and Chevy Chase, MD.

An economist by training, Jennie traveled the globe for twenty years for the World Bank, helping to fight poverty and improve living standards as lead economist of human development for Latin America, lead economist for Morocco, and country economist for Vietnam, among other positions. Her doctoral research on pharmaceutical pricing in rural health centers in northern Cameroon played a key role in implementing a major push to ensure access to medications for millions of people throughout Africa.

After her retirement from the Bank in 2010, Jennie shifted focus from the highly technical to the deeply spiritual. At Adas Israel Congregation, the largest Conservative synagogue in the nation’s capital, she led the lay effort to establish the Jewish Mindfulness Center of Washington, a pathbreaking project that won two national awards for innovative Jewish programming. And she helped bring mindfulness and religious pluralism to Israel through her work as a board member of Or Halev, the Center for Jewish Spirituality and Meditation.

In addition, a decade ago, Jennie found her calling as Adas Israel’s beloved ba’alat tekiya (shofar blower). She created such powerful, evocative, melodic sounds that services overflowed on the Jewish High Holidays to hear her. The “goddaughter” of famed jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, who she met when she was 14 and with whom she stayed close friends for the rest of his life, Jennie was featured on National Public Radio for her magical ability to make music out of the sounds of her special shofar, a four-foot long African kudu horn.

But of all her accomplishments, Jennie was proudest of her three wonderful sons—Benji, who graduated from Duke in May; William, a rising sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis; and David, who just completed fifth grade at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School.

In addition to her husband and sons, Jennie is survived by her mother, Naomi Litvack of Montreal; her older sister Karen Dagenais of Woodbury, Minnesota, and her children Dylan and Katrina; her younger sister Dina Lubin of Toronto, Ontario, and her son Scott; her extended family and a multitude of dear friends, both close to home and around the world.

The Trustees, Fellows, and Staff of The Washington Institute extend their deepest condolences to Rob and his family on Jennie’s passing.

Donations should be made to the Jennie Litvack Memorial Fund at Adas Israel Congregation, which will support the redesign of the gallery adjacent to the synagogue’s entry foyer as a special contemplative space to be dedicated in her memory and will, in Israel, promote greater religious pluralism and the spread of mindful Judaism through the important work of Or Halev.

Senate Confirms David Schenker as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Senate Confirms David Schenker as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs


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The Washington Institute Congratulates Scholar-Practitioner on Confirmation to Top Mideast Diplomatic Post

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate confirmed David Schenker today to assume the post of Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, with a bipartisan consensus vote of 83-11. Schenker - the Institute's Aufzien Fellow - becomes the State Department's senior official responsible for Middle East issues.

"David Schenker's career has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of U.S. Middle East policy, and it is only fitting he should now be the one enacting such policies at such a critical time for U.S. interests in the region," said Executive Director Robert Satloff. "He will undoubtedly bring the same leadership, dedication, and brilliance to the State Department that he has demonstrated as director of the Beth and David Geduld Program on Arab Politics for over a decade."

"We feel immense pride knowing David will lead the State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, bringing with him the balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East for which the Institute is known. We are confident in his ability to craft and execute policy that will promote peace and security to the U.S. and its allies," remarked Institute President Shelly Kassen and Chairman James Schreiber. 

Schenker has served as director of the Institute's Program on Arab Politics since 2006. Previously, he served in the George W. Bush administration as Levant country director in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In that capacity, he was responsible for advising the secretary and senior Pentagon leaders on the military and political affairs of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories. His service was recognized with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service in 2005.

Prior to joining the Pentagon, Schenker was a research fellow at the Institute, focusing on Arab governance. As the author of numerous books on Iraq, Jordan, and on Palestinian politics, his commentary on Arab affairs appears often in prominent scholarly journals and leading media outlets. Fluent in Arabic, Schenker received his master's degree from the University of Michigan and his undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont.

Ambassador Barbara Leaf, an Institute senior fellow and a veteran diplomat who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates from 2014-2018, succeeds Schenker as director of the Beth and David Geduld Program on Arab Politics.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact : Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.

Andrew J. Tabler Joins National Security Council as Director for Syria - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Andrew J. Tabler Joins National Security Council as Director for Syria


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Andrew J. Tabler, Martin J. Gross Fellow in the Washington Institute's Geduld Program on Arab Politics, has joined the National Security Council's Middle East Affairs Directorate as its director for Syria, the research institution announced today.

“We are always honored when our experts are called on to serve in senior policymaking positions in the U.S. government,” said Washington Institute Executive Director Robert Satloff. "Andrew Tabler joins the NSC at a critical time in the evolution of U.S. policy in Syria. With his extensive experience and deep expertise, we are confident Andrew will make a substantial contribution to this effort.”

Mr. Tabler has researched Syria and U.S. policy in the Levant for the Washington Institute since 2009, originally as a Soref Fellow. He had spent 14 years in Syria and the broader region as a journalist, editor, and analyst, cultivating unique access to the most influential figures in the Middle East. In the course of his work, Mr. Tabler has interviewed Syrian First Lady Asma al-Assad, the late Israeli President Shimon Peres, the late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, slain Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, and former Lebanese prime ministers Fouad Siniora and Saad Hariri. 

In the past decade at the Washington Institute, Mr. Tabler has established himself as one of the most insightful experts on Syria and the Assad regime, following the beginning of the uprising against Assad's rule in 2011.  His articles and opinion pieces on Middle East affairs and U.S. foreign policy have appeared in the  New York Times, the New York Times MagazineNewsweekForeign Policy, the Atlantic, and  Foreign Affairs.  He has also appeared in interviews with CNN, NBC, CBS, PBS, NPR, and the BBC. He is the author of the 2011 book, In the Lion's Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington's Battle with Syria (Lawrence Hill Books).

In Mr. Tabler's new capacity as Director for Syria at the National Security Council, he will play a critical role in crafting and implementing a cohesive U.S. policy in Syria, as well as helping to coordinate interagency efforts to advance U.S. interests that include ensuring the long-term territorial defeat of ISIS; negotiating a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Syria, currently in its eighth year; and preventing Iran from gaining a military foothold in Syria.

Andrew J. Tabler holds a master's of arts in comparative politics from the American University of Cairo, as well as a bachelor's of arts from Washington and Jefferson College. He is fluent in Arabic.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact : Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.

The Istanbul Revote Is a Dangerous Crossroads for Turkey - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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The Istanbul Revote Is a Dangerous Crossroads for Turkey


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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Turkish National Election Board's decision to cancel the results of the March 31 mayoral election in Istanbul—overturning the victory of Republican People's Party candidate Ekrem Imamoglu—and reschedule a vote for June 23 further undermines democracy in the country, according to Soner Cagaptay, the Beyer Family Fellow at The Washington Institute.

"This decision throws into doubt hard-earned consensus in Turkey built over decades that power and government change hands through democratic elections," Cagaptay told the New York Times.

In a series of media interviews, Cagaptay outlined the repercussions of the annulled election for Turkey and the political future of its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He pointed out that Erdogan's move to challenge the election reflected insecurity over the fact that his ruling Justice and Development Party lost mayoral contests not only in Istanbul—a political power base where Erdogan once served as mayor—but in five of the country's six biggest cities. "Put together, the provinces that he lost represent three-quarters of Turkey's economy and over half of Turkey's population," he told CNN.

In addition, the rise of Imamoglu could pose a threat to Erdogan down the road. As Cagaptay noted to the Wall Street Journal, "Allowing Mr. Imamoglu to take control of a city of 16 million people, with a $4 billion annual budget and a staff of 82,000, risked spawning a powerful rival for the next presidential election."

To be sure, this blow to Erdogan's prestige in Istanbul—the country's most populous and ideologically diverse city—could conceivably have a moderating influence on his drive to consolidate power and suppress his opposition, including the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). In an interview with the Financial Times, Cagaptay noted that "the Turkish government allowed lawyers to visit the PKK's imprisoned leader for the first time since 2011—a move that may herald a new outreach campaign to disaffected Kurdish voters."

Yet rather than signaling moderation, this gesture could just as readily be a temporary ploy to divide the opposition that united behind Imamoglu. As Cagaptay warned CNN, "Mr. Erdogan holds the ability to even further suppress democratic rights and liberties, and I think it is fair to say that unfortunately, the next race will be neither free nor fair."

