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Haaretz-Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies Conference

Program Schedule

Sunday, November 21, 2021

9AM PST  / 12 PM EST / 19:00 Israel



Opening Remarks


9:00 am  Dov Waxman, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Professor of Israel Studies and Director of the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies.


9:05 am  Aluf Benn, Haaretz Editor-in-Chief


Keynote opening address


9:10 am - Defense Minister Benny Gantz, chairman of the Blue and White party 


Session I: The Shadow War with Iran and the Iranian Nuclear Threat


9:25 am  Yossi Cohen, Former Director of the Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency, head of SoftBank Israel, in conversation with Aluf Benn, Haaretz Editor in Chief 


9:40 am  Panel Discussion   


Dalia Dassa Kaye, Senior Fellow, UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations, Former director, RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy


Amos Harel, Senior National Security Analyst, Haaretz


Avner Cohen, Professor of Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey


Sima Shine, Senior researcher and head of the Iran program, Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Tel Aviv University


Moderator: Amir Tibon, U.S. News editor and assignments editor, Haaretz English Edition 


Session II: Israel, the Palestinians, and the Region


10:25  Tzipi Livni, former Foreign Minister and Justice Minister of Israel, in conversation with Amir Tibon 


10:40  Panel Discussion


Ameer Fakhoury, Director of the research center at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, Adviser to joint society projects in Israel


Gilad Sher, former Israeli peace negotiator and Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Ehud Barak; fellow at Rice University Baker Institute for Public Policy


Sara Haetzni-Cohen, Chairwoman of the NGO 'My Israel', activist and writer


Micah Goodman, Writer and researcher of Jewish thought, author of the best-selling book on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 'Catch 67'


Moderator: Noa Landau, Editor of the Haaretz21 Project


Session III: The Future of the US-Israel Relationship


11:25 pm Merav Michaeli, Chairwoman of the Israeli Labor Party and Minister of Transportation, in conversation with Amir Tibon


11:40 pm Panel Discussion 


Martin S. Indyk, Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Distinguished Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations


Robert Wexler, Former member of the U.S. Congress, President of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace


Shira Efron, Senior Fellow, Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) and Special Advisor to RAND


Shibley Telhami, The Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland


Moderator: Prof. Dov Waxman


Closing Interview


12:25 pm  Moshe Ya'alon, former Israeli Defense Minister and Chief of Staff of the IDF in conversation with Anshel Pfeffer, Senior Analyst, Haaretz 


Closing Keynote Remarks 


12:40 pm US Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee 


Thank yous and Conference Close


Prof. Dov Waxman




Panel I - Food Security


  • Eilon Adar, Ben-Gurion University | Combined Hydrological and Agricultural Innovations and Novel Technologies that Enable Israel to Overcome Water Scarcity
  • Cullen Hendrix, University of Denver | Farm to Global Market: The Water and Food Security Nexus in Urbanizing Africa
  • Nathan Mueller, UC Irvine | Vulnerability of Agriculture to Climate Change in Africa and the Middle East
  • Panel Chair: Michael Roberts, UCLA

This panel will focus on the critical water issues that are directly linked to the development and sustainability of agriculture as impacted by water resources, the impact of global climate change, shared water resources, irrigation technology and challenges and opportunities for assuring food security in the Middle East and Africa.



Panel II - Health & Environment


  • Charisma Acey, UC Berkeley | Intermittent Water Supply and the Social Determinants of Health in Nigerian and Kenyan Cities
  • David Katz, University of Haifa | Water for nature and environmental flows in Israel and the Region
  • Kellogg Schwab, Johns Hopkins University | Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in the Face of Environmental Stressors: Multi-country Assessment of WASH and Effects on Human Health
  • Panel Chair: Hilary Godwin, UCLA

This panel will explore the impact on human health and the environment associated with human, industrial and agricultural activities on water quality and impairment of water supplies. The panel will also address approaches to reducing adverse impacts associated with water scarcity and quality on human health and the environment.



Panel III - Urban Water Scarcity & Technology


This panel will address efforts toward water sustainability in growing urban centers in water-scarce regions in the Middle East and Africa. The panel will also review current and planned efforts to improve water treatment and delivery in urban areas, issues of water transfers and multinational cooperation.



Panel III - Hydropolitics: Regional and Transnational Challenges


  • Hussein Amery, Colorado School of Mines | Water Challenges and Refugee Resettlement in Post-conflict Syria
  • Nagaraja Rao Harshadeep, World Bank | Use of Disruptive Technologies in Transboundary Water Challenges
  • Doron Markel, Israel Water Authority | The “Red Sea – Dead Sea” International Project to Solve Environmental and Water Scarcity Problems
  • Panel Chair: Mekonnen Gebremichael, UCLA

This panel will focus on regional and transboundary conflicts and collaborations with the aim of identifying opportunities that may exist for establishing beneficial relationships among neighboring countries and alleviating water stress in water-scarce regions. Political and economic drivers will also be discussed in relation to water security and sustainability.



Panel V - The Digital City & Sharing Economy



  • Sheizaf Rafaeli, Haifa University
  • Peter Marx, City of L.A. CTO
  • Charles Steinfield, Michigan State
  • Panel Chair: Valerie Brachya, Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies



Rita Colwell

Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland at College Park & Johns Hopkins University

Rita Colwell is a Distinguished University Professor at both the University of Maryland at College Park and at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research on global infectious diseases, water, and health has earned her some of the world’s most prestigious awards throughout her career, including the 2006 National Medal of Science Award, the 2010 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate and most recently, the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize, which recognizes outstanding contributions to solving global water challenges.

Colwell has been a leader in her field by taking a holistic approach to global health, including accounting for environmental variables like climate change. She uses this pioneering approach in her current work focused on developing an international network to address emerging infectious diseases and water issues, including safe drinking water for both the developed and developing world.

Colwell previously served as the eleventh director of the National Science Foundation from 1998 to 2004 and, as director, also held the position of co-chair of the Committee on Science of the National Science and Technology Council. Colwell has also held a number of advisory positions in the U.S. government, nonprofit science policy organizations, and private foundations, as well as in the international scientific research community.

An internationally-respected scientist and educator, Dr. Colwell has authored or co-authored 17 books and more than 750 scientific publications. She produced the award-winning film, "Invisible Seas," and has served on editorial boards of numerous scientific journals.

Dr. Colwell is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, the Royal Society of Canada, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. She is immediate past-president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS).



Closing Panel



  • Valerie Brachya, Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies
  • Thomas Princen, University of Michigan
  • Robert Krueger, Worchester Polytechnic Institute
  • Panel Chair: Stephanie Pincetl, UCLA