Breakout Session 2

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The founder of Zionism, Theodor Herzl, wrote in 1902: “If you will it, it is no dream.” Forty-six years later, Herzl’s dream of a modern-day Jewish state in the ancient land of Israel became a reality.

Featuring Dr. Natan Sachs Fellow, The Brookings Institution 2:15 PM - 3:30 PM Town Hall Meeting - Relations With Riyadh: The United States and Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is both an important American ally and the birthplace of Osama bin Laden. It is the second-largest supplier of oil to the United States, but also the epicenter of Wahhabi radicalism. What are the origins of the close ties between the Saudi Kingdom and the United States? How have recent events in the Middle East shaped U.S.-Saudi relations? And, what effect might the pending succession crisis in Saudi Arabia have on these relations?

Featuring Dr. Joshua Teitelbaum Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History, Department of Middle Eastern Studies; Senior Research Fellow, BESA Center for Strategic Studies Mr. Simon Henderson Baker Fellow and Director of Gulf and Energy Policy Program, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy 2:15 PM - 3:30 PM Town Hall Meeting - History of the U.S.-Israel Relationship

Just 11 minutes after Israel declared its independence, President Harry Truman recognized the Jewish state on May 15, 1948. More than six decades have passed since that critical moment. The U.S.-Israel relationship has grown to be one of America’s most strategically important alliances, based on mutual values and interests. How did the U.S.-Israel alliance evolve to the point where it is today? How have various U.S. presidents and Israeli prime ministers worked together over the years? Where have there been differences of opinion between friends, and how have they been overcome?

Featuring Dr. Stephen Berk Henry and Sally Schaffer Professor of Holocaust and Jewish Studies, Union College Ms. Abigail Cable Legislative Assistant and Department Coordinator, Policy and Goverment Affairs, AIPAC 2:15 PM - 3:30 PM Town Hall Meeting - Faces and Races 2014: AIPAC's Political Analysis

President Obama remains in the White House, and the midterm elections of 2014 will determine which party controls the House and Senate. The incumbents and candidates running for office will play critical roles in setting the nation's agenda and steering the course for the U.S.-Israel relationship.

Featuring Ms. Marilyn Rosenthal Deputy National Political Director, AIPAC 2:15 PM - 2:45 PM Village Stage - Major Discovery: How Israel is Unlocking its Energy Resources

Noble Energy, the Houston-based oil and natural gas exploration and production company, has had some major finds off the coast of Israel. Noble, working with local Israeli companies, has discovered natural gas fields worth billions of dollars that could supply Israel’s needs for the next 150 years. Bini Zomer, director of corporate affairs for Noble Energy in Israel, will discuss the find and the potential impact on Israel’s economy and security.

Featuring Mr. Bini Zomer Head of Government Relations, Noble Energy 2:15 PM - 3:30 PM Town Hall Meeting - Timelines and Red Lines: The Debate Over Iran’s Nuclear Program

Speaking before the U.N. last September, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Iran would have enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear bomb by the summer of 2013 and urged the world to draw a clear “red line” to stop it in its tracks. What exactly is the reasoning behind Netanyahu’s red line? Is the timetable he defined still relevant? And, what are the U.S. and Israeli policy options, given the most recent assessments?

Featuring Dr. Shai Feldman Director, Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University 2:15 PM - 3:30 PM Panel Discussion - Politics in Perspective: Ask a Top Political Luminary Your Questions

With the 2014 election cycle just getting underway, political observers and congressional candidates are preparing for what is already shaping up to be an exciting midterm election next November. What issues will ultimately impact the next election? How will the president's party fare? What did Democrats and Republicans learn from 2012? And, what are the pundits and potential candidates saying about the 2016 race for the White House?

Featuring Mr. Paul Begala Democratic Strategist and CNN Contributor, CNN 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Panel Discussion - Atomic Armageddon: The Consequences of a Nuclear Iran

If Iran continues to make progress in its nuclear program at the current rate, then it could have a breakout capability – that is, all of the skills and parts needed to quickly produce a nuclear weapon – sometime later this year. That would likely lead to a cascade of other countries in the region seeking nuclear weapons, a steep rise in the prospects for nuclear terror and a great increase in Iran’s influence in the region. Terrorist groups throughout the Middle East would have unprecedented freedom to act under Tehran’s nuclear umbrella.

Featuring Dr. Michael Makovsky Foreign Policy Director, Bipartisan Policy Center Mr. Avi Jorisch Founder and Director, Red Cell Intelligence Group Dr. Emily Landau Senior Research Associate and Director, Arms Control and Regional Security Project, The Institute for National Security Studies, Israel 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Panel Discussion - Russian Relations: A Paradoxical Approach to the Middle East

Dating back to the Soviet era, Russia has a long and at times paradoxical history of involvement in the Middle East. Moscow has increasingly exerted itself as a counterweight to U.S. efforts in the region by blocking actions against Syria and Iran at the U.N., while signaling a desire to deepen direct ties with Israel. How should the United States interpret Russia’s actions and involvement in the region?

Featuring Mr. Mark Levin Executive Direector, National Council on Soviet Jewry Mr. Ilan Berman Vice President, American Foreign Policy Council Dr. Ariel Cohen Senior Research Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy, The Heritage Foundation 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Panel Discussion - Ballot Impact: Israel’s Recent Elections

Israel’s recent elections led to changes in the Knesset and shook up the governing coalition. How will the results affect key foreign policy issues such as Israel’s approach to the Iranian nuclear program, the peace process with the Palestinians and the Jewish state’s relations with the United States?