ABOUT THE EXPERT

Soner Cagaptay is the Beyer Family Fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute, and author of the 2017 book The New Sultan: Erdogan and the Crisis of Modern Turkey. A historian by training, he was named the Ertegun Professor in Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies and has taught courses at Yale, Georgetown, and Smith College. In addition, he served as chair of the Turkey Advanced Area Studies Program at the State Department's Foreign Service Institute.

Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, Former IDF Chief of Staff, Joins the Washington Institute - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, Former IDF Chief of Staff, Joins the Washington Institute


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, a decorated military strategist who recently retired after serving as chief of the general staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), has joined the Washington Institute for Near East Policy as a visiting military fellow, the research institution announced today.

General Eisenkot spent four decades in the IDF, holding command positions with the the Golani Brigade, the Bashan Armored Division, the Judea and Samaria Division, IDF Operations Branch, and the Northern Command. In 1999, Eisenkot was appointed military secretary to the prime minister and minister of defense. He was named deputy chief of general staff in 2012, and rose to become the 21st IDF chief of the general staff two years later.

"We are honored to welcome to the Institute one of Israel's greatest strategic thinkers," Washington Institute executive director Dr. Robert Satloff said. " Lt. Gen. Eisenkot's legacy precedes him. His policy of carrying out ‘a campaign between the wars’ – striking targets before they become critical threats – has limited Iran’s encroachment in the Levant and contributed to Israel’s defense.”

In 2016, Eisenkot was awarded the Commander of the Legion of Merit by his American counterpart, General Joseph Dunford, for "exceptionally meritorious service as chief of the General Staff of the IDF" and his "contribution to the strategic cooperation between the United States and Israel [that] will have a lasting effect on both countries."  Eisenkot received a B.A. in history from Tel Aviv University and received a master's degree from the United States Army War College. 

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact : Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.

Jared Kushner to Address Washington Institute Soref Symposium Keynote Dinner - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Jared Kushner to Address Washington Institute Soref Symposium Keynote Dinner


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WASHINGTON, D.C. Jared Kushner, the senior advisor to President Donald Trump, will be the keynote speaker of the Washington Institute's 2019 Soref Symposium dinner, the research institution announced today.

The on-the-record event, "Inside the Trump Administration's Middle East Peace Effort: A Conversation With Jared Kushner," will take place on Thursday, May 2, at 6:45 p.m. Kushner will be interviewed by Institute executive director Robert Satloff.

Media representatives who wish to cover the event should send a request to media relations associate Erika Naegeli at [email protected] or call 202-230-9550. The Institute will confirm each representative before the event. No one will be admitted to the room without prior approval. Video cameras should be in place no later than 5:30. Entrance will be denied after 6:30.

Since becoming the President's senior advisor, Kushner has traveled extensively in the Middle East and has met numerous times with the region's key leaders. He has been present for major Middle East policy decisions, including moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and the U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. He has been central to the development of the administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

About The Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact : Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.

 

Daniel Green Sworn in as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Daniel Green Sworn in as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development


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WASHINGTON – Daniel R. Green, defense fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, was appointed to the position of deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development, the research institution announced today.

"Dan is a perfect fit for this important role at the Pentagon," said Washington Institute executive director Robert Satloff. "He brings to the position a rare combination of scholarly excellence and professional experience that will make him an invaluable contributor to the making and execution of defense policy. All his colleagues join in wishing him great success in fulfilling his new responsibilities."

Green has been a defense fellow with the Institute since 2011, focusing on counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, and stability operations in the Middle East and Central Asia. He is the author of In the Warlords' Shadow: Special Operations Forces, the Afghans, and their Fight with the Taliban (Naval Institute Press, 2017), co-author of Fallujah Redux: The Anbar Awakening and the Struggle with al-Qaeda (Naval Institute Press, 2014), and author of The Valley's Edge: A Year with the Pashtuns in the Heartland of the Taliban (Potomac Books, 2011). Green has also written over fifty-five journal articles, op-eds, and policy analysis studies.

Daniel Green serves as a reserve officer with the U.S. Navy and has completed multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, most recently as a tribal and political engagement officer in Baghdad (2015-2016). His prior deployments include service in Afghanistan (2012) as a tribal and political engagement officer in Uruzgan province; as the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command liaison officer to the U.S. Embassy's Office of Interagency Provincial Affairs in Afghanistan (2009-2010); as a tribal and political engagement officer in Fallujah, Iraq (2007); and as a civilian with the Department of State as the political advisor to the Tarin Kowt Provincial Reconstruction Team in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan (2005-2006).

In Green's new capacity as deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development, he will be  the principal civilian advisor to the assistant secretary of defense for strategy, plans, and capabilities in providing long-term anticipatory and strategic perspective on security issues and advising on policies, strategies, processes, and capabilities to advance U.S. interest. His office is responsible for developing the National Defense Strategy, the Defense Planning Guidance, as well as various defense planning scenarios.

Green holds a PhD and an MPhil in political science from The George Washington University, an MS in international affairs from Florida State University, along with dual BAs in political science, history and CLEG (communications, legal institutions, economics and government) from American University.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact : Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email

Michael Singh and Dana Stroul Appointed Co-Chairs of Congressionally-Mandated Syria Study Group - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Michael Singh and Dana Stroul Appointed Co-Chairs of Congressionally-Mandated Syria Study Group


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two Washington Institute scholars — Lane-Swig Senior Fellow and Managing Director Michael Singh and Senior Fellow Dana Stroul — have been appointed as the respective Republican and Democratic co-chairs of the Congressionally-mandated Syria Study Group, the research institution announced today. 

"It would have been an honor for Congress to ask one of my colleagues to lead this this important Congressional initiative to provide practical policy advice on the thorny problem of Syria, but it is truly amazing that Congress asked our experts to fill both leadership slots," said Washington Institute Executive Director Robert Satloff. "The appointments of Mike and Dana underscore the values of professional excellence, policy relevance, and political non-partisanship that are hallmarks of our organization."

The twelve-member Syria Study Group will “examine and make recommendations on the military and diplomatic strategy of the United States with respect to the conflict in Syria," according to the bill signed into law on October 5, 2018. The legislation mandates the "full and timely cooperation" of the Secretaries of Defense and State, as well as the Director of National Intelligence. A final report is due to Congress in April 2019.

Modeled on the Iraq Study Group formed in 2006, the Syria Study Group will consist of outside experts appointed by the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, and the Speaker and minority leader of the House.

Singh, appointed by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), has been the managing director of the Washington Institute since 2011. Previously, he served as the senior director for the Middle East at the National Security Council from 2005 to 2008. He has written extensively on the Middle East, broader U.S. national security strategy, and the organization and management of the U.S. national security apparatus. 

Stroul, appointed by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), joined the Washington Institute in December 2018 from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where she served five years as a senior professional staff member under ranking member Bob Menendez (D-NJ). Stroul also spent five years in the Middle East policy office of the Secretary of Defense, focusing on U.S.-Egypt relations, the U.S. military drawdown in Iraq,  and a review of  U.S. government  policies and programs in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.

Elana DeLozier Joins the Washington Institute as a Research Fellow in the Bernstein Program on Gulf and Energy Policy - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Elana DeLozier Joins the Washington Institute as a Research Fellow in the Bernstein Program on Gulf and Energy Policy


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Elana DeLozier, a widely-respected analyst and regional expert, has joined the Washington Institute for Near East Policy as a research fellow in the Bernstein Program on Gulf and Energy Policy, the research institution announced today.

"We are incredibly pleased to add Elana DeLozier's insightful expertise and policy recommendations to our growing team of Gulf experts," Washington Institute Executive Director Robert Satloff said. "Throughout her career, Elana has focused on the nexus of critically important policy problem sets. She joins the Washington Institute with an impressive degree of experience specializing in nuclear weapons and proliferation, counterterrorism, and Gulf politics, particularly in Yemen and Saudi Arabia."

DeLozier spent seven years in both the Levant and the Gulf, where she worked as a political analyst and spearheaded training programs for new analysts - most recently for an institute she founded, the Sage Institute for Foreign Affairs.

From 2006 to 2010, DeLozier served as the right hand to the commissioner of the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau as well as an intelligence analyst on nuclear issues and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. She has also taught graduate courses on nuclear proliferation, Gulf politics, and counterterrorism at New York University in New York and at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi. She started her career at the Brookings Institution.

