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The 30th anniversary of the Madrid Peace Conference

Multilateralism and Arab-Israeli Peacemaking

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President George H.W. Bush addresses the Middle East Peace Conference at the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain, 1991 (Credit: George Bush Library and Museum).

A virtual panel on “The 30th anniversary of the Madrid Peace Conference: Multilateralism and Arab-Israeli Peacemaking,” co-organized with Mitvim.

Monday, November 1, 2021
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM (Pacific Time)
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Click the link above to register and join the online event.

After registering, you will be emailed a meeting link and ID information to join us virtually via Zoom on your computer, tablet or smartphone, or to call into the event on your phone. If you do not receive your email confirmation, check your spam or junk mail folders.

Note: This live event will be recorded and posted online afterward for later viewing on the Y&S Nazarian Center's multimedia page.

About the Program

The 30th anniversary of the Madrid Peace Conference – a look back with a panel of experts, including Israelis and former diplomats. The historic conference, held from October 30 to November 4, 1991, marked the first time that Israeli leaders negotiated face to face with the Palestinians, as well as delegations from Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. The conference came at a historic time when the world was seeing remarkable change – the Berlin Wall had fallen, Germany was unified, and the U.S. had just defeated Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces in the First Gulf War and liberated Kuwait. The peacemaking effort was brokered by the United States and the (now former) Soviet Union. The conference 
paved the way for Israel to eventually sign the 1994 peace treaty with Jordan, but its long-term impact was seen as more limited. That said, the conference did open the door for a pair of agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). They included PLO recognition of the State of Israel in 1993, and PLO's rejection of violence and terrorism.

What are the lessons of the Madrid Peace Conference? What are the challenges that kept there from being a more lasting peace in the region? How has the increased influence of Iran (and Hamas) in the region changed prospects for a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Hear a panel of experts discuss if there is any bold action the U.S. could do to promote the Middle East peace process.


About the Speakers

Shlomo Ben-Ami is professor emeritus of history at Tel Aviv University and vice president and co-founder of the Toledo International Center for Peace. He served as Israel's Foreign Minister under Prime Minister Ehud Barak, during which time he participated in the Camp David Summit and led other Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, including as a member of Israel’s delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference. He is the author of Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli–Arab Tragedy (2006).

Hiba Husseini is managing partner of Husseini and Husseini, a West Bank-based law firm. She practiced law in Washington, D.C. prior to returning to Palestine and has served as legal adviser to peace process negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis since 1994. She has lectured and written widely on legal and economic development issues involving Palestine. She holds a JD from Georgetown University and serves on the boards of various educational and nonprofit organizations.

Daniel Kurtzer is the S. Daniel Abraham Professor of Middle East Policy Studies at Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. A 29-year career U.S. Foreign Service veteran, he served as U.S. ambassador to Egypt (1997-2001) and to Israel (2001-2005). Ambassador Kurtzer played a key role in formulating and executing American policy, in particular helping to bring about the Madrid Peace Conference. He holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Lior Lehrs is a policy fellow and director of the Program on Israeli-Palestinian Peacemaking at Mitvim. He is a postdoctoral fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Lior wrote his doctoral dissertation, “Private Peace Entrepreneurs in Conflict Resolution Processes,” in the Department of International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.




Dov Waxman (Moderator) is The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair of Israel Studies at UCLA, and the director of the Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Previously, he was a professor of political science, international affairs, and Israel studies, and the Stotsky Professor of Jewish Historical and Cultural Studies at Northeastern University. His latest book is, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: What Everyone Needs to Know (2019).


DISCLAIMER: The views or opinions of our guest speakers and the content of their presentations do not necessarily reflect the views of the UCLA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Hosting speakers does not constitute an endorsement of the speaker's views or opinions.


Sponsor(s): Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies