Following Monday’s Middle East Update, Geoffrey Kemp, senior director of Regional Security Programs at the Center for the National Interest will return for a second discussion in the annual series, this time with Ellen Laipson, director of the Center for Security Policy Studies.
The second Middle East Update will be held at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 13 in the Hall of Philosophy. Laipson said she is looking forward to being in conversation with Kemp, and that they will discuss numerous topics.
“Geoff and I will be talking about the status of the Israeli situation, so I think we will be talking about the (Jared) Kushner plan, what his prospects are, the mood in the Palestinian community, the trend in Israeli politics and how we see the near to medium future,” Laipson said.
Laipson said that geopolitics and the politics of regions have shifted. These shifts affect countries differently.
“Arab-Israeli peace has always been a perennial part of the America’s foreign policy,” Laipson said. “It’s had its ups and downs, but I think that people are still concerned. I think people still see the inability to achieve a more lasting and just settlement to Israeli-Palestinian issues to be a real weakness and vulnerability for American foreign policy.”
She said it’s a longterm vulnerability, but it’s also a demonstration of the failure of generations of American diplomats who’ve tried so hard to reach accommodations.
“I think that people truly worry that this failure to come up with a more successful solution is creating a new source of instability in the region,” Laipson said.
Kemp will be hosting the conversation with Laipson. The pair have known each other for many years and have collaborated on other projects regarding the Middle East.
“I’ve known Geoff for probably 30 years,” Laipson said. “He’s a part of the Middle East community in Washington D.C.”
Kemp said Laipson will touch on issues that he had mentioned during the first Middle East Update, and elaborate on Iran and American policy dilemmas in the Middle East.
“I’m expecting Ellen to be more regional in her discussions and to touch base on some of the issues I mentioned, particularly Iran and American policy, and the dilemmas that the Trump Administration faces in the Middle East, particularly in light of challenges from Turkey, Russia, Iran, and to some extent, China,” Kemp said.
Both Kemp and Laipson look forward to returning to Chautauqua. They hope Chautauquans engage in the interactive conversation the Middle East Updates provide.
“I’ve been to Chautauqua twice before and each time I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and the quality of the questioning,” Laipson said. “It’s always got a very positive and productive atmosphere, so I really look forward to being part of that again.”