DeLozier holds a master's degree in political science from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, where she also received her bachelor's degree.

DeLozier is the author of "Yemen’s Second-in-Command May Have a Second Coming" and "Iran's Procurement Channel: Salvaging Non-Proliferation Gains While Reimposing Sanctions." Follow her on Twitter at @ElanaGulf.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.

Mideast Expert Dana Stroul, Senior Capitol Hill Aide, Joins the Washington Institute - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Mideast Expert Dana Stroul, Senior Capitol Hill Aide, Joins the Washington Institute


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dana Stroul, who most recently served five years as a senior professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has joined the Washington Institute for Near East Policy as a senior fellow in the Beth and David Geduld Program on Arab Politics, the research institution announced today.

At the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Stroul covered the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey. In that capacity, she played a central role in the oversight of the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, which included overseeing U.S. foreign assistance and weapons sales, as well as crafting relevant legislation.

"I am delighted to welcome Dana Stroul to The Washington Institute," Washington Institute Executive Director Dr. Robert Satloff said. "Her extensive experience as a practitioner of U.S. Middle East policy means her policy recommendations will be actionable and her insights indispensable."

Before working on Capitol Hill, Stroul served in the Middle East policy office of the Secretary of Defense. From 2008 to 2013, she focused on a range of topics including U.S.-Egypt relations, the U.S. military drawdown in Iraq,  and a review of  U.S. government  policies and programs in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. In addition, Stroul also worked at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on economic-political affairs, at the U.S. Institute of Peace on civilian-military relations in Iraq, and at the National Democratic Institute on Gulf Affairs. 

Stroul holds a bachelor's degree in religious and Middle East studies from the University of Virginia and a master of science in foreign service from Georgetown University. She also studied at the American University in Cairo and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.

Institute Honors Former CIA Directors as Scholar-Statesmen - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Institute Honors Former CIA Directors as Scholar-Statesmen


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As a snowstorm swept over New York City last month, nearly 300 guests convened for The Washington Institute’s 2018 Scholar-Statesman Award that honored two former Central Intelligence Agency directors who played a pivotal role in defending the country against foreign threats: Gen. Michael Hayden (USAF Ret.) and George Tenet.

The Institute’s most prestigious prize was presented at a gala dinner in New York City that also paid tribute to Washington Institute Trustee Joan Kahn.

Gen. Michael Hayden, a retired four-star general in the United States Air Force, is the only person to have led the country's two premier intelligence agencies: the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005 and the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2009. General Hayden played a significant role in countering rising cybersecurity threats. He is currently a principal at the Chertoff Group, and the author of a memoir, Playing the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror, and The Assault on Intelligence: American National Security in an Age of Lies.

George Tenet served as the director of the Central Intelligence agency from 1997 to 2004 under the Clinton and Bush administrations, making him the second-longest serving director in U.S. history. In his role, Tenet undertook the shifting national security of the post-Cold War era. President George W. Bush awarded Tenet the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004. Tenet is the author of At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA, and he currently serves as a managing director of Allen & Company.

William Davidson Distinguished Fellow Dennis Ross interviewed former CIA directors Gen. Michael Hayden (USAF Ret.) and George Tenet on the occasion of their receiving the Institute’s Scholar-Statesman Award in New York City on November 15, 2018. In presenting the Scholar-Statesman Award to the honorees, Institute Chairman Jim Schreiber praised the former officials as “two men whose careers have transcended the partisan divide, leaders who were each chosen by presidents of both parties to lead our most secret intelligence agencies. In so doing, we honor two leaders who understood that behind every piece of intelligence, every policy directive, every field operation, are men and women who put their own lives at risk for the welfare of their fellow Americans.”

During their conversation with Amb. Ross, Hayden and Tenet addressed current U.S. national security issues including global terrorism, the expansion of Iranian influence in the Middle East, the politicization of intelligence, the need for strong partnerships with foreign governments, and Israel’s increasing relationships with Arab states.

Davidson Distinguished Fellow Ambassador Dennis Ross led an insightful and provocative conversation with the Scholar-Statesmen in which they shared their lessons from careers at the pinnacle of U.S. national security and their significance for today.

The Institute also honored Institute Trustee Joan Kahn, a woman of extraordinary grace and selfless generosity. Joan and her late husband, Mike, funded the Institute's David Kahn and Douglas Kahn Fellowship in Middle East Security. Joan is vice president of the Women's International Zionist Organization (WIZO) and served as the group's NGO representative to the United Nations. Beyond her extensive nonprofit leadership roles, Joan has been a board member of the American Friends of the Louvre since 2012.

Trustee Gregg Abramson honored his late parents, former President Richard and Trustee Lorraine Abramson, and their enduring legacy, including the exciting Abramson Young Leadership Program.

The dinner was co-chaired by, The Abramson Family, Jill and Jay Bernstein, Carol and Roger Einiger, Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg, Susan and Leonard Feinstein, Buzzy Geduld, Stefanie and Douglas Kahn, Shelly and Michael Kassen, Lori and Zach Schreiber, Wendy and James Schreiber, Sofia and Mike Segal, Shonni Silverberg and John Shapiro. The vice chairs were Sol Barer, Wendy Fisher and Dennis Goodman, Ruth and Sid Lapidus, Phyllis and Bernard “Bud” Leventhal, Daniel Mintz and Meredith Berkman, Robin Chemers Neustein, Johanna and Lief Rosenblatt, Denise and Thomas Stern, Betsy and Walter “Wally” Stern, and Nina and Gary Wexler. The honorary chairs were Ahuva and Martin J. Gross, Susan and Roger Hertog, Merryl H. Tisch and James S. Tisch.

Muslim World League Head Responds to Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Muslim World League Head Denounces 'Anti-Semitic Rhetoric,' Condemns Public Figures for 'Indirect Incitement' of Pittsburgh Attack


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Mohammed Al-Issa addressed the Institute's May 2018 Barbi Weinberg Founders Conference. Credit: TWI/Lloyd Wolf. High resolution photo.

Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, October 30, 2018, Washington Institute executive director Dr. Robert Satloff received the following letter from Dr. Mohammed Abdelkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League.

In this unsolicited message, distributed with permission, Dr. Al-Issa not only affirms the public statement previously issued by the MWL condemning the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre as an act of terrorism but specifically denounces the “anti-Semitic rhetoric ... and hateful propaganda that drove [the perpetrator] to such a heinous act.” Moreover, his letter includes a powerful rebuke to politicians and public figures “whose racist slogans … are indirect incitement to such barbaric terrorist acts.”

Dear Rob,

I have received with great sadness the news of the heinous terrorist crime that claimed the lives of a number of innocent people in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. This crime has shocked us all and awakened in us the need to unite our efforts to protect our freedoms and values from those evil people. Those who from time to time will find someone who supports their disregard towards others and incites hatred. There is no doubt that this terrorist crime was ordered by anti-Semitic rhetorics, and perpetrated by a criminal who is considered to be one of the evil remnants of Nazism.

Behind every criminal lies his upbringing, environment, collective mind, or a hateful propaganda that drove him to such a heinous act. This crime won't be the last unless there is a hard and honest review of the reasons that led this terrorist to perpetrate his crime. It is not enough to punish the criminal; the root causes must be addressed in a sincere and serious manner, away from mere promises. Such crimes with the hatred attached to them ought and must shake the world. Unfortunately, they will be soon forgotten within the folds of time, until another criminal comes along and reminds of the stark reality.

This crime with all of its heinous indications and messages will not defeat us and we will triumph over it, God willing. Faced with trials, the believers' trust in God increases with added patience, strength and hope, no matter how high the stakes of evil are. The racist slogans raised by some politicians and other celebrities around the world, albeit their indirect approach, are among the most important elements of the primary industry of hatred and the indirect incitement to such barbaric terrorist acts.

Dear brother,

Personally, and on behalf of the Muslim World League from Makka, where hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world follow us and on behalf of the World Organization of Muslim Scholars, we feel the pain of this terrorist incident and extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims. We call on the free world to unite in confronting hatred with its evil and danger, and to destroy its malignant roots in order for our world to live in peace and security.

Accept my warmest greetings.
Dr. Mohammad Abdulkarim Al-Issa
Secretary-General
Muslim World League
Chairman
World Organization of Muslim Scholars

Watch: Mohammad Al-Issa's conversation with Robert Satloff at the Weinberg Founder's Conference in May 2018.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.

