Former Israeli Ambassador to Egypt Haim Koren will talk about how Israelis today view the current stand-off with the Palestinians as conflict in Syria and Iraq and Yemen and unrest in Egypt continues to destabilize the Middle East. Adding to the uncertainty is President Trump himself, who shook things up Feb 15th when he said in front of visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, "I'm looking at two-state and one-state" solutions - apparently calling into question decades of US efforts to broker a two-state solution in his search for "the ultimate deal." Trump has also been a proponent for an "outside-in" strategy of approaching neighboring Arab countries to enlist their help in mediating an agreement with the Palestinians. Koren will talk about the state of Israel's relations with their Arab neighbors, and also the ongoing debate inside Israel on the construction of new settlements in the West Bank.
Koren served as Israel's Ambassador to the Republic of Egypt between 2014 and 2016. He previously served as Ambassador to South Sudan and as the Director of the Middle East Division in the Center of Political Research in Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During his tenure with the Ministry, his positions included serving as Director of the Political Planning Division and as Deputy Spokesman of the Press Division. He has also served in various other diplomatic capacities in Chicago, USA; Alexandria, Egypt; and Kathmandu, Nepal, and speaks fluent Arabic.