BREAKING NEWS!!! The pictures, the transcripts and the videos are loaded; ENJOY.
Z STREET's conference took place on Wednesday, May 4th, 2011, in the Congressional Auditorium of the Capitol Visitors' Center on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. The goal of the event was to provide concrete information to policy-makers and all those focused on the conflict in the Middle East, based upon which they can reconsider the stagnant and futile path of the "peace process" and offer new ways of thinking about how to deal with the Arab-Israeli conflict. See pictures from the event, which are linked to bios of the speakers, transcripts of their remarks, videos of the event and some of the papers upon which the speakers based their talks.
All but the last three photographs were taken by our friend Ron Sheinson, and the last three were taken by our videographer, Pamela Hall.
This is Harold Rhode, moderator for the event. Fluent in Arabic, Farsi, Turkish and Hebrew, Rhode has been a Middle East analyst for nearly thirty years. Rhode spoke about the governmental policy which grants what he calls the one "grievance license" in the region - it is the Arab-Israeli dispute. No matter what the question, the Arab-Israeli dispute is always offered as the answer. Read his bio here. Read the transcript of his remarks and see the video (he begins at 3:39).
Gal Luft, Middle East political economist, spoke about the economics of the Palestinian Authority, and addressed the recent reports by the International Monetary Fund, and others, declaring that the PA is ready to assume statehood. Read Luft's bio here, and his remarks from the 05.04.11 Z STREET summit here, and the video.
Steve Rosen discussed the issue of political stability and readiness of the Palestinian Authority for statehood.
Read the paper Gilder wrote and upon which he based his talk. He is going to include a version of this in a new chapter for his book, The Israel Test, which will be coming out soon in paperback. No kidding, read this, it's amazing and critically important. Here is Gilder's bio, and here is the video of his remarks from the Z STREET summit.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar spoke about the regional fragmentation rooted in cultural, linguistic, religious, tribal and political differences amongst the Arabs in the region, and that those differences for the Arab Palestinians, as is the case in so many other Arab countries, will ensure internecine battles and an inability to have a cohesive Palestinian State. Read Kedar's bio here, and his remarks from Z STREET's May 4, 2011 summit here, and the video, and an article articulating his idea for how to deal with the ignored tribal issue here.
Nonie Darwish shared the brutal reality of polygamy, honor killings and female genital mutilation, as well as other horrors imposed by Sharia, which will become the law of the land in any Palestinian State. Read Darwish's bio here, and see the transcript of her remarks at Z STREET's May 4, 2011 summit, here, and the video.
Khaled abu Toameh understands better than virtually anyone else what life will be like for Arab Palestinians if they have to live in a Palestinian State. And, as he told the Z STREET audience, he hears constantly from Arabs living in Gaza and in the territories that they wish they could live in Israel, not because they are Zionists, but because they want a better life than they have under a Palestinian government. Read abu Toameh's bio here, read his remarks from the May 4, 2011 event here, and see the video.
Here are all the speakers, responding to questions from the audience. Read an edited version of the questions and answers here - in particular, the last question [part II] asked everyone to directly state whether, in their view, a Palestinian State created anytime soon would lead to improvement in the lives of Arab Palestinians, or would lead to more difficult, less free, less stable lives. Questions and Answers Part I, Part II, and the video of Part I, and the video of Part II.
Farid Ghadry, president of the Reform Party of Syria, joined us to provide Z STREET's audience with insight about those within Syria who are attempting to get rid of the Syrian regime and achieve democracy, and in particular, views about Israel. Ghadry called on Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu to please tell the Syrian dissidents that Israel is with them. Ghadry suggests there IS a "Syrian Track" of diplomacy, but it does not lie with Syrian President Assad. Watch and listen to the video of Ghadry speaking on Z STREET.
Refreshment break during Z STREET's May 4, 2011 summit in Washington, D.C.
Note: Articles listed under this section provide information on the current discourse concerning the Israeli - Arab Palestinian End Game. The views expressed in these articles are the views of the authors' and are not included here to represent the views of Z STREET.