Featuring Dr. Jonathan Rynhold Schusterman Visiting Professor of Israel Studies, The George Washington University Mr. David Horovitz Founding Editor, The Times of Israel Moderator Ms. Devorah Patt Director, AIEF in Israel, Jerusalem Office of AIPAC 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Panel Discussion - Israel on Campus: Creating Tomorrow's Leaders

Anti-Israel activity has become a regular phenomenon on college campuses around the country. From protests to divestment initiatives, students have attempted to create a hostile environment without parallel in American society. Amid this anti-Israel animus, AIPAC-trained student activists have worked vigilantly to ensure that campus leaders understand the challenges facing Israel and recognize the value of the U.S.-Israel relationship. By engaging their student government and politically oriented student groups, student activists have emerged as a potent force for pro-Israel activity.

Featuring Mr. Reamonn Soto AIPAC Campus Activist, Florida Agriculture and Mining University Ms. Melody Mostow AIPAC Campus Activist, Indiana University Mr. T. J. Villamil AIPAC Campus Activist, University of Florida Sarah Sax AIPAC Campus Activist, University of Southern California Moderator Mr. Jonathan Kessler Leadership Development Director, AIPAC 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Panel Discussion - Wild West: Dangerous Developments in Sinai

After capturing the Sinai Peninsula in 1967’s Six-Day War, Israel returned it to Egypt as part of a peace agreement. While it has served as a buffer between the Jewish state and its neighbor to the west, growing lawlessness in the Sinai has increased the flow of weapons and other contraband to Gaza, and al-Qaeda is reportedly working to gain a foothold there. Further deterioration could impact Israel’s security and even spark renewed hostilities between Egypt and Israel.

Featuring Mr. Jonathan Harris Assistant Director, Policy and Government Affairs, AIPAC Mr. Ehud Ya'ari Lafer International Fellow, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy; Middle East Commentator 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM Meet the Author - Elliott Abrams: Tested by Zion: The Bush Administration and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

In the first book by an administration official to focus on George W. Bush and the Middle East, former Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams brings the story of Bush, the Israelis and the Palestinians to life. How did 9/11 change American policy toward Arafat? What influence did the Saudis have on President Bush? How did Sharon decide to get out of Gaza, and why did the peace negotiations fail? To answer these questions, Tested by Zion brings the reader inside the White House and the palaces of Middle Eastern officials. This session is reserved exclusively for AIPAC's Capitol Club, Senate Club, President's Cabinet, Chairman's Council and Minyan members.

Featuring Mr. Elliott Abrams Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations; Former Deputy National Security Advisor 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Panel Discussion - Hamas at a Crossroads: The Terrorist Group Amid the Arab Revolts

The drastic changes sweeping the Arab world have placed Hamas at a historic crossroads. The Palestinian terrorist group has been emboldened by the rise of like-minded Islamists in Egypt and Tunisia. Distancing themselves from the beleaguered Assad regime in Syria, Hamas’ leaders have been embraced by the Sunni Arab world and Turkey. Nonetheless, they maintain close relations with Iran and receive a steady flow of arms from the Islamic Republic. How do regional developments affect Hamas’ attitude toward Israel? Do these developments make reconciliation with Fatah more or less likely? How should the international community deal with a strengthened Hamas?

Featuring Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Michael Herzog Milton Fine International Fellow, The Washington Institute For Near East Policy Dr. Daniel Byman Senior Fellow and Research Director, The Brookings Instittution;, Professor, Security Studies Program, Georgetown University Dr. Jonathan Schanzer Vice President, Research, Foundation for Defense of Democracies Moderator Ms. Leah Odinec Assistant Director, Policy and Government Affairs, AIPAC 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Panel Discussion - New Allies: Israel and the Caucasus Region

With little fanfare, Israel has been working quietly to cultivate close ties with an array of countries in the Caucasus. From predominantly Shiite Muslim Azerbaijan to Georgia, birthplace of thousands of Israeli immigrants, the Jewish state has been cementing relationships encompassing the economic, energy and security spheres by building on Israel’s technological know-how.

Featuring Dr. Brenda Shaffer Senior Lecturer, University of Haifa Dr. Svante Cornell Research Director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program Ambassador Elin Suleymanov Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United States Moderator Mr. Charles Perkins Assistant Director, Policy and Government Affairs, AIPAC 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Film Festival - Film Festival: Unmasked Judeophobia

From the producer of The Case for Israel - Democracy’s Outpost comes a meticulous examination of the resurgence of lethal Jew-hatred in regions around the world. Filmmaker Gloria Greenfield travels from Europe to Israel to North America, interviewing world-renowned scholars, analysts, experts in international law and media, and political leaders to cover this phenomenon comprehensively. The result of the interviews is a serious and sometimes terrifying analysis of how Jew-hatred, often masked as anti-Zionism, has permeated modern life and discourse worldwide.

Featuring Glorida Z. Greenfield Producer, Unmasked Judeophobia Mr. George Violin Executive Producer, Unmasked Judeophobia 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Panel Discussion - From Start-Up Nation to Leading Nation: Israel's Economic Expansion

Despite being surrounded by adversaries, many of whom will not engage in trade with Israel, the Jewish state has managed to turn a land with few natural resources into an oasis of entrepreneurship and business savvy. And, as Israel’s economy has flourished, American businesses have realized the potential for cooperation and investment. In the coming decades, what can Israel do to take the next leap from a start-up nation to one of the globe’s economic leaders? What are areas of potential growth for U.S.-Israeli economic cooperation?

Moderator Ms. Wendy Singer Executive Director, Start Up Nation Institute Featuring Mr. Steven Schoenfeld Founder and Editor-in-Chief, IsraelStrategist.com; Founder BlueStar Global Investors LLC The Honorable Eli Groner Minister for Economic Affