Event Details

28Nov Israel-Hamas War: What’s Next for U.S.-Middle East policy?

Israel-Hamas War: What’s Next for U.S.-Middle East policy?


A George D. Schwab Foreign Policy Briefing

Meeting to be held virtually via Zoom


Mr. Khaled Elgindy
Director of the Program on Palestine and Israeli-Palestinian AffairsMiddle East Institute

Mr. Aaron David Miller
 Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Ms. Mairav Zonszein
Senior Analyst on Israel and Palestine, International Crisis Group

Moderated by

Ms. Farah Pandith 
Adjunct Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
Former Director of Middle East initiatives, National Security Council

Welcoming remarks by

Ambassador (ret.) Susan M. Elliott
President & CEO, NCAFP

On October 7, the terrorist organization, Hamas, launched its most coordinated attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip. Taking 245 hostages and killing approximately 1,200 people during the raid on the southern border, the terrorist act has been compared to Israel’s version of 9/11.  As Israel launched its counteroffensive into the territory, Gaza City and the Gaza Strip have been under air strikes, blockades, and severed communications, while displaced Palestinians were cut from food, water, fuel, and medical aid. One month into the war, Palestinian deaths have surpassed 10,000, and without a cease-fire and steady humanitarian assistance, analysts predict these numbers to increase while multiplying the current refugee crisis in the region.

The complexities of the Israel-Palestine conflict are one of the most contested and unresolved areas in U.S. foreign policy. Hamas’ episodic attacks have now reached its inflection point, and Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has declared an “indefinite” presence in Gaza, altering any course of a two-state solution.  Although the U.S. is applying its best efforts to contain the conflict, what type of role can we expect the U.S. to play in the region moving forward? Can the U.S. work with Israel to offer much-needed humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza while keeping U.S. security commitments to Israel? What is the likelihood of the conflict spreading further into the region that may directly involve Iran?  Can the U.S. help ease tensions, and what are the short-term and long-term security implications of a divided and Israeli-occupied Gaza?  With 1.4 million people living in Gaza, of which 40% are children, how can the international community pressure Israel to reduce civilian harm in the process?

Joining us to help answer these questions and bring clarification to the issue are: Mr. Khaled Elgindy, Director of the Program on Palestine and Israeli-Palestinian Affairs at the Middle East Institute; Dr. Aaron David Miller, Senior Fellow at Carnegie Endowment of International Peace; Ms. Mairav Zonszein, Senior Analyst at the International Crisis Group; and moderating the discussion is Ms. Farah Pandith, Adjunct Senior  Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and former Director of Middle East initiatives at the National Security Council. Opening and closing remarks will be provided by Ambassador Susan Elliott, President and CEO of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy.


Bios in Alphabetical Order

Mr. Khaled Elgindy is a Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute and a Director of MEI’s Program on Palestine and Israeli-Palestinian Affairs. His areas of expertise cover the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Middle East Peace Process, the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Palestinian politics, human rights, democratization, and the US Middle East Policy.

Mr Elgindy is also currently an adjunct instructor in Arab Studies at Georgetown University. He previously served as a fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution from 2010 through 2018. Before that, he was an adviser to the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah on permanent status negotiations with Israel from 2004 to 2009 and was a key participant in the Annapolis negotiations of 2007-08.

His writings have appeared in such global media outlets as CNN, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Los Angeles Times, The National Interest, The Washington Quarterly, and The Christian Science Monitor. He is also a regular commentator on TV and radio, including Aljazeera, BBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, and PBS Newshour. Mr Elgindy recently published a book, “Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump”.

Dr. Aaron David Miller is a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, focusing on US foreign policy. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and formerly served as a resident scholar at the Georgetown Center for Strategic and International Studies. Dr. Miller is also a global affairs analyst for CNN and frequently comments on NPR, BBC, and Sirius XM radio. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, Foreign Policy, USAToday, and CNN. He has also written five books, including “The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace”.

Between 1978 and 2003, Dr Miller served at the State Department as a historian, analyst, negotiator, and advisor to Republican and Democratic secretaries of state, where he helped formulate the US policy on the Middle East and the Arab-Israel peace process. Between 2003 and 2006, he was the president of Seeds of Peace, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering young leaders from conflict regions with the leadership skills required to advance reconciliation and coexistence. From 2006 to 2019, he was a public policy scholar; vice president for new initiatives, and director of the Middle East program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Ms. Farah Pandith is an author, foreign policy strategist, and former diplomat. A world-leading expert and pioneer in countering violent extremism, she is the author of the book "How We Win: How Cutting-Edge Entrepreneurs, Political Visionaries, Enlightened Business Leaders, and Social Media Mavens Can Defeat the Extremist Threat. " She is a frequent media commentator and public speaker, and has written for publications including The Economist, The Washington Post and The New York Times. Farah served as a political appointee under three presidents – most recently as the first-ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities, serving both Secretary Clinton and Secretary Kerry. She has served on the National Security Council, at the U.S. Department of State, and at the U.S. Agency for International Development in various senior roles. She was appointed to the Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory Council, chairing its countering violent extremism task force. She is currently a senior advisor with the Anti-Defamation League, adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and adjunct professor at Georgetown University. She serves on several boards including Mercy Corps, We Are Family Foundation, and The Asian American Foundation. In fall 2020, the Muhammad Ali Center named Pandith the first-ever Muhammad Ali Global Peace Laureate for her proven track record of and commitment to promoting diversity, cohesion, and respect. Farah was born in India and raised in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Ms. Mairav Zonszein is a Senior Analyst on Israel-Palestine at the International Crisis Group, specializing in Israeli domestic politics, relations with the Palestinians, and regional conflict settings and policies. She is also a founding editor of +972 Magazine.

Ms. Zonszein has extensively covered Israeli politics and US foreign policy for 15 years. Her works have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Review of Books, Foreign Policy, and many more. Ms. Zonszein has an MA in Nationalism Studies from the Central European University in Budapest. She is based in Tel Aviv.


Nov 28, 2023 10:00 AM
Nov 28, 2023 11:15 AM
Event Category



All Events

Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.