Institute Launches Persian Website - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Institute Launches Persian Website


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Washington, D.C. – The Washington Institute has launched a Persian (Farsi) version of its website to provide Persian-speakers throughout the world with an authorized translation of the Institute’s analysis on the Middle East and U.S. policy. The Persian-language website is available at www.washingtoninstitute.org/fa.

“The Washington Institute has long been a source of insight for the English-speaking Iranian political elite, scholars, and journalists,” explains Executive Director Robert Satloff. “By launching a Farsi version of our website we will reach the broader audience of Iranians who only speak Farsi. As Iranians clamor for objective sources of information, we hope that they will turn increasingly to the Institute for research-driven analysis on the crucial issues affecting U.S. policy toward Iran and the greater Middle East.”

The website will be managed by Libitzky Family Fellow Mehdi Khalaji under the Institute’s Viterbi Program on Iran and U.S. Policy. Khalaji, a Qom-trained theologian, focuses his research on the politics of Iran and Shiite groups in the Middle East.

The new website debuts with more than 40 research papers translated into Persian by a team of professional editors and translators. The Washington Institute will publish several Persian-language pieces each week covering a variety of topics, including Iranian political affairs, economic issues, as well as security and regional affairs.

The website will be accompanied by complementary social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Telegram.

The Institute has attracted a growing global readership following the debut of its Arabic-language website in January 2009. Today visitors read more of the website’s Arabic pages than those in English.

For more information contact [email protected].

About The Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.

 

IDF Brig. Gen. (Res.) Assaf Orion Joins The Washington Institute as a Visiting Fellow - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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IDF Brig. Gen. (Res.) Assaf Orion Joins The Washington Institute as a Visiting Fellow


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assaf Orion, a retired Israeli brigadier general and defense strategist whose broad research scope ranges from relations with China to Israel’s regional political-military strategy and policy, has joined the Washington Institute as a visiting military fellow, the research organization announced today.

During his career in the Israel Defense Forces, Orion was responsible for strategic policy formulation, international cooperation, and military diplomacy. He also served as a liaison to neighboring militaries and peacekeeping forces in the region. Orion was most recently the head of the Strategic Division in the Planning Directorate of the IDF General Staff. In this position, he was in charge of communication with UNIFIL and the Lebanese army, led staff meetings with counterparts from the Pentagon and from other Western militaries, took part in the U.S.-Israel security dialogue, and represented the IDF in talks with the Palestinian Authority.

After retiring from the IDF in 2016, Orion joined the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv where he serves as senior research fellow, head of the countering Boycott, Divestment, and Delegitimization program, and director of its Israel-China program.

Orion holds a bachelor’s degree in Arabic language and literature and Middle Eastern history from Tel Aviv University, and a master’s degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

About The Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.

Washington Institute Fellow James F. Jeffrey Appointed Sec. Pompeo's Special Envoy for Syria - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Washington Institute Fellow James F. Jeffrey Appointed Sec. Pompeo's Special Envoy for Syria


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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Washington Institute congratulates Ambassador James F. Jeffrey — former U.S. envoy to Turkey and Iraq and the organization's Philip Solondz Distinguished Fellow — on his appointment today as the State Department's Special Representative for Syrian Engagement.

"Jim Jeffrey is a national treasure," said Institute executive director Dr. Robert Satloff. "Any Administration would be wise to find a way to inject his insight, intellect, backbone, experience and wit into the highest levels of American foreign policymaking. Secretary Pompeo deserves high marks for creating a position that taps Jim's special talents."

One of the nation's most senior diplomats, Ambassador Jeffrey has held a series of highly sensitive posts in Washington D.C. and abroad. In addition to his service as ambassador in Ankara and Baghdad, he served as assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor in the George W. Bush administration, with a special focus on Iran. He previously served as principal deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the Department of State, where his responsibilities included leading the Iran policy team and coordinating public diplomacy. Earlier appointments included service as senior advisor on Iraq to the secretary of state; chargé d'affaires and deputy chief of mission in Baghdad; deputy chief of mission in Ankara; and ambassador to Albania.

A former infantry officer in the U.S. army, Ambassador Jeffrey served in Germany and Vietnam from 1969 to 1976.

"We take great pride in Jim Jeffrey's appointment and hope his past writing and future advice will help our government navigate one of the most difficult and perplexing foreign policy challenges we face today — the crisis in Syria," said Institute Chairman James Schreiber and President Shelly Kassen.

Since joining the Institute in 2012, Jeffrey has written and spoken widely on U.S. strategy in the Middle East, with a focus on Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. He is the co-author, with Dennis Ross, of the Transition 2017 paper General Principles to Guide U.S. Middle East Policy and most recently was a lead contributor to the Institute publication Toward a New U.S. Policy in Syria: Ground Zero for Countering Iran and Deterring an Islamic State Revival.

About The Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Erika Naegeli, 202-452-0650, email.

Washington Institute Elects New Board of Directors Members - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Washington Institute Elects New Board of Directors Members


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Jeffrey I. Abrams, Lynn Levy Peseckis, and  Mike Segal WASHINGTON, D.C. – Meeting in May, the Trustees of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy elected Jeffrey I. Abrams of Los Angeles, Lynn Levy Peseckis of Singer Island, FL, and Mike Segal of New York City to its 30-member Board of Directors. The new Board members will serve a one-year term.

"We are delighted that these longstanding supporters have joined our Board," said Institute President Shelly Kassen and Chairman James Schreiber. "We look forward to their leadership, insight, and counsel."

A Trustee of the Institute since 1997, Jeffrey I. Abrams has traveled with the Institute to Israel, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Europe, and most recently the Gulf. He also chaired the 2017 Western Regional Dinner Symposium. Professionally, he is an attorney and entrepreneur, principally focused on the entertainment and technology industries. He is involved with several nonprofit organizations in his hometown of Los Angeles and is a trustee of the Samuel and Helene Soref Foundation. He and his wife, Michele Breslauer, are both graduates of the Wexner Heritage Foundation leadership program.

Lynn Levy Peseckis became an Institute Trustee in 2012 and has traveled with the Institute to United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), Morocco, and the Gulf. During her diverse career, she has worked as a research seismologist, taught geology at Hudson Valley Community College, co-owned a gallery for contemporary art, and created a website development business. She served for 14 years on the board of trustees of the Berkshire Country Day School and is currently on the Jewish Community Relations Council for the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County. She holds an undergraduate degree in physics from Boston University and master’s degrees in applied science from NYU and geology and seismology from Columbia University.

Mike Segal became a Trustee in 2015 and has traveled with the Institute to Morocco, Israel, and the Gulf. Involved in the power industry for over 40 years, he is chairman and founder of LS Power Group, a developer, owner, operator, and investor in power generation and electric transmission infrastructure in the United States. In addition to his core business, Mr. Segal and his family have anchored and provided seed capital to several real estate funds, hedge funds, and private equity funds. Mike immigrated to the United States from Ukraine in 1978, and is a U.S. citizen. He and his wife, Sofia, are involved in a variety of philanthropic activities.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Ian Byrne, 202-452-0650, email.

James Schreiber Elected Chairman of Washington Institute’s Board of Trustees - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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James Schreiber Elected Chairman of Washington Institute’s Board of Trustees


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Washington, D.C. – James Schreiber — attorney, businessman, and philanthropic leader — was elected chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the organization announced today. Mr. Schreiber succeeds Board Chairman Martin J. Gross who becomes chairman emeritus.

Mr. Schreiber, a longstanding member of the Institute's Board of Trustees and Board of Directors, served previously as an Institute senior vice president. He lives in Greenwich, CT, and New York City.

"It is a true honor to be elected chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Washington Institute," said Mr. Schreiber. "Now, more than ever, I believe the Institute contributes to the vital national security interests of the United States by providing analysis and ideas to our nation’s leaders. Indeed, it is fair to characterize the Institute as both a 'think and do tank,' given that its policy prescriptions carry such weight with senior government officials who make and implement U.S. policy in the region. As chairman, I look forward to strengthening its capacity to provide policymakers with solutions that will advance security and peace in this critical region of the world."

"For more than 20 years, Jim has been selflessly devoted to the mission of the Institute," said Chairman Emeritus Gross and Institute President Shelly Kassen. "We look forward to his leadership as chairman of the Board of Trustees."

