Ghaith al-Omari, Dennis Ross explore the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in URI program


Middle East policy experts and Senior Fellows at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Ghaith al-Omari and Dennis Ross will speak at the University of Rhode Island on Tuesday, March 26, at 7 p.m. in the Hope Room of the Higgins Welcome Center, 45 Upper College Road, on the URI Kingston campus. The program, “The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict: Past, Present, and Possible Futures: a Conversation with Ghaith al-Omari and Ambassador Dennis Ross,” sponsored by URI Hillel and the URI Political Science Department, is free and open to the public. Due to space limitations, pre-registration is strongly suggested.

For more than 12 years, Ambassador Dennis Ross played a leading role in shaping U.S. involvement in the Middle East peace process and dealing directly with the parties in negotiations. A highly skilled diplomat, Ross was U.S. point man on the peace process in both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. He was instrumental in assisting Israelis and Palestinians to reach the 1995 Interim Agreement; he also successfully brokered the 1997 Hebron Accord, facilitated the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty and intensively worked to bring Israel and Syria together.

Ghaith al-Omari is the former executive director of the American Task Force on Palestine. He served as advisor to the negotiating team during the 1999-2001 permanent-status talks in addition to holding various other positions within the Palestinian Authority.

Ross and al-Omari have a 25-year friendship built upon mutual appreciation and empathy even though their political opinions do not necessarily align. Modeling respectful dialogue, the two will contextualize the current situation in Gaza, offer a framework for how to understand the conflict between Israel and Hamas, and share their thoughts on what it will take to bring stability to the region.

“In this period of polarizing discourse on the college campus and on social media, we are excited to bring these thoughtful and experienced experts to URI to help our community better understand and unpack this complex conflict. We are committed to providing ways at URI to productively engage around this topic and other contentious issues,” said Amy Olson, executive director of URI Hillel, and Marc Hutchison, chair of the URI Political Science department.

Submitted by University of Rhode Island Hillel

URI, Hillel, Washington Institute for Near East Policy