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Events

Disputed Borders and the Struggle for Order: Addressing Security Threats in the Middle East

13th May 2015 - 11:30 AM

With continued Hezbollah activity emanating from Lebanon, Iran and the IRGC trying to set up a base of operations in the Golan Heights, the decline of the Assad regime in southern Syria, and rising tensions in the Sinai Peninsula, Israel's security situation has become increasingly complex and dangerous. What is the Israeli security outlook for the near and mid-term future? Who are the most important players and what advantages and vulnerabilities do they have? What needs to be done to ensure that other U.S. allies like Jordan have the ability to defend themselves against terrorist threats? Can, and should, Washington intervene?

Oren Kessler is Deputy Director for Research and a Research Fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where his areas of focus include Egypt, the Arab world and Israel. Oren moved to Washington DC in October 2014 from London, where he served as Middle East research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society think tank. Previously he spent eight years in Israel, serving as the Jerusalem Post’s Arab affairs correspondent and as a writer, editor and translator for Haaretz English Edition. 

Amb. Robert Ford is Senior Fellow at The Middle East Institute. He recently retired from the foreign service after serving as U.S. Ambassador to Syria from 2010 to 2014, and previously as Ambassador to Algeria. Shortly after the outbreak of Syria's civil war, Amb. Ford traveled to the city of Hama in a show of solidarity with Syrians protesting the rule of Bashar Al Assad. He subsequently worked closely with Syrian opposition forces and was instrumental in bringing them to the Geneva peace talks.

Ehud Yaari is an Israel-based Lafer International Fellow of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and author of Toward Israeli-Palestinian Disengagement, Peace by Piece: A Decade of Egyptian Policy, and Sinai: The New Front? A Middle East commentator for Israel's Channel Two television and former associate editor of the Jerusalem Report, Mr. Yaari has been a Middle East commentator for Israeli television since 1975. Among his numerous awards for journalism are the Israeli Press Editors-in-Chief prize for coverage of the peace process with Egypt, the Sokolov Prize for coverage of the Lebanon War, and the Israel Broadcasting Award for coverage of the Gulf War.

Jonathan Schanzer is the Vice President for Research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He worked as a terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he played an integral role in the designation of numerous terrorist financiers. A former research fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Dr. Schanzer has published numerous books, including State of Failure: Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Unmaking of the Palestinian State and Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine. Dr. Schanzer has testified before Congress and publishes widely in the American and international media.

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The Foundation for Defense of Democracies is a non-profit, non-partisan policy institute dedicated exclusively to promoting pluralism, defending democratic values, and fighting the ideologies that drive terrorism. Founded shortly after the attacks of 9/11, FDD combines policy research, democracy and counterterrorism education, strategic communications, and investigative journalism in support of its mission. For more information, please visit www.defenddemocracy.org.   

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