Following his service as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1969 to 1974, Mr. Schreiber worked in private practice in New York City for nearly 30 years before becoming the chairman, chief executive officer, and principal shareholder of Dairy Enterprises, Inc., at the time the largest dairy processor in the Northeast. He sits on many nonprofit boards including the Columbia Law School Board of Visitors and the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation, of which he previously served as chairman, as well as having served for many years on the Brown University Sports Foundation. He is the founder of the Palestinian Rule of Law Project, a program that brings Palestinian lawyers to the United States for a one-year master's program at prominent law schools to strengthen democratic institutions in Gaza and the West Bank. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Brown University and his law degree from Columbia University. He also graduated from Harvard Business School’s three-year OPM program. Between them, he and his wife Wendy have eight grown children and 15 grandchildren.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Ian Byrne, 202-452-0650, email.

Barbara A. Leaf, Decorated Diplomat, Joins The Washington Institute - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Barbara A. Leaf, Decorated Diplomat and Former U.S. Ambassador to UAE, Joins The Washington Institute


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Barbara A. Leaf, who retired from the U.S. State Department last month after serving as ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, has joined the Washington Institute as its Rosenblatt Distinguished Visiting Fellow, the research organization announced today.
 
"After a distinguished diplomatic career, we are honored that Ambassador Leaf has chosen to begin the next stage of her professional life at The Washington Institute," said Robert Satloff, Institute Executive Director and the Howard P. Berkowitz Chair in U.S. Middle East Policy. "She brings decades of experience and Middle East expertise to the Institute. She will contribute enormously to our mission to provide policymakers with practical solutions to foreign policy challenges."

"I am thrilled to be joining the Washington Institute," said Ambassador Leaf. "The Institute has been an important source of ideas and analysis to me throughout my career. I look forward to continuing to advance U.S. interests in the region in this new role."

Ambassador Leaf’s fellowship was made possible by a generous gift from Institute trustees Lief and Johanna Rosenblatt. During her fellowship at the Institute, Ambassador Leaf will focus her research, writing, and speaking on U.S policy in the Gulf and intra-Gulf political and security dynamics.

During her diplomatic career, Ambassador Leaf served in high-level positions at Foggy Bottom and abroad. Before arriving in Abu Dhabi in 2014, she served as deputy assistant secretary of state for the Arabian Peninsula in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and as deputy assistant secretary of state for Iraq; directed the U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team in Basrah, Iraq; and served as the first director of the Office of Iranian Affairs. In addition she had postings in Rome, Paris, Cairo, Jerusalem, Port-au-Prince, and Sarajevo.

Ambassador Leaf departed government as a member of the Senior Foreign Service and has received numerous Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor Awards throughout her career. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, she holds a master's degree in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia. She speaks Arabic, French, Italian, and Serbo-Croatian.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Ian Byrne, 202-452-0650, email.

Lebanese Military Court Reverses Conviction of Institute Friedmann Visiting Fellow Hanin Ghaddar - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Lebanese Military Court Reverses Conviction of Institute Friedmann Visiting Fellow Hanin Ghaddar


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a victory for freedom of expression, the Lebanese Military Tribunal yesterday reversed its January decision to sentence the Institute’s Friedmann Visiting Fellow, Hanin Ghaddar, a veteran Lebanese journalist, to six months in prison in absentia for “defaming” the Lebanese military.

Acting on an appeal from Ghaddar, the Tribunal dropped her sentence, ruling that it does not have jurisdiction to try a civilian journalist. The court referred the matter to the military prosecutor who could send it to a civil court for further action.

Ms. Ghaddar was prosecuted for her presentation at a 2014 Institute conference in which she discussed the Lebanese Army’s favorable treatment of the Hezbollah militia, which has been designated a terrorist group by the U.S. government. Journalists, human rights groups, U.S. lawmakers, and administration officials rallied to Ms. Ghaddar’s defense.

“I am gratified that today’s decision is not just a personal victory; rather, it is a victory for the free press. It is a victory for all Lebanese journalists who are fighting against oppression and defending freedoms, no matter the cost. No journalist - in Lebanon or elsewhere - should be persecuted for reporting the news or stating an opinion.

“This success would not have been possible without the outpouring of attention from the global media or the messages of support from a broad range of human rights and free-speech groups. I would like to thank everyone in Washington and Beirut who challenged the sentence and expressed solidarity with me against this unjust ruling.

“A special thank you to my colleagues and friends at The Washington Institute, in Washington and around the United States, for all their support - without their backing and encouragement, I wouldn’t have felt strong enough to face this ordeal.

“Today, freedom of speech won.”

“The Institute applauds Hanin for the strength and bravery she has demonstrated throughout her career and especially during this latest trying period,” stated Institute Executive Director Robert Satloff. “Her unlawful conviction exposed the extent of Hezbollah’s influence in a would-be democratic ally of the United States, extending even to the armed forces and the military prosecutor. This precedent should give pause to any country - friend or foe - who would seek to criminalize free speech.”

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact : Ian Byrne, 202-452-0650, email.

David Schenker Nominated to be Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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David Schenker Nominated to be Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs


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Washington Institute congratulates scholar-practitioner on appointment to top Mideast diplomatic post

Washington, D.C. – The Washington Institute for Near East Policy congratulates David Schenker, director of the organization's Program on Arab Politics, on his nomination to be assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs.

"This is an inspired appointment," said Institute Executive Director Robert Satloff. "As the director of our Arab politics program for more than a decade, David has led Institute research and programming on a broad array of regional topics during an especially turbulent period. He will undoubtedly enrich U.S. Middle East policy with his deep scholarship and his valuable experience as a public official. America’s interests in security and peace in the region will be better for his service."

If confirmed by the Senate, Schenker — the Institute's Aufzien Fellow — will become the State Department’s senior official responsible for Middle East issues. 

"We are proud of the fact that David Schenker will be the latest in a long line of Institute experts to join the government in senior positions — in both Republican and Democratic administrations — to provide expertise on the Middle East," said Institute President Shelly Kassen and Chairman Martin J. Gross.

Schenker has served as director of the Institute's Program on Arab Politics since 2006. Previously, he served in the George W. Bush administration as Levant country director in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, in which capacity he was responsible for advising the secretary and senior Pentagon leaders on the military and political affairs of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories. His service was recognized with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service in 2005.

Prior to joining the Pentagon, Schenker was a research fellow at the Institute, focusing on Arab governance. The author of books on Iraq and Jordan and on Palestinian politics, his commentary on Arab affairs appears often in prominent scholarly journals and leading media outlets. Fluent in Arabic, Schenker received his master’s degree from the University of Michigan and his undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont. 

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Ian Byrne, 202-452-0650, email.

Bilal Wahab Named Nathan and Esther K. Wagner Fellow - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Bilal Wahab Named Nathan and Esther K. Wagner Fellow


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Expert will analyze U.S.-Kurdish relations, Kurds' regional role

Washington, D.C. – Dr. Bilal Wahab, an expert on Kurdish politics and economics, was named The Washington Institute's Nathan and Esther K. Wagner Fellow, the research organization announced today. Dr. Wahab had previously received a Soref Research Fellowship from the Institute.

The Nathan and Esther K. Wagner Fellowship is made possible by a generous contribution from members of the Wagner family’s foundation who are themselves long-time Institute supporters. Sisters Joyce Croft, Susan Wagner, and Linda Wagner-Weiner honor their parents with this fellowship.

A native of Iraqi Kurdistan, Dr. Wahab previously taught at the American University of Iraq in Sulaymaniyah, where he established the Center for Development and Natural Resources. He earned his doctorate from George Mason University; his master’s degree from American University in Washington, DC, where he was among the first Iraqis awarded a Fulbright scholarship; and his bachelor’s degree from Salahaddin University in Erbil, Iraq.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Ian Byrne, 202-452-0650, email.

 

Statement on Holocaust Remembrance from Head of Saudi-Based Muslim World League - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Breaking News: Statement on Holocaust Remembrance from Head of Saudi-Based Muslim World League


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Washington, DC - The following letter to Sara Bloomfield, director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, was sent via email on January 22, 2018. It is posted here – in the original English and in Arabic translation -- with full permission from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. For background on this landmark letter, read Dr. Robert Satloff's related op-ed.

