Shai Feldman

Shai Feldman
Judith and Sidney Swartz Director of the Crown Center

Khalil Shikaki

Khalil Shikaki
Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and a Senior Fellow at the Crown Center


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The Obama Presidency and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

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Prof. Shai Feldman and Dr. Khalil Shikaki
Middle East Brief No. 39, November 2009


The first ten months of the Obama administration’s efforts to achieve a breakthrough in Arab-Israeli peacemaking have led to widespread disappointment among Palestinians and to growing anxiety among Israelis. This Brief first provides an account of the Obama promise to the Middle East, highlighting the innovations characterizing his approach to the region. It then offers an explanation of what went wrong—of how both the administration and Israeli and Palestinian leaders contributed to wasting this initial period. Next, the Brief sets forth options available to the administration if it seeks to overcome the present impasse and jump-start Palestinian-Israeli talks. Finally, it offers some guidelines for a more promising Middle East peace process.

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