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Webinar Series: The Future of Palestinian Politics under a Biden Administration

Date(s) - 11/17/2020
11:30 am - 12:45 pm

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Middle East Institute

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s election victory over President Donald Trump is likely to produce a major reset in American-Palestinian relations as well as in Washington’s role in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. No U.S. president had done more to isolate Palestinians and delegitimize Palestinian national aspirations than Trump. Meanwhile, Biden has pledged to reverse the most destructive aspects of Trump’s policies and restore U.S.-Palestinian relations in the hope of salvaging what remains of a two-state solution.

Yet even as the Palestinians breathe a collective sigh of relief at Trump’s departure, the Palestinians’ internal house remains in a state of disarray and decline. The Palestinian national movement, now at one of the lowest points in its history, continues to be racked by political division, institutional stagnation, and a lack of strategic clarity.

To shed light on these and other issues, the Middle East Institute (MEI) invites you to join a two-part webinar series on the Future of Palestinian Politics Under a Biden Administration, moderated by MEI’s Khaled Elgindy.
Part 1 – Reviving Palestinian Political Life
November 17, 2020 11:30 AM – 12:45 PM EST



Tareq Baconi 
Senior analyst, International Crisis Group

Sam Bahour
Ramallah-based business consultant

Mustafa Barghouti 
General secretary, Palestinian National Initiative

Noura Erakat
Human rights attorney; assistant professor, Rutgers University

Khaled Elgindy, moderator
Senior fellow and director, Program on Palestine and Palestinian-Israeli Affairs, MEI

Part 2 – Toward a Palestinian National Strategy
November 19, 2020 11:30 AM – 12:45 PM EST



Dana ElKurd
Researcher, Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies

Mariam Barghouti
Political commentator and writer

Yousef Munayyer
Non-resident fellow, MEI

Nasser AlKidwa 
Former Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations and Palestinian Foreign Minister

Khaled Elgindy, moderator
Senior fellow and director, Program on Palestine and Palestinian-Israeli Affairs, MEI

Speaker biographies:

Nasser AlKidwa is head of the Yasser Arafat Foundation and a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Central Council. He served as the Palestinian Authority’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2005-2006 and was the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations from 1991-2005. AlKidwa also served as Special Envoy of the Secretary General of the League of Arab States for Libya 2014-2015 and as Deputy Special Envoy of the United Nations and League of Arab States for Syria from 2012-2014. He currently resides in Ramallah.

Sam Bahour is a Palestinian American from Youngstown, Ohio who was instrumental in the establishment of PALTEL and the Arab Palestinian Shopping Center. He is currently an independent director at the Arab Islamic Bank and an advisory board member of the Open Society Foundations’ MENA office. He is co-founder and board chair of Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy, a board member of Just Vision and a policy advisor at Al-Shabaka.

Tareq Baconi is Senior Analyst for Israel/Palestine and Economics of Conflict at the International Crisis Group and the author of Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palestinian Resistancepublished by Stanford University Press in 2018. Tareq’s writings have appeared in Arabic in Al-Ghad and Al-Quds al-Arabi, and in English in The New York Review DailyThe Washington PostForeign AffairsThe GuardianThe NationThe Daily Star (Lebanon), and al-Jazeera. He has provided analysis for print and broadcast media, including The New York TimesThe New Yorker, BBC, National Public Radio, and Democracy Now!.

Mariam Barghouti is a writer and researcher. She received her BA from Birzeit University in English Literature and Language and Masters of Science from the University of Edinburgh in Sociology and Global Change. Her academic research interests focus on intra-Israeli racial inequalities and global historical sociology. She has worked in the fields of journalism and reporting, digital production, advocacy, and evidence based research. She has written on socio-political developments in the Middle East with a focus on the Levant. Her political commentary was featured in Al-Jazeera English, the New York Times, the Guardian, amongst others. Her social research revolves around local-global social dynamics, with a focus on policy, gender, socio-economic inequalities, and power-relations. She currently resides in Ramallah.

Mustafa Barghouti is a Palestinian physician, activist and politician who serves as General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, or al Mubadara. He has been a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council since 2006 and is also a member of the Palestinian Central Council. In 2007 he served as minister of information in the Palestinian unity government. He has worked extensively on defending human rights and is the founder and chairman of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society.

Dana ElKurd is a researcher at the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies and an Assistant Professor at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. She holds a PhD in Government with concentrations in Comparative Politics and International Relations, and has focused her work on authoritarian regimes in the Arab world, state-society relations in these countries, and the impact of repression on contentious politics. She has published in peer-reviewed journals such as PS: Political Science & PoliticsJournal of Global Security StudiesMiddle East Law and GovernanceSiyasat Arabiya (Arabic), Contemporary Arab AffairsParameters, and more. Her recent book titled Polarized and Demobilized: Legacies of Authoritarianism in Palestine is out now with Oxford University Press.

Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney and Assistant Professor at Rutgers University in the Department of Africana Studies and the Program in Criminal Justice. She has served as legal counsel to the U.S House of Representatives and as a legal advocate for Palestinian refugee rights at the United Nations. She is author of the book, Justice for Some: Law as Politics in the Question of Palestine” published by Stanford University Press in 2019 and co-founding editor of the online journal Jadaliyya.

Yousef Munayyer is a Palestinian American writer and political analyst based in Washington, DC. He is a non-resident fellow at the Middle East Institute’s Palestine Program as well as a senior non-resident fellow at Arab Center Washington DC. Formerly he was executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights as well as the Jerusalem Fund.


Khaled Elgindy is senior fellow and director of the Program on Palestine and Palestinian-Israeli Affairs at MEI. He is the author of the newly released book, Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump (Brookings Institution Press, April 2019). Elgindy previously served as a fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution from 2010 through 2018. Prior to arriving at Brookings, he served as an adviser to the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah on permanent status negotiations with Israel from 2004 to 2009, and was a key participant in the Annapolis negotiations of 2007-08. Elgindy is also an adjunct instructor in Arab Studies at Georgetown University.

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