Ms. Bloomfield,

It’s my pleasure to write to you this letter on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, celebrating the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp. On this occasion, I confirm to you what I have already told my friend Robert Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, about our great sympathy with the victims of the Holocaust, an incident that shook humanity to the core, and created an event whose horrors could not be denied or underrated by any fair-minded or peace-loving person.

This human tragedy perpetrated by evil Nazism won’t be forgotten by history, or meet the approval of anyone, except criminal Nazis or their genre. True Islam is against these crimes. It classifies them in the highest degree of penal sanctions and among the worst human atrocities ever. One would ask, who in his right mind would accept, sympathize, or even diminish the extent of this brutal crime. However, our solace is that the memory of history is fair and vivid; and a justice, free of any other inclinations, would mourn this crime on behalf of all humanity. The victims have sacrificed their innocent lives to pen a memorable reminder of freedom and determination, an example of the extent of Nazi hate which has sunk the world into wars and disasters.

History is indeed impartial no matter how hard forgers tried to tamper with or manipulate it. Hence, we consider any denial of the Holocaust or minimizing of its effect a crime to distort history and an insult to the dignity of those innocent souls who have perished. It is also an affront to us all since we share the same human soul and spiritual bonds.

The Muslim World League is entirely independent of any political aims, tendencies, or otherwise. It does, however, express its opinion with utter neutrality; an impartiality that doesn’t carry any political tone at all. It looks at matters and judges them without prejudice and with transparency. We do not express our views on any dimensions other than absolute the human dimension: that of innocent lives. The latter have been protected and safeguarded in Islam, which decrees that anyone who assaults and kills an innocent soul will be held accountable as if he has killed all people.

Islam has, through long centuries, coexisted with all religions and respected the dignity of its followers. We are also aware that there are political slogans in all religions throughout history that exploit faith to achieve their goals and aspirations, however, religions are innocent of these schemes.

As a result, unjustified and unjust wars broke out, and blood was shed and still is, all in the name of religions. The law of the Creator came with peace, love, justice, and truth. On the other hand, we find extremists who are affiliated with all religions become active from time to time, in ebb and tide cycles throughout history. They swear hatred to others, even to people of their own faith. We Muslims have seen many terrorists who tried to falsify and distort religious texts and twist their historical facts. We have said in the past, and still do today, that there is no authority on religions except correct religious texts free of misleading, false, and distorted interpretations. We must also rely only on prophets and messengers of all religions who have conveyed the messages given to them the Creator of these faiths. The religion of God came as a mercy to mankind; it was not revealed to cause their misery and be a reason for wars and calamities.

Please accept my best regards and appreciation.

Dr. Mohammad Al Issa
Secretary General
Muslim World League
President of the International Organization of Muslim Scholars

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Ian Byrne, 202-452-0650, email.

 

TWI Expert Hanin Ghaddar, Sentenced to Prison by Lebanese Court, Receives Global Media Coverage, Outpouring of Support from Free-Speech Groups - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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TWI Expert Hanin Ghaddar, Sentenced to Prison by Lebanese Court, Receives Global Media Coverage, Outpouring of Support from Free-Speech Groups


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Washington, D.C. –  The conviction by a Lebanese military court of Hanin Ghaddar, the Washington Institute's Friedmann Visiting Fellow, on charges of "defaming" Lebanon's armed forces has triggered an outpouring of attention from world media as well as support and solidarity from a broad range of human rights and free-speech groups.

Newspapers, radio and television around the world — including virtually every major wire service — have reported on the closed trial and six-month sentence meted out in absentia to Ms. Ghaddar, the Institute's expert on Hezbollah and former editor of Lebanon's NOW Media. This press scrutiny has, in turn, earned her the strong backing of groups committed to civil liberties.

The Beirut-based SKEyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom issued a statement in support of Ms. Ghaddar saying: "The Lebanese authorities are increasingly mirroring the behavior of authoritarian regimes in the region that use military justice as a weapon of repression on the basis of weak arguments. This trend will continue as long as those in power who claim to defend freedom of expression, allow military sanctions to be imposed on journalists participating in conferences."

"We express our full support to Hanin and call on the authorities to drop this unfair sentence," declared the Arab Reform Initiative. "We will always stand up for the values that ARI upholds and in solidarity with all those who face threats for expressing their opinion."

Non-Middle East-focused institutions took notice, too. PEN America, the largest chapter of the celebrated international organization that defends free speech, featured news of Ms. Ghaddar's conviction on its home page.

Commenting on the case, Washington Institute Executive Director Dr. Robert Satloff stated: "Hanin Ghaddar is a brilliant journalist, insightful analyst and courageous Lebanese patriot, who had the temerity to speak truth to power in her country. Readers in Washington and around the world have benefitted greatly from her research into Hezbollah and Shiites politics in the Levant and we at Washington Institute are proud to have her as a colleague.

"Over the years, the U.S. government has provided Lebanon with substantial assistance to advance our common interests and to support the hope, however faint, that Lebanon could some day regain its reputation for tolerance and diversity. Indeed, the Lebanese military will receive $120 million in U.S. aid this year and has been the recipient of over $1.5 billion in aid over the past decade. However, the fact that a military court convicted Ms. Ghaddar of a crime for speaking in Washington about the political situation in her native land and sentenced her to prison, without even a lawyer present, speaks volumes about the current state of freedom and justice in that sad country."

Ms. Ghaddar's prosecution arose following her appearance at the 2014 Washington Institute Barbi Weinberg Founders Conference in which she stated during a panel discussion that the Lebanese military targets Sunni groups while showing preference to Shiite groups, such as Hezbollah.

Speaking on behalf of The Washington Institute, Dr. Satloff thanked global media for raising public awareness about Ms. Ghaddar's case as well as the U.S. and Middle East-based nongovernmental organizations that have issued statements of solidarity.

The Washington Institute will continue to monitor the situation and release updates when available.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Ian Byrne, 202-452-0650, email.

Institute Names Former Israeli UN Ambassadors Scholar-Statesmen - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Institute Names Former Israeli UN Ambassadors Scholar-Statesmen


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Honors Trustees Jill and Jay Bernstein

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the eve of the 70th anniversary of the ratification of the UN Partition Plan for Palestine, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy presented its 2017 Scholar-Statesman Award to three former ambassadors who enhanced Israel’s position in the world body: Dore Gold, Dan Gillerman, and Ron Prosor.

The Institute conferred its most prestigious prize, now in its eleventh year, at a gala dinner in New York City that also paid tribute to Washington Institute Trustees Jill and Jay Bernstein. The event was attended by more than 400 guests.

“Though the UN issued Israel its birth certificate, it has long been hostile to the Jewish state, singling out Israel for condemnation and attacking its very right to exist,” said Institute Executive Director Robert Satloff, who is the Institute's Howard P. Berkowitz Chair in U.S. Middle East Policy. “The Institute is proud to recognize three exemplary diplomats who have fought for justice and fairness for Israel in the world body.”

Amb. Dore Gold, a scholar by training, served as Israel’s permanent representative to the UN from 1997-1999. His most recent government service was as director-general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry from 2015-2016. Amb. Gold currently serves as president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), a think tank, where he authored his 2004 book, Tower of Babble: How the United Nations Has Fueled Global Chaos, based on his experience as Israel’s ambassador to the UN.

Amb. Dan Gillerman served as Israel’s permanent representative to the UN from 2003-2008 and was the first person appointed to the post from Israel’s private sector. Amb. Gillerman oversaw the first successful Israeli resolution ever adopted by the UN and was elected vice president of the General Assembly in 2005, the first Israeli to hold that office since Abba Eban in 1953. He currently serves as chairman of the International Board of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, chairman of Gillerman Global Ltd., and senior advisor to Blackstone Israel.

Amb. Ron Prosor served as Israel’s permanent representative to the UN from 2011 to 2015 and earned a reputation as one of Israel’s most distinguished diplomats during his 30 years in the Foreign Ministry, including serving as director-general from 2004-2007. At the UN, Amb. Prosor, served as vice president of the General Assembly and chair of the United Nations Human Rights Committee and has the distinction of having convened the first General Assembly session on anti-Semitism. He currently serves as the Abba Eban Chair of International Diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC) and is a Distinguished Fellow with the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC.

Executive Director Satloff conducted a thought-provoking conversation with Ambassadors Gold, Gillerman, and Prosor on the UN and Israel’s status within the organization.

