The Challenge of Jerusalem: Geneva, Annapolis, and Beyond with Menachem Klein, a former member of the Israeli political advisory team for Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Ghaith Al-Omari, a former senior policy advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Daniel Levy, director of the Prospects for Peace Initiative, moderates the discussion.
Ghaith Al-Omari is a Senior Research Fellow at the New America Foundation and the Advocacy Director for American Task Force on Palestine. Before joining the New America Foundation, he served in various senior positions within the Palestinian Authority, including Foreign Policy Advisor to the Palestinian President, Director of the International Relations Department in the Office of the Palestinian President, and Senior Advisor to former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas. In these capacities, he provided advice on foreign policy - especially vis-a-vis the United States and Israel - and security.
He has extensive experience in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, having been a member of the Palestinian negotiating team throughout the permanent status negotiations (1999–2001). In that capacity, he participated in various negotiating rounds, most notably the Camp David summit and the Taba negotiations. After the breakdown of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, he was the lead Palestinian drafter of the Geneva Initiative. Mr. Al-Omari is a lawyer by training and a graduate of Georgetown and Oxford Universities. Prior to his involvement in the Middle East peace process, he taught international law in Jordan and was active in human rights advocacy.
Menachem Klein is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Bar-Ilan University, Israel. He served as an advisor for Jerusalem Affairs and Israel-PLO Final Status Talks to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. S. Ben-Ami and was a member of an advisory team operating in the office of Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2000. Since 1996 he has been active in unofficial negotiations with Palestinian counterparts.
Dr. Klein was a co-signatory of the 2003 Geneva Initiative, a detailed proposal for a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace accord. He is a board member of B'etselem, the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.
An expert on issues surrounding the status of Jerusalem, his recent books include: A Possible Peace Between Israel and Palestine- an Insiders' Account of the Geneva Initiative (2007); The Jerusalem Problem: The Struggle for Permanent Status (2003); and Jerusalem: The Contested City (2001). Dr. Klein holds a PhD from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Daniel Levy is a senior fellow and director of the Prospects for Peace Initiative at The Century Foundation and a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. He was the lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Initiative and prior to joining The Century Foundation was directing policy planning and international efforts at the Geneva Campaign Headquarters in Tel Aviv.
In 2003, he worked as an analyst for the International Crisis Group Middle East Program. During the Barak Government, he worked in the Prime Minister's Office as special adviser and head of the Jerusalem Affairs unit under Minister Haim Ramon. From March 2000 to March 2001, he worked as senior policy adviser to former Israeli Minister of Justice, Yossi Beilin, where he was responsible for coordinating policy on various issues including peace negotiations, civil and human rights, and the Palestinian minority in Israel. He was a member of the official Israeli delegation to the Taba negotiations with the Palestinians in January 2001, and previously served on the negotiating team to the "Oslo B" Agreement from May to September 1995, under Prime Minister Rabin.
He received a Bachelors and Masters with Honors from King's College, Cambridge; he was awarded prizes in Social and Political Science and was Scholar of the College. He has published extensively in a broad range of publications including Ha'aretz, The Jerusalem Post, The Boston Globe, United Press International, The American Prospect, The International Herald Tribune, TPMCafe.com, and The Evening Standard.