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After months of touting the so-called ‘Deal of the Century,’ President Trump, (with the endorsement of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) has unveiled the specifics of his proposal to solve the seemingly intractable Israel-Palestine conflict. Central to the plan are land-swaps, a path to statehood for Palestine, as well as a promised $50 billion dollar investment in the future Palestinian state. The inclusion of this monetary incentive has drawn much attention to the Gulf states, with many observers positing that such a sum could only be obtained with the endorsement and contribution of the GCC states. Outside of this specific deal, it’s unveiling has come at an unprecedented time for GCC-Israel relations. Prime Minister Netanyahu recently took a historic visit to Oman, while Israeli athletics and academic teams have traveled for competitions in Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, although yet to come to fruition, the Trump Administration has pushed for the creation of a Middle East Strategic Alliance to include all the GCC States, in addition to Israel. While the roll-out of Trump’s deal saw a range of reactions from GCC leaders, the lack of an outright rejection of the peace plan (and in some cases even an openness to its consideration), indicates a clear change in the posture of the Gulf states towards Israel. What factors explain this change? Could the ‘Deal of the Century’ actually come to fruition? How will GCC contributions help source the $50 billion in investments? What does the deal mean for Palestinians residing in the Gulf? Even if the deal collapses, what might the future hold for GCC-Israel relations? While none of these questions have easy answers GIF is pleased to invite you to attend this upcoming panel luncheon, where an assembled panel of experts will address these complex issues.
Aaron David Miller, Dr. Shafeeq Ghabra, Ambassador Alon Liel, and Dr. Grace Wermenbol. Moderated by Ambassador Patrick Theros
- Click here to register
- Seating Capacity is limited
- Invitation is non-transferrable
- You must receive RSVP confirmation in order to attend the event
- Lunch will be served at 12:00 PM, with an expected 12:30 PM panel start time
Ambassador Patrick Theros
Strategic Advisor, Gulf International Forum
Ambassador Theros has held such positions as Political Advisor to the Commander in Chief, Central Command; Deputy Chief of Mission and Political officer in Amman; Charge D’affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission in Abu Dhabi; Economic Counselor in Damascus; and U.S. Ambassador to the State of Qatar. In a career spanning almost 36 years, he also has served in diplomatic positions in Beirut, Managua, Dharan and Abu Dhabi, as well as in the Department of State. During that period, he earned four Superior Honor Awards. After retirement Ambassador Theros served as President of the U.S. Qatar Business Council in 2000-2017.
Aaron David Miller
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Aaron David Miller is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, focusing on U.S. foreign policy. He has written five books, including his most recent, The End of Greatness: Why America Can’t Have (and Doesn’t Want) Another Great President (Palgrave, 2014) and The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace (Bantam, 2008). He received his PhD in Middle East and U.S. diplomatic history from the University of Michigan in 1977.
Between 1978 and 2003, Miller served at the State Department as a historian, analyst, negotiator, and advisor to Republican and Democratic secretaries of state, where he helped formulate U.S. policy on the Middle East and the Arab-Israel peace process, most recently as the senior advisor for Arab-Israeli negotiations. He also served as the deputy special Middle East coordinator for Arab-Israeli negotiations, senior member of the State Department’s policy planning staff, in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and in the office of the historian. He has received the department’s Distinguished, Superior, and Meritorious Honor Awards. He is currently a CNN Global Affairs Analyst.
Ambassador Alon Liel
Former Ambassador of the State of Israel to South Africa
Ambassador Alon Liel received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1986 when he completed his doctoral dissertation, “The dependence of imported energy and its impact on the foreign policy of Turkey.”Since then, Liel has served as a chargé d’affaires in Turkey and as Israel’s ambassador to South Africa. Following his role in 1999 as foreign affairs adviser to then-chairman of the Labor party Ehud Barak, Liel became director-general of the Foreign Ministry in 2000. Today he lectures at Tel Aviv University, Hebrew University and the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya.
Dr. Shafeeq Ghabra
Shafeeq Ghabra is a Professor of Political Science at Kuwait University and founding President of Jusoor Arabiya which focuses on youth leadership programs and strategic planning. He is a former founding president of the American University of Kuwait (2003-2006). He also directed the Kuwait Information Office in Washington, DC (1998-2002) and the Center of Strategic Studies at Kuwait University (2002-2003). Ghabra earned his BA from Georgetown University in 1975, his MA from Purdue University in 1983, and his PhD in Political Science from the University of Texas at Austin in 1987. He is the author of five books and numerous studies.
Dr. Grace Wermenbol
Grace Wermenbol is a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC. She previously served as a lecturer on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the University of Oxford and held a research position at Oxford’s Department of Politics and International Relations, where her work centered on Egyptian foreign policy. Her first book, under contract with Cambridge University Press, focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the post-Oslo era. Wermenbol’s commentary on US foreign policy and cross-regional trends in the Middle East has been featured in numerous media and think tank outlets, including Carnegie Endowment for Middle East Peace, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Atlantic Council, the BBC, the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, and France 24. Grace holds a PhD and master’s from the University of Oxford, St. Antony’s College.