The Institute also honored Institute Trustees Jay and Jill Bernstein who have been generous, longtime supporters of the Institute and other nonprofit organizations. The Bernsteins have attended numerous Institute conferences and participated in Institute trips to the Middle East. Jay is currently a member of the Institute’s Board of Directors.

Institute Trustees James Schreiber and son Zachary Schreiber praised the Bernsteins for their outstanding commitment to the Institute, their work on behalf of other charitable causes, and their profound devotion to their family.

The dinner was co-chaired by, Kathy and Gene Bernstein, Natalie and Matthew Bernstein, Carol and Roger Einiger, Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg, Susan and Leonard Feinstein, Ahuva and Martin J. Gross, Shelly and Michael Kassen, Linda and Tony Rubin, Lori and Zach Schreiber, Wendy and James Schreiber, Sofia and Mikhail Segal, Shonni Silverberg and John Shapiro. Vice chairs were Meredith Berkman and Daniel Mintz, Buzzy Geduld, Ruth and Sid Lapidus, Robin Chemers Neustein, the Pollack Family, Johanna and Lief Rosenblatt, Denise and Thomas Stern, Jeffrey Talpins. Honorary chairs were Lorraine Abramson, Susan and Roger Hertog, Merryl H. Tisch and James S. Tisch, and, Mortimer Zuckerman.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Ian Byrne, 202-230-9550, email.

Itamar Rabinovich’s Biography of Yitzhak Rabin Wins Top Prize in Institute Book Competition - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Itamar Rabinovich’s Biography of Yitzhak Rabin Wins Top Prize in Institute Book Competition


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Books on President Eisenhower and Iran's IRGC also Cited

Washington, D.C. – Itamar Rabinovich's Yitzhak Rabin: Soldier, Leader, Statesman was awarded the gold medal in The Washington Institute's 2017 Book Prize competition, the Middle East policy think tank announced today. Rabinovich, an accomplished historian who served formerly as president of Tel Aviv University and Israeli ambassador to the United States, will receive the award and an accompanying $25,000 prize.

The year 2017 marks the tenth anniversary of the Book Prize, which honors outstanding scholarship on the Middle East in the English language. “The Washington Institute Book Prize has always highlighted books that both illuminate the Middle East for an American audience and provide practical insights for policymakers,” said Institute Executive Director Robert Satloff, the Howard P. Berkowitz Chair in U.S. Middle East Policy. “It is fitting that Ambassador Rabinovich, a man who is both a scholar and a diplomat, receives the gold prize for this outstanding work.”

In its gold prize commendation, the judges wrote: “Rabinovich, a distinguished historian, rescues Rabin from the many self-serving legends of Rabin. His is an unfailingly accurate portrait that draws upon new documents, but also distills four years of personal observation: The author served as Rabin’s ambassador in Washington. Rare insights abound in this admiring but acute telling of Rabin’s unlikely journey from hawkish soldier to world statesman. While the peace Rabin sought remains elusive, not so Rabin, whose puzzle has been solved by Israel’s leading scholar-witness.” Yitzhak Rabin: Soldier, Leader, Statesman is published by Yale University Press.

Michael Doran, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, was awarded the silver medal, with its $10,000 prize, for Ike's Gamble: America's Rise to Dominance in the Middle East, published by Simon and Schuster. The judges wrote: “In this riveting revisiting of the 1956 Suez crisis and its aftermath, Doran traces the genesis of an enduring flaw in U.S. policy toward the Middle East: the urge to appease nationalism, in the hope of taming it. Doran, a historian and sometimes practitioner, deftly unwinds the prejudices that led Eisenhower’s policy team to coddle Egypt’s Nasser, until Ike finally awakened to the folly of it. Then it was Nasser’s Egypt, later it would be Saddam’s Iraq and Islamist Iran. Doran’s is a timely reminder of a lesson never fully learned.” Doran served in the George W. Bush administration as a National Security Council aide on Middle East issues and as deputy assistant secretary of defense.

The jurors presented the bronze prize, worth $5,000, to Afshon Ostovar, an assistant professor at the Naval Postgraduate School, for his Vanguard of the Imam: Religion, Politics, and Iran's Revolutionary Guards (Oxford University Press). The judges wrote: "Afshan Ostovar’s Vanguard of the Imam: Religion, Politics, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards is the first comprehensive history of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in English. Ostover, a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, masterfully marshals information from a wide variety of sources, including Iranian publications. He traces how the IRGC evolved from a rag-tag militia established in the midst of revolutionary upheaval into a formidable military. Ostovar explores the IRGC’s covert capabilities, from supporting terror to establishing client armies in their own image, which have extended Iran’s strategic footprint. He analyzes how the relationship between the IRGC and Iran’s clerical rulers underpins the regime’s hold on power. Ostovar shows that the IRGC is not ten-feet tall: It faces serious challenges, including the shifting values of the Iranian people.”

The Book Prize has been generously supported since its inception by Washington Institute Trustees Shelly and Michael Kassen. “We are proud to have honored so many worthy books that have contributed to America’s understanding of the region,” the Kassens said. Shelly Kassen was elected president of the Institute in 2016.

Recent gold prize winners have included: The Rise of the Israeli Right: From Odessa to Hebron, by Colin Shindler (2016), Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947, by Bruce Hoffman (2015), America's Great Game: The CIA's Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East, by Hugh Wilford (2014) and The Twilight War: The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran by David Crist (2013). (View a complete list of previous honorees.) 

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Ian Byrne, 202-452-0650, email.

Israeli Maj. Gen. (Res.) Shlomo 'Sami' Turjeman has joined The Washington Institute as a Visiting Military Fellow - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Israeli Maj. Gen. (Res.) Shlomo 'Sami' Turjeman has joined The Washington Institute as a Visiting Military Fellow


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Former IDF commander of Southern Command analysis will focus on the multifaceted challenge posed by Hamas

Washington, D.C. – October 16) IDF Maj. Gen. (Res.) Shlomo "Sami" Turjeman has joined the Washington Institute for Near East Policy as a visiting military fellow, the Middle East policy research organization announced today. Maj. Gen. Turjeman, who served most recently as commander of the IDF Southern Command, will be with the Institute until June 2018.

"It's our privilege to welcome Maj. Gen. Sami Turjeman to the Institute," said Robert Satloff, Institute Executive Director and the Howard P. Berkowitz Chair in U.S. Middle East Policy. “As tensions rise with a new Hamas leadership in Gaza, we look forward to gaining from his insights on how the United States and Israel can together face instability in this critical arena."

"It's an honor to spend the next eight months at The Washington Institute," said Maj. Gen. Turjeman. "The Institute is renowned around the world for its in-depth analysis of Middle East issues and I hope to contribute to its body of work."

General Turjeman was drafted into the IDF Armored Corps in 1982. He led both the Sons of Light and Pillar of Fire Reserves formation. From 2005 to 2007, he was head of the Operations Brigade in the Operations Directorate during the Second Lebanon War. After the war, from 2007 to 2009, he commanded the 36th Armored Division in the Northern Command. He was commanding officer of IDF Army Headquarters from 2009-2013, and left to lead the IDF Southern Command, overseeing the last operation in the Gaza Strip during the Protective Edge campaign. He received his bachelor of arts degree in political science from Bar-Ilan University and a master of business administration degree from Tel Aviv University.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Ian Byrne, 202-452-0650, email.

Reassessing the Iran Deal: An Institute Backgrounder - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Reassessing the Iran Deal: An Institute Backgrounder


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Even before the 2016 presidential election, Washington Institute scholars were looking ahead to one of the top challenges that would face the incoming president: addressing the flaws and omissions in the Iran nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), while incorporating that agreement within a comprehensive Iran policy.

As President Trump has engaged in an Iran policy review, Institute scholars have weighed in with practical, non-partisan advice on how the president can strengthen the JCPOA while bolstering, rather than undermining, transatlantic and Middle-Eastern cooperation in addressing the multiple challenges posed by Tehran. At the same time, Institute scholars have put forward granular, pragmatic advice on how the Trump Administration can push back on Iran’s regional challenge.

The publications below provide useful background material for understanding the current debate over the future of U.S. Iran policy.


Infographic: Iran Deal 'Decertification'

A quick guide to understanding the background, context, and potential impact of President Trump's decision not to certify the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in one concise infographic.

