The Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) and the Middle East Institute (MEI) present the 2023 Congressional briefing series: Israel & Palestine – key issues for the 118th Congress.

The 6-part series of weekly webinars was held between February 10 and March 17, 2023, and featured an array of experts weighing in on some of the most pressing Israel/Palestine-related topics relevant to Congress. Sessions were co-moderated by MEI’s Khaled Elgindy and FMEP’s Lara Friedman. Participation in the live sessions was open exclusively to members of Congress and Congressional staff. However, now that the series has concluded, we are pleased to share video recordings of all six sessions below.

Learn more about the 2023 Series at the Foundation for Middle East Peace, or check out past series held in 2022 and 2021.

Browse webinars and recordings from the 2023 Series:


Part 1 – Beyond Oslo

This session examined the successes and failures of the Oslo process 30 years on and the extent to which the Oslo framework, including the two-state solution, remains relevant to a lasting peace settlement in Palestine/Israel.

Participant Biographies:

Omar Dajani is a Professor of Law at the University of the Pacific where he also serves as the co-director of the law school’s Global Center for Business & Development, and is recognized as a leading expert on legal aspects of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He began his legal career by clerking for Judge Dorothy W. Nelson on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and working as a litigation associate at the Washington, D.C., office of Sidley & Austin. In 1999, Professor Dajani was recruited to serve as a legal adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team in peace talks with Israel, ultimately participating in the summits at Camp David and Taba. He then joined the office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO), where he worked on peacebuilding initiatives and played a lead role in marshaling and organizing international efforts to support Palestinian legal and political reforms. Professor Dajani has continued since that time to work as a consultant on a variety of legal infrastructure development and conflict resolution projects in the Middle East and elsewhere – for institutions including the U.S. Department of State, the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center (NOREF), and the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue.

Dr. Maha Nassar is an Associate Professor in the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona, where she specializes in Arab cultural and intellectual history with a focus on Palestinians. Her book, which received a 2018 Palestine Book Award, is titled Brothers Apart: Palestinian Citizens of Israel and the Arab World (Stanford University Press, 2017). It examines the ways in which Palestinian writers and intellectuals in Israel positioned themselves within an Arab and third world social, cultural and intellectual milieu during the period of decolonization, thus extending their intellectual horizons far beyond the confines of the nation-state. Her current projects further explore Palestinian subject formation transnationally. One involves an analysis of the discursive framings utilized during the 1950s regarding “Arab women in Israel,” while another explores how Palestinian writers understood and engaged with black American experiences in the 20th century. Her next book project is a social, transnational history of the Palestinian people that examines the role of Palestinian women in grassroots mobilizations.

Dr. Shibley Telhami is the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Before coming to the University of Maryland, he taught at several universities, including Cornell University, the Ohio State University, the University of Southern California, Princeton University, Columbia University, Swarthmore College, and the University of California at Berkeley, where he received his doctorate in political science. He has also been active in the foreign policy arena. He has advised every U.S. administration from George H.W. Bush to Barack Obama. He has served as Advisor to the US Mission to the UN, as advisor to former Congressman Lee Hamilton, as a member of the US Commission on Public Diplomacy, and as a senior advisor to the Obama Administration’s Special Middle East Envoy. He is the author and editor of numerous books. His best-selling book, The Stakes: America and the Middle East, was selected by Foreign Affairs as one of the top five books on the Middle East in 2003. He has two forthcoming books: The One State Reality: What is Israel/Palestine? (co-edited, Cornell University Press); and a co-authored book on Obama and Trump policies toward the Middle East. Telhami was selected by the Carnegie Corporation of New York along with the New York Times as one of the “Great Immigrants” for 2013. He is also a recipient of the University of Maryland’s Honors College Outstanding Faculty Award, and The University of Maryland Distinguished Service Award. In 2022, he was listed by the Washingtonian Magazine as one of the most influential people on foreign affairs.