March 26, 2024
10:00 am - 11:30 am


Zoom Webinar

The peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, signed on March 26, 1979, marked a historic breakthrough in Israel's relations in the Middle East, opening the door to other peace, normalization, and interim deals with its neighbors. Over the years, Israel-Egypt relations have proven to be resilient in the face of multiple regional crises due to a strong foundation of shared strategic interests. Cooperation between the two countries has expanded in recent years through new minilateral mechanisms like the East Mediterranean Gas Forum, although Israel’s far-right coalition government and the war in Gaza have put ties under unprecedented stress.

This webinar will explore the current state of Israel-Egypt relations, taking into account the past 45 years of peace as well as today’s regional landscape and the impact of the war in Gaza. How can Israel and Egypt effectively manage their current differences and further expand their cooperation? What role can Egypt play in facilitating ties between Israel and the Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia? And can Egypt help advance Israeli-Palestinian peace? MEI is pleased to host a distinguished panel of Israeli and Egyptian experts, analysts, and former government officials to discuss the long-standing ties between the two countries and the future of the bilateral relationship. Please join us for this timely and important conversation.


Amb. (ret.) Jeremy Issacharoff
Former Vice Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel

Mirette Mabrouk
Senior Fellow and Founding Director of the Egypt Program, Middle East Institute

Ksenia Svetlova
Executive Director, Regional Organization for Peace, Economics & Security

Amb. (ret.) Hesham Youssef
Former Senior Official, Arab League

Nimrod Goren (Moderator)
Senior Fellow for Israeli Affairs, Middle East Institute

Detailed Speaker Biographies

Amb. (ret.) Jeremy Issacharoff has been in the Israeli Foreign Service for 40 years and retired after serving as Israel’s Ambassador to Germany between the years 2017 to 2022. Before Germany, Issacharoff was the Vice-Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Head of the Multilateral Affairs Directorate, and served as Deputy-Director General for Strategic Affairs. He served abroad twice in Washington, D.C., and once in the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations in New York. He has the personal rank of Senior Ambassador and was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General to the Advisory Board for Disarmament in 2003.

Mirette F. Mabrouk is an MEI senior fellow and founding director of the Institute's Egypt Studies program. She was previously deputy director and director for research and programs at the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council. Formerly a fellow at the Project for U.S. Relations with the Middle East at the Brookings Institution, Mabrouk moved to D.C. from Cairo, where she was director of communications for the Economic Research Forum (ERF). Before being appointed associate director for publishing operations at The American University in Cairo Press, Ms. Mabrouk had over 20 years of experience in both print and television journalism. She is the founding publisher of The Daily Star Egypt, (now The Daily New Egypt), at the time, the country’s only independent English-language daily newspaper, and the former publishing director for IBA Media, which produces the region’s top English-language magazines. Her writing has appeared in publications like Foreign Policy, The Hill and HuffPost and she has been quoted and appeared on the BBC, VOA, Sky News, The Wall Street Journal and the Christian Science Monitor, among others.

Ksenia Svetlova served as a Knesset member from 2015 to 2019. She is a director of the Israel-Middle East program at the Mitvim Institute for Regional Foreign Policy and a Fellow at the Institute for Policy and Strategy at Reichmann University. Svetlova is an expert on Middle Eastern and Russian affairs. She has written for newspapers and media outlets, including the Jerusalem Post, the Jerusalem Report, Haaretz and the BBC Russian Service. Her book “On high heels through the Middle East” (Pardes) was published in 2021.

Amb. (ret.) Hesham Youssef was a career diplomat with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt. From 2014-2019, he served as assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian, Cultural and Social Affairs of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and completed his term in July 2019. From 2001-2014, he served as a senior official in the Arab League, as Official Spokesman and later the Chief of Staff to Secretary General Amr Moussa from 2003- 2011. From 2012-2014, Ambassador Youssef was a Senior Advisor to the Secretary General of the Arab League, Dr. Nabil Elaraby, on issues pertaining to crisis management as well as the reform of the Arab League. Ambassador Youssef has worked extensively on conflict resolution in the Middle East and in particular the Arab Israeli conflict, reconciliation in Iraq and the situation in Sudan. He has written several papers on reform in the Arab world and focused in the last five years on fragility and the humanitarian situation in the Islamic world, in particular in Somalia, the Palestinian Territories, Chad, Niger and Myanmar.

Nimrod Goren is the President and Founder of Mitvim - The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, Co-Founder of Diplomeds - The Council for Mediterranean Diplomacy, and Co-Chair of a regional initiative at President Isaac Herzog's Israeli Climate Forum. Nimrod holds a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was a Hubert Humphrey Fellow at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He was a Teaching Fellow on Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University, and has also worked at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies and the Nehemia Levtzion Center for Islamic Studies. Nimrod is a past recipient of the Victor J. Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East and the Centennial Medal of the Institute of International Education, and was selected as a Vamik Volkan Scholar by the International Dialogue Initiative. He serves on the steering committees of the Geneva Initiative and the Turkish-Israeli Civil Society Forum, and is a member of the Global Diplomacy Lab. Nimrod's fields of expertise include Israel’s foreign policy and regional relations, as well as the Middle East peace process.

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