Posted by Guest on March 28, 2018 in Blog

By Laura Neumayer

Since taking office, President Trump has shaken things up in the U.S. approach to foreign policy and relations in the Middle East, especially where Israel and Palestine are concerned. With the decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and “recognize” the city as Israel’s capital, tensions have escalated between Israel and the Palestinians. Adding to the cocktail of precarious policy efforts in the region, the President’s “ultimate deal” plan for peace in the region has faced major pushback and has been dismissed by Palestinian leaders.

In light of these escalating tensions over the absence of a genuine peace-making effort, AAI’s National Policy Council convened for a discussion with Head of the General Delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to the U.S., Ambassador Husam Zomlot. The Ambassador discussed the proposed Palestinian Peace Plan (PPP) and Palestine’s ambition to achieve full UN membership across the board, to be better positioned to advocate for Palestinian rights, in light of the disintegration of US-led peace efforts.

After the briefing, NPC members had the opportunity to ask Ambassador Zomlot questions regarding relations with Palestine. A common theme pertained to relations between Palestine and Arab states, as well as upcoming summits. Members of the NPC also emphasized organizing in the United States as a focal point for changing the reality in Palestine. 

Ambassador Husam Zomlot is a central diplomatic connection between the United States and Palestine, as well as a key senior advisor to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Both a scholar and a policy influencer, he has worked for the London School of Economics, United Nations, and the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute.

Laura Neumayer is a 2018 spring intern at the Arab American Institute.