This House believes that the Middle East road Map for peace is dead

Wednesday February 23 2005
MOTION REJECTED by 46% to 54%

Speakers

Flynt Leverett

Speaking for the motion
Flynt Leverett

Dr. Flynt Leverett is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington, DC. Dr. Leverett came to Brookings after a distinguished career in government service.

From February 2002 to March 2003, he served at the White House as Senior Director for Middle East Affairs at the National Security Council. In this role, he advised President Bush and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice on Arab-Israeli issues and US relations with Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia and Syria. During the first year of the Bush Administration, Dr. Leverett was on the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff, handling Middle East and counter terrorism issues; for his contributions to US policy in these areas and to the formation of an international coalition to fight terror following the September 11 attacks, he was given the State Department's Superior Honor Award. Prior to that, he served for eight years as a senior analyst of Middle East and South Asian affairs at the Central Intelligence Agency.

Since leaving the Bush Administration because of policy differences, Dr. Leverett has lectured widely on U. foreign policy and the Middle East at academic institutions and conferences in Europe, the Middle East and the United States. He frequently comments on Middle Eastern affairs in the national and international media and has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, CNN's Capitol Gang and Lou Dobbs Tonight, C-Span's Washington Journal, Fox News Special Report with Brit Hume, MSNBC, NBC, NPR, PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Al Arabiyya and Al Jazeera.

Dr. Leverett has published editorials on various aspects of US Middle East policy, nonproliferation and intelligence reform in leading newspapers, including The New York Times and the Financial Times. His first book, 'Inheriting Syria: Bashar's Trial by Fire', will be published by the Brookings Institution Press in April.

Dr. Leverett is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Texas Christian University, with degrees in political science and piano performance. He earned his M.A. and PhD in politics from Princeton University. Before entering government service, he taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

 

Ghassan Khatib

Speaking against the motion
Ghassan Khatib

Ghassan Khatib has been Minister of Labor for the Palestinian Authority since 2002.

He was a member of the Palestinian delegation for the Madrid Middle East Peace Conference in 1991 and the subsequent bilateral negotiations in Washington from 1991 to 1993.

Mr. Khatib represents the Palestinian People's Party, a communist party with headquarters in Ramallah.

Before his appointment as Minister of Labor, Mr. Khatib served on the boards of the Democracy and Workers Rights Center and the Friends School, both based in Ramallah. He is the co-founder and director of BitterLemons.org, a Palestinian-Israeli, Internet-based political magazine. He is also a member of the editorial board of the Israel-Palestine Journal, a political journal offering Palestinian and Israeli perspectives, and a member of the advisory board for Palestinian Politics. He has served as president of the board of directors for the Arab Development Center, an agricultural development organization.

Mr. Khatib taught cultural studies at Birzeit University and served as Director of the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center, which specializes in research, opinion polling and media support for journalists working within the Occupied Palestinian Territories. He is Director of the Institute of Modern Media at Al Quds University in Jerusalem.

Mr. Khatib was born in Nablus in 1954. He earned a B.A. in Economics and Business Administration at Birzeit University, an M.A. in Development Studies from Manchester University in the UK and is completing his PhD in Middle East Politics at the University of Durham in the UK.

 

Alastair Crooke

Speaking for the motion
Alastair Crooke

Alastair Crooke is co-founder of Conflicts Forum, an independent, non-profit organization that hosts professionals united by a common interest in overcoming current barriers between Islam and the West.

Mr. Crooke's career has been spent negotiating those barriers. He is former Security Advisor to Javier Solana, the European Union High Representative and Head of Foreign and Security Policy. He was a staff member of President Bill Clinton's Fact-Finding Committee, led by Senator George Mitchell, which enquired into the causes of the Intifada.

As Special Adviser to the European Union Special Envoy to the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. Crooke coordinated mediation and negotiations between all parties in the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli conflicts. He helped facilitate the Palestinian cease-fires of 2002 and 2003. This included negotiations to end the Siege of the Church of the Nativity in 2002.

As a member of the British diplomatic service, Mr. Crooke was First Secretary at the British Embassy in Islamabad in the 1980s, where he was closely involved in liasing with Afghan leaders. He has also spent many years contributing to mediation, management and resolution of conflict in Ireland, South Africa, Namibia, Afghanistan, Cambodia and Colombia. He also has extensive experience in the co-ordination of hostage negotiations.

In 2003 Mr. Crooke was made a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George by the British government for "services to the advancement of the Middle East peace process." A recognized expert in the Middle East and the Muslim world and other global hot-spots, Mr. Crooke has published extensively in foreign affairs journals, including Security Dialogue.

Mr Crooke holds a master's degree from St. Andrews University in the UK, where he specialized in economics and politics.

 

Rabbi Michael Melchior

Speaking against the motion
Rabbi Michael Melchior

Rabbi Michael Melchior is a Meimad-Labor Party member of the Israeli Knesset and Deputy Minister of Education, Culture and Sport.

From 1996 to 1999, Rabbi Melchior was chairman of Meimad, a modern-Orthodox party, which he helped integrate with the "One Israel" list of candidates in Israel's 1999 elections. He won a seat in the Knesset himself that year, which he has held ever since. From August 1999 until March 2001, he served as Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, responsible for Diaspora and social affairs. He served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from March 2001 until October 2002.

Rabbi Melchior was born in 1954 in Copenhagen into a family that has produced seven generations of Danish rabbis. He received his rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva Hakotel in Jerusalem and has served as rabbi of a congregation in Jerusalem since migrating to Israel in 1986. He has held the title of Chief Rabbi of Norway since 1980.

Rabbi Melchior has served as an administrator for various human rights, immigration and educational institutions. From 1970 to 1972, he headed Bnei Akiva in Denmark, a religious youth movement, and was a leading activist for Jews in the former Soviet Union. He is a past International Director of the Elie Wiesel Foundation. In 2004, he launched a new social action group called Tnufa. He is a leading figure in the birthright program, which offers trips to Israel for young Jewish people to strengthen their Jewish identity. He has also worked to promote inter-faith relations.

Among his many awards are the Norwegian Nobel Institute's Prize for Tolerance and Bridge-Building and Yeshivat Hakotel's Award for work in the Diaspora Rabbinate.

 

Watch online