June 29, 2020

CNAS Announces Task Force on a New U.S. Agenda Toward the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is pleased to announce its task force on developing a new U.S. agenda toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The task force, which began convening this past winter, seeks to re-examine U.S. policy given the deteriorating situation on the ground and shifting American, Israeli, and Palestinian stances on longstanding issues and how to preserve the two-state solution. The group will build on the success of CNAS’ 2018 task force on U.S. policy towards Gaza.

The task force is composed of a group of foreign policy and national security experts including former high-ranking U.S. government officials, former ambassadors who served in the Middle East, and a number of former negotiators. CNAS Middle East Security Program Director Ilan Goldenberg, CNAS Adjunct Senior Fellow Hady Amr, The Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Tamara Cofman Wittes, and Israel Policy Forum Policy Director Michael Koplow serve as directors of the task force. The task force’s efforts will culminate in a final report that will be released in the fall of 2020. The report will be informed by the deliberations of the group, but will represent the views of the authors alone.

“In the face of potential Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank and an increasingly grim situation between Israelis and Palestinians, we felt it was critical to refresh and rethink U.S. policy options and strategies for preserving and achieving the two-state solution,” said Goldenberg. Wittes added: “The old days of the Secretary of State or president behaving as the desk officer on the Middle East Peace Process are over. We need a more systemic American approach to reversing the negative trends and eventually achieving peace.” Amr added, "All people living between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea deserve equal measures of freedom, security and prosperity, and it's clear that U.S. policy needs to refocus on this both in the immediate term and in a final status agreement."

A list of select task force members is included below. Affiliations are provided for identification purposes only and do not indicate institutional support.

  • Ghaith Al-Omari, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Hady Amr, The Brookings Institution
  • Scott R. Anderson, The Brookings Institution
  • Katherine Bauer, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Daniel Benaim, The Century Foundation
  • Laura Blumenfeld, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
  • Joel Braunold, S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace
  • Rebecca Brocato, National Security Action
  • Elisa Catalano Ewers, Center for a New American Security
  • Tamara Cofman Wittes, The Brookings Institution
  • Robert Danin, Harvard University Kennedy School Belfer Center
  • Michele Dunne, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Khaled Elgindy, Middle East Institute
  • Lara Friedman, Foundation for Middle East Peace
  • Susie Gelman, Israel Policy Forum
  • Ilan Goldenberg, Center for a New American Security
  • Philip H. Gordon, Council on Foreign Relations
  • David Halperin, Israel Policy Forum
  • Zaha Hassan, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Ambassador (Ret.) Martin Indyk, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Michael Koplow, Israel Policy Forum
  • Prem Kumar, Former Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa on the National Security Council
  • Ambassador (Ret.) Daniel C. Kurtzer, Princeton University
  • Scott Lasensky, University of Maryland
  • Frank Lowenstein, Former Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations for the U.S. Department of State
  • David Makovsky, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Robert Malley, International Crisis Group
  • Andrew Miller, Project on Middle East Democracy
  • Yael Mizrahi-Arnaud, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Ambassador (Ret.) Dennis Ross, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Natan Sachs, The Brookings Institution
  • George R. Salem, Arab American Institute
  • Ambassador (Ret.) Daniel Shapiro, Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel
  • Ambassador (Ret.) Dana Shell Smith, Former U.S. Ambassador to Qatar
  • Dana Stroul, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Shibley Telhami, University of Maryland
  • Toni Verstandig, Prospect Global
  • Robert Wexler, S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace
  • Sarah Yerkes, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

For more information, please contact Cole Stevens at cstevens@cnas.org or 202-695-8166.