Making Sense of Turbulent Times
A New Series of Town Hall Conference Calls

Mark your calendars! Over the next month Brit Tzedek will be hosting four Town Hall Conference Calls on current developments in the Middle East. Listen as top policy experts and analysts weigh in on the most pressing issues of the day.

See below for call-in information and speaker bios.

Unity or Civil War? The Unraveling of Palestinian Politics and the US Role with Hanna Siniora and Amjad Atallah

Sunday, November 5, at 2:00 PM ET (1 CT/12 MT/11 PT)

The 110th Congress and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Post-Election Analysis with Jeremy Ben-Ami

Sunday, November 12 at 5:00 PM ET  (4 CT/3 MT/2 PT)

Olmert’s Adjustments: Changes in the Israeli Government and the Implications for Peace with Akiva Eldar

Sunday, November 19 at 2:00 PM ET (1 CT/12 MT/11 PT)

Israel’s Relations with Lebanon, Syria and Iran: A Post-War Evaluation with Mara Rudman

Sunday, December 3, at 2:00 PM ET(1 CT/12 MT/11 PT)

TO JOIN: Dial 1-641-696-6699 within 5 minutes of the call's designated start time and then enter the access code 123432#. You are responsible only for domestic long distance charges.

QUESTIONS: The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session open to all participants. Please send your questions before or during the call to


Hanna Siniora. Mr. Siniora is Co-director of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research (IPCRI), the only joint Palestinian-Israeli public policy think-tank in the world.  IPCRI was established in 1988 in order to promote dialogue at various levels between Israeli and Palestinian civil societies, and seeks to serve as an intellectual platform for Israelis and Palestinians to create and develop new concepts and ideas that enrich the political and public discourse in order to influence decision makers and to challenge the current political reality in the interest of advancing the political solution of two-states for two-peoples.

Mr. Siniora has held numerous official and entrepreneurial positions in Palestinian government and business.  He is currently a member of the Palestinian National Council, and was nominated by the PLO as an advisor to the Palestinian delegation in Madrid from 1991-1992.  From 1985-1987 he was nominated by the PLO to serve on a joint Palestinian Jordanian delegation. He is a recognized expert on political issues related to Jerusalem, where he was born in 1937.

Mr. Siniora currently serves as the chairman of several organizations, including the East Jerusalem Development Corporation, the Palestinian Economic and Social Council, and the Peace and Democracy Forum.  He is also the publisher of the Palestinian English weekly, the Jerusalem Times.  He currently lives in East Jerusalem. 

Amjad Attallah. Palestinian–American Amjad Atallah is founder and President of Strategic Assessments Initiative (SAI), a not-for-profit organization committed to providing legal and policy assistance to parties involved in negotiations in conflict and post-conflict situations. SAI seeks to bridge the gap between conflict management as embodied in humanitarian assistance, development work and peace operations and conflict–resolution, which demands a greater investment of political will. Toward that end, SAI runs innovative programs that link on-the-ground practicalities with the broader political concerns of the major stakeholders.

Before Mr. Atallah founded SAI, he advised the Palestinian negotiating team, and later Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas' office, in peace negotiations with Israel on the issues of international borders, security, and constitutional issues. He was also responsible for liaising with US government officials in Washington, D.C. on these issues.

Mr. Atallah contributed to SAI's authoritative report assessing the Palestinian security forces, Planning Considerations for International Involvement in the Palestinian Security Sector (July 2005). Mr. Atallah has also co-authored papers on the issue of third party involvement in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict including Planning Considerations For International Involvement In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Part I (Jan. 2003), Planning Considerations For International Involvement In The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Part II (April 2003) and Planning Considerations for International Involvement in an Israeli Withdrawal from Palestinian Territory (May 2004). He has also co-authored Issues Of "Trusteeship" In The West Bank And Gaza Strip, presented to the British Foreign Commonwealth Office in December 2002.

Jeremy Ben-Ami. Jeremy has over 20 years of experience in government, politics, and communications in the United States and internationally. Most recently, he was policy director for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, advising former Vermont Governor Dean on domestic, economic and foreign policy. Prior to that, he was deputy manager of Mark Green’s mayoral campaign for New York City, having served as Green’s director of policy in the Office of the Public Advocate. From 1992 through 1996, Ben-Ami worked for former President Bill Clinton, serving for two years as the President’s Deputy Domestic Policy Advisor.

Prior to joining the Dean campaign, he was director of communications and regional director for the New Israel Fund, a New York-based foundation that supports civil rights, social justice and religious pluralism in Israel. In 1998, he started a consulting firm in Israel which worked with Israeli non-profit organizations and politicians.

Ben-Ami also spent eight years in New York City government and politics, working for Mayors Dinkins and Koch, primarily in the field of homeless housing. Ben-Ami received a law degree from New York University and is a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Relations at Princeton University. Jeremy is the Senior Vice President of Fenton Communications in Washington D.C.

Akiva Eldar. Akiva is the diplomatic affairs analyst for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. He has been covering developments in the region for the last 20 years, and is the co-author of a new book chronicling the Jewish settlement movement.

Eldar's interview with Yasser Arafat in July 2004 was the last the Palestinian leader gave to the Israeli media.  He was also the first Israeli journalist to interview Mahmoud Abbas when he became the first Palestinian Prime Minister, in 2003.

As the Haaretz Washington correspondent, Eldar reported on U.S.-Israel relations in the mid-1990s and was at the signing of the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn in September, 1993.  Prior to that Eldar spent a decade as the paper's diplomatic correspondent.  He is a regular guest on CNN and other American news networks.

Mara Rudman. Currently a Senior Partner at Quorum Strategies – an internationally focused strategic consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. – Mara Rudman has years of experience in government and the private sector. She served most recently as Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning at the Center for American Progress, where she remains a Senior Fellow, focusing on national security and foreign policy issues, with a particular emphasis on the Middle East. Earlier, she was Counselor, Vice President, and General Counsel at The Cohen Group.

Previously, she was deputy national security advisor to President Clinton where she coordinated and directed activities within the National Security Council and among the various federal departments and agencies with defense and foreign policy responsibilities, and in that capacity, played a role on Middle East peace efforts. From 1993-1997, she worked as chief counsel to the House International Relations Committee Chairman Lee Hamilton. Prior to her committee positions, Rudman was a litigation associate at Hogan & Hartson. Early in her career, Rudman clerked for the Honorable Stanley Marcus, now of the Eleventh Circuit, in the Southern District of Florida.

Rudman serves on the board of advisors of the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College, as a member of the Aspen Institute Middle East Strategy Group, and as an Aspen Institute Crown Fellow. She is also a frequent media commentator, appearing on CNN, FOX, BBC, NPR, and in print media. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College summa cum laude and her Juris Doctorate cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she was the editor-in-chief of the Harvard Human Rights Journal.

Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, The Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
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Phone: (312) 341-1205
Fax: (312) 341-1206

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