Challenges and Risks of Implied Security Arrangements: The Case of Israel
The United States was the first country to recognize the State of Israel in 1948 and has been Israel’s most staunch supporter and defender for nearly 65 years. While the ties between the two countries are deep, significant shifts in the Middle East security environment are raising new challenges in the relationship.
Despite the fact that Israel’s Jewish character and democracy cannot endure without the emergence of a Palestinian state, Israeli settlement of the West Bank proceeds apace. Meanwhile, Palestinian leadership has contemplated dissolving its existing structure and working through international organizations to litigate core issues in the conflict. At the same time, anti-American and anti-Israel elements seek to exploit the Arab awakening. The chaos and bloodshed in Syria threaten to further destabilize Israel’s northern borders. Hamas and Hezbollah remain armed and vocally committed to Israel’s destruction. And the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran adds to an already dangerously volatile region. The U.S. faces the dilemma of pushing for a conflict-ending agreement, defending Israel from serious and even existential threats, and avoiding loss of influence and credibility as we navigate the political transitions in the Arab world.
We are delighted to have Mr. Dylan Williams to expand on and to suggest possible end states to these multiple challenges. Mr. Williams is Director of Government Affairs at J Street, a nonprofit group that advocates for American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli conflicts peacefully and diplomatically. As J Street’s chief lobbyist, he is responsible for developing and executing the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement’s legislative strategy in Washington, DC. He joined J Street after serving as Counsel for Foreign Relations, Trade and Immigration to U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME). Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mr. Williams is a member of the New York Bar and holds both a law degree and a bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell University.
Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Time: Social Hour 5:30 – Announcements & Dinner 6:15 – Speaker and Discussion 7:00
Location: Sheraton Hotel, 5151 E Grant
Next Meeting – March 28
Kael Weston will speak on the security challenges facing diplomats serving in war zones.