JCPOA under the Gun (Part 1): Trump's Five Decisions

By James Jeffrey, Philip Solondz Distinguished Fellow

Any U.S. pushback against the nuclear deal with Iran will carry consequences, along with potential side benefits, but some courses of action could be more self-defeating than others. Ambassador James Jeffrey explains the five decisions the president faces on Iran as well as the likely consequences of his answers to each.

JCPOA under the Gun (Part 2): A Middle Course?

By Katherine Bauer, Blumenstein-Katz Family Fellow and Patrick Clawson, Morningstar Senior Fellow, Director of Research

The threat of decertifying the nuclear deal gives the administration an opening with those who wish to preserve it, so the president should use this leverage wisely rather than taking an all-or-nothing approach. Sanctions expert Katherine Bauer and Iran scholar Patrick Clawson lay out the full range of U.S. policy tools and the realistic objectives Washington can hope to achieve.

Decertifying the Iran Deal Wouldn't Have to Kill It

By Dennis Ross, William Davidson Distinguished Fellow, Counselor, in the Wall Street Journal

European leaders have little room to maneuver on the Iran nuclear deal, given domestic political concerns and President Trump's unpopularity in their countries. A change of tone from the White House, emphasizing a desire to work with European allies and not precipitously leave the deal, would help keep partners aligned in the weeks ahead. Ambassador Dennis Ross maps out a strategy for outreach to American allies.

Deterring Tehran: An Iran Policy for the New Administration

By Michael Singh, Lane-Swig Senior Fellow, Managing Director

The United States should adopt a strategy on Iran that erects daunting defenses to dissuade the Islamic Republic from challenging the interests of the United States and its allies and that imposes sharp, painful costs should Iran do so nonetheless. In this transition paper for the new administration, Institute managing director Michael Singh details an Iran policy for the new administration.

Testing the Limits: Iran's Ballistic Missile Program, Sanctions, and the IRGC

By Michael Eisenstadt, Kahn Fellow, Director, Military & Security Studies Program

In this excerpt of his congressional testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, military expert, Michael Eisenstadt, lays out the short- and long-term strategic challenges posed by allowing Tehran to continue building up its missile arsenal.

Reinforcing the Role of Sanctions in Restraining Iran

By Katherine Bauer, Blumenstein-Katz Family Fellow, Patrick Clawson, Mornginstar Senior Fellow, Director of Research, and Matthew Levitt, Director, Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, Fromer-Wexler Fellow

Even while the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is in place, the Trump administration could bring significant pressure to bear on Iran. In this Policy Note, Institute fellows Katherine Bauer, Patrick Clawson, and Matthew Levitt look at the role of sanctions in restraining Iran's regional aggression and disrupting its global-terrorism, money-laundering, and procurement networks.

Trump Can Make the Most of a Bad Iran Deal

By Michael Singh, Lane-Swig Senior Fellow, Managing Director in The New York Times

In concert with its European allies, the United States should close loopholes, increase intelligence cooperation, and push international inspectors to interpret their mandate more broadly. Former National Security Council member Michael Singh shows how the Iran nuclear deal can be strengthened without scrapping it entirely.

The Right Way to Pressure Iran

By Dennis Ross, William Davidson Distinguished Fellow, Counselor, in the New York Daily News

Instead of decertifying the nuclear deal, and thus isolating the United States from its allies, Washington should impress upon Tehran the immense costs of producing a weapon. Ambassador Dennis Ross offers insights into how the United States can build the legitimacy the case against Iran's bad behavior - and thereby restore the credibility of American deterrence.

Confronting the Full Range of Iranian Threats

In practical terms, scrapping and replacing the JCPOA is a nonstarter, so the administration should instead focus on countering Iran as its top regional priority -- and decide how it will respond when Tehran pushes back.

Testimony by James Jeffrey, Philip Solondz Distinguished Fellow, to the House Foreign Affairs Committee

Iran's Military Sites Continue to Haunt the Nuclear Accord

Given the IAEA's legal uncertainty about Parchin and the Security Council's discord about further inspections, the Trump administration needs to decide how hard to press for more answers on weaponization issues.

By Jay Solomon, Segal Distinguished Visiting Fellow

Here's How to Fix But Not Nix the Iran Deal

After decertifying the JCPOA, President Trump now has leverage to negotiate a better agreement.

By Robert Satloff, Executive Director and Howard P. Berkowitz Chair in U.S. Middle East Policy

Countering Iran's Missile Proliferation in Yemen

Tehran is using the Houthis to test President Trump's resolve, as mounting evidence shows that it is helping the rebels build long-range missiles capable of hitting Gulf capitals.

By Michael Knights, Lafer Fellow

Jay Solomon Joins The Washington Institute as Segal Distinguished Visiting Fellow - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Jay Solomon Joins The Washington Institute as Segal Distinguished Visiting Fellow


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Journalist and author will focus on North Korea’s proliferation activities in the Middle East

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Jay Solomon, former chief foreign affairs correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and author of The Iran Wars (Random House, 2016), has joined the Washington Institute for Near East Policy as the Segal Distinguished Visiting Fellow, the research organization announced today.

Solomon, whose career has included postings in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, in addition to Washington, will focus on North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile proliferation in the Middle East.

“Jay has broken stories on some of the most critical issues affecting U.S. foreign policy not only in the Middle East, but across the globe,” said Robert Satloff, Institute Executive Director and the Howard P. Berkowitz Chair in U.S. Middle East Policy. “Today, with tensions ramping up with North Korea, understanding the full extent of Pyongyang’s proliferation of destabilizing technologies throughout the volatile Middle East is a story of strategic importance. We are pleased that Institute Trustees Sofia and Mike Segal of New York have agreed to allow us to name Jay’s fellowship in recognition of their longstanding commitment to our work.”

“I look forward to calling The Washington Institute home for the next few months as I delve into the complex and multifaceted relationship between Pyongyang and regimes in the region,” said Solomon. “I am excited to work with the Institute’s scholars and experts to shed light on this underappreciated aspect of the proliferation challenge in the Middle East.”

Solomon was previously based out of the Wall Street Journal's Washington bureau where he covered national security and U.S. foreign policy. He was the first journalist to report on secret meetings in Oman between American and Iranian officials, which were the precursor to the formal negotiations for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Additionally, Solomon covered U.S. diplomacy, efforts to combat ISIS and other counterterrorism issues, and nuclear weapons proliferation. The Wall Street Journal nominated him for three Pulitzer Prizes during his nearly two-decade career with the paper.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Ian Byrne, 202-452-0650, email.

Israeli Maj. Gen. Yair Golan to Join The Washington Institute as a Visiting Military Fellow - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
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Israeli Maj. Gen. Yair Golan to Join The Washington Institute as a Visiting Military Fellow


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Former IDF Deputy Chief of Staff will focus on Israeli security strategy in volatile region

WASHINGTON, D.C. – IDF Maj. Gen. Yair Golan will join the Washington Institute for Near East Policy as a visiting military fellow after Labor Day, the Middle East policy think tank announced today.

“We are very pleased to welcome Maj. Gen. Yair Golan to the Institute,” said Robert Satloff, Institute Executive Director and the Howard P. Berkowitz Chair in U.S. Middle East Policy. “Having just concluded service as deputy chief of staff, he brings unparalleled leadership experience to his understanding of Israel’s current national security challenges.”

“Serving as a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute will provide me with the opportunity to learn from the Institute’s outstanding scholars and to share the insights I have gained as an IDF officer and commander,” said General Golan. “Thinking about Israel’s regional challenges through the Washington lens is critical to defining an overall strategy for security and peace.”

General Golan will be the featured speaker at the Institute’s tenth annual Zeev Schiff Memorial Lecture on Israeli National Security, to be held at noon on Thursday, September 7. (Schiff, who was Israel’s leading strategic thinker and preeminent military correspondent during his 50-year career with Ha’aretz, was a longtime associate of The Washington Institute. He passed away in 2007.)

General Golan's IDF career spans nearly 37 years, with assignments including commander of Northern Command, head of the IDF Operations Directorate, commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, and commander of the Home Front Command. He received his bachelor of arts degree in political science from Tel Aviv University and a master of public administration degree from Harvard University. Additionally, he is a graduate of both the IDF's Command and Staff College and the U.S. Army War College.

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Media Contact: Ian Byrne, 202-452-0650, email.