Speaker: Bill Stewart
Location: Santa Fe Hilton, 100 Sandoval St.
Cost: $26 CIR Members
$32 Non-members & Guests
The Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that resumed in September lie at the heart of American policy in the Middle East. The current ones got underway only after more than a year of heavy lifting by President Barack Obama. There are no guarantees of success, and past history leaves little room for optimism. Yet, for several reasons Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu seems newly committed to an independent Palestine consistent with Israeli security concerns. Although Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is politically weakened as a result of the Hamas takeover in Gaza, the occupied West Bank is making an economic comeback, and US trained Palestinian security troops are proving to be a credible force. Moreover, the Arab League has signed onto the current talks. We don’t know the outcome of the Iraq war, but a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute lies at the heart of Middle Eastern politics. We may all be in for a surprise.
Bill Stewart writes a weekly column on politics and foreign affairs for the Santa Fe New Mexican. In the 1960s, he was a US Foreign Service Officer, serving in India, Washington and Vietnam. He joined Time magazine in 1971 as a correspondent and writer. For the next 20 years, he was Bureau Chief or correspondent in India, Japan, the Middle East (based in Beirut) and Southeast Asia (based in Hong Kong).
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