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Will COVID Change the Middle East as We Know It? An Evening with Ambassador Dennis Ross and David Makovsky
Tuesday, August 11 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pmFree
Covid-19 is affecting all Middle Eastern states. Already devastated by maximum economic pressure, Covid has hit Iran very hard, and yet it continues its aggressive policies in the region, even as it has reduced its break out time on its nuclear program. How do we explain it? The Gulf States—Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait—have always bailed out Egypt and Jordan when they were in economic distress, but they are now stressed themselves. What can we expect? Israel, while more successful than most countries in dealing with Covid, is now experiencing a resurgence of the virus and yet is still contemplating annexation. How is annexation likely to affect a region that is being hit hard by Covid-19? Dennis Ross and David Makovsky will discuss these issues and what we can expect in the Middle East in this time of uncertainty.
There is no fee, but please RSVP for planning purposes. This event is held virtually on Zoom. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.
About the presenters:
Ambassador Dennis Ross: Ambassador Dennis Ross is counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. For more than twelve years, Amb. Ross played a leading role in shaping U.S. involvement in the Middle East peace process, dealing directly with the parties as the U.S. point man on the peace process in both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. He served two years as special assistant to President Obama and National Security Council senior director for the Central Region, and a year as special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Prior to his service as special Middle East coordinator under President Clinton, Amb. Ross served as director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff in the first Bush administration. He played a prominent role in U.S. policy towards the former Soviet Union, the unification of Germany and its integration into NATO, arms control negotiations, and the 1991 Gulf War coalition. During the Reagan administration, he served as director of Near East and South Asian affairs on the National Security Council staff and deputy director of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment.
A graduate of UCLA, Amb. Ross wrote his doctoral dissertation on Soviet decision-making, and served as executive director of the Berkeley-Stanford program on Soviet International Behavior. He received UCLA’s highest medal and has been named UCLA alumnus of the year. Amb. Ross is the author of five books on the peace process, the Middle East, and international relations, most recently Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel’s Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny (PublicAffairs, 2019), written with his colleague David Makovsky, which was published in September 2019. It provides profiles of four Israeli prime ministers who made historic choices and explores the lessons from those decisions to see if they can provide a guide to dealing with the fateful choice that Israel’s leaders must soon confront or by default become a binational state.
Previously, Amb. Ross authored Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2015). That book was awarded the 2015 National Jewish Book Award for history. He also co-authored Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East (Viking, 2009) with Mr. Makovsky. An earlier study, The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2004), offers comprehensive analytical and personal insight into the Middle East peace process. The New York Times praised his 2007 publication, Statecraft, And How to Restore America’s Standing in the World (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2007), as “important and illuminating.”
David Makovsky: David Makovsky is the Ziegler distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute and director of the Project on Arab-Israel Relations. He is also an adjunct professor in Middle East studies at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). In 2013-2014, he worked in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of State, serving as a senior advisor to the Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations.
Author of numerous Washington Institute monographs and essays on issues related to the Middle East Peace Process and the Arab-Israeli conflict, he is also coauthor, with Dennis Ross, of Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel’s Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny (PublicAffairs) and the 2009 Washington Post bestseller Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East (Viking/Penguin). He is the host of the podcast Decision Points: The U.S.-Israel Relationshipa, which features interviews with authors, scholars, and practitioners on key moments in the history of U.S.-Israel relations from the Balfour Declaration to hi-tech cooperation today. His 2011 maps on alternative territorial solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were reprinted by the New York Times in the paper’s first interactive treatment of an op-ed.
Before joining The Washington Institute, Mr. Makovsky was an award-winning journalist who covered the peace process from 1989 to 2000. He is the former executive editor of the Jerusalem Post, was diplomatic correspondent for Israel’s leading daily, Haaretz, and is a former contributing editor to U.S. News and World Report. He was awarded the National Press Club’s 1994 Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence for a cover story on PLO finances that he cowrote for the magazine.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Makovsky received a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a master’s degree in Middle East studies from Harvard University.
Moderator: Rabbi Jason Nevarez: Originally from New York City, Rabbi Nevarez graduated from the Bronx High School of Science, and went to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he received his BA in 1998. He was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York in 2006, where he earned Master’s degrees in both Hebrew Literature and Religious Education, and was the recipient of a number of scholarships, in addition to several academic prizes in Jewish education. Rabbi Nevarez held residencies and internships at Larchmont Temple, Larchmont, NY, Temple Beth Emeth, Ann Arbor, MI, and at Temple Shaaray Tefila, Bedford NY. Prior to entering Rabbinical School, he served as a Youth Director at synagogues in Connecticut and Michigan, and also as a Regional Director for NFTY (North American Federation of Temple Youth).
As part of his congregational portfolio, Rabbi Nevarez has had the opportunity to do outreach, educational, and social justice work both in Israel and Latin America. He has also been able to marry his global learning experiences with his passion for innovation and immersive learning/education across the generations he serves. He continues to serve as a mentor for Rabbinical students at HUC-JIR, the Reform Movement’s Flagship Seminary in New York, helping them to enhance their Rabbinic skill sets while serving as rabbinic interns for congregations.