Recent months have shown that the “Arab Spring” does not guarantee a quick and calm transition to stable and democratic regimes that protect human rights and that are guided by liberal principles. There is growing doubt that the revolt that succeeded in ousting rulers will be able to apply new glue to a society that is marked by ethnic rifts, dominant political Islam, a backward economy and poverty. The West (and Israel) faces an unstable Middle East in which state institutions are being undermined and central governments are weakening. The West has so far had difficulty in formulating and implementing a coherent strategy to respond to this turbulent Middle East. What should be at the heart of such a strategy?
Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Michael Herzog, Israel is the Israel-based Milton Fine International Fellow of the Washington Institute and a senior fellow at JPPI, where he currently heads an extensive project on confronting the de-legitimization phenomena. He served as Head of the Strategic Planning Division in the Israeli Defense Forces and was Chief of Staff to Israel’s Minister of Defense.
Dr. Soner Cagaptay is the Beyer Family Fellow and Director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute. He is a regular columnist for Hürriyet Daily News and a contributor to CNN’s Global Public Square blog. He previously served as the Chair of the Turkey Advanced Area Studies Program at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute and in 2012 he was named an American Turkish Society Young Society Leader.
Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat is a Partner at Washington, DC law firm, Covington & Burling LLP, and responsible for the firm’s international practice. He is also Co-Chairman of The Jewish People Policy Institute’s Board of Directors and professional guiding council. Eizenstat served in three US government administrations, holding a number of key senior positions, including Chief White House domestic policy adviser to President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981); US Ambassador to the European Union, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, and Deputy Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton Administration (1993-2001).
Josef Joffe is the Publisher/Editor of the German weekly Die Zeit and the Marc and Anita Abramowitz Fellow in International Relations at the Hoover Institution. He also serves as Chairman of the Abraham Geiger College in Berlin.
Professor Edward Luttwak is a Senior Associate of the Center for Strategic and International Studies of Washington. As a military strategist and historian, he has served as a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, the US Department of State, the US Army, Navy, and Air Force, and a number of allied governments as well as international corporations and financial institutions.
Professor Dominique Moisi is the Co-Founder and a Senior Advisor of the French Institute of International Affairs (IFRI). He is currently a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Natolin. Moisi regularly contributes op-ed articles and essays to the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, the Project Syndicate as well as Die Welt and Der Standard.
Salameh Nematt is a Journalist, communications strategist and the Founder of Pillar Seven, a Middle East regional communications consultancy. He is the former Washington Bureau Chief for the Al Hayat International Arab daily and a former international editor and contributor for The Daily Beast. Nematt is the recipient of the Alfred Friendly Press Award and the Eliav-Sartawi Middle Eastern Journalism Prize from Columbia University’s School of Journalism.
Ambassador Itamar Rabinovich is the founding President of the Israel Institute, a Distinguished Global Professor at New York University, and Non-Resident Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Saban Center at the Brookings Institute. He is Professor Emeritus of Middle Eastern History at Tel Aviv University and the University’s former President. He was also Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies, Director of the Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Dean of the Humanities, and Rector of the University. Rabinovich served as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States and was Israel’s chief negotiator with Syria (1992-1995).
Sima Shine is the Head of Strategic Division at Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs. She previously served as the Deputy Head of the National Security Council and Head of Research in the Intelligence Division of the Prime Minister’s Office.