The Middle East Institute (MEI) and the Conflict Management Program of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) hosted internationally renowned Jerusalem expert and activist Daniel Seidemann in a discussion with Al Arabiya TV's Muna Shikaki about ongoing settlement activities in Jerusalem and challenges to an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.
Seidemann has observed that Jerusalem is becoming "the central arena for Israeli-Palestinian skirmishing of such intensity that developments there jeopardize the very possibility of a two-state solution and threaten to undermine both local and regional stability." In the absence of a political dialogue, Israel is extending physical barriers and discussing ideas to more thoroughly separate the communities, particularly in Jerusalem. Seidemann addressed what steps advocates of a two-state solution - in the region and in the U.S. and Europe - can take In this period of growing crisis to preserve the prospect.
Daniel Serwer (SAIS and MEI) introduced the program.
Founder, Terrestial Jerusalem
Daniel Seidemann is founder of Terrestial Jerusalem, an Israeli NGO that works to identify and track developments in Jerusalem that could impact either the political process or permanent status options, destabilize the city, spark violence, or create humanitarian crises. As an attorney, Seidemann has worked for 25 years on issues related to government and municipal policies and practices, representing Israeli and Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. He has argued more than 20 Jerusalem-related cases before the Israeli Supreme Court. Since 1994, Seidemann has participated in numerous Track II talks between Israelis and Palestinians. In 2000-2001, he served in an advisory capacity to the final status negotiations and on a committee commissioned by Prime Minister Barak's office to propose sustainable arrangements to implement political understandings with the Palestinians.
Correspondent, Al-Arabiya News Channel
Muna Shikaki is an on-air correspondent for Al-Arabiya News Channel, a leading Arabic language news network. Based in Washington, D.C. since 2004, she covers a broad range of issues including U.S. elections and politics, foreign policy, and Arab and Muslim American communities. Shikaki has reported from over 30 U.S. states, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Dubai, the Palestinian Territories, and South America . She was a 2004 Fulbright scholar at Columbia University in New York, where she earned her M.S. in Journalism. She completed her B.A. at Birzeit University in Ramallah, Palestine.
Professor of Conflict Management at Johns Hopkins SAIS and Scholar, MEI
Daniel Serwer is a senior research professor of conflict management and senior fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, as well as a fellow at the Middle East Institute. Formerly vice president for Centers of Peacebuilding Innovation at the United States Institute of Peace (2009-2010), he led teams there working on rule of law, religion, economics, media, technology, security sector governance, and gender. He was also vice president for Peace and Stability Operations at USIP (1998-2009), where he led its peacebuilding work in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, and the Balkans and served as executive director of the Hamilton/Baker Iraq Study Group. Serwer has worked on preventing inter-ethnic and sectarian conflict in Iraq and has facilitated dialogue between Serbs and Albanians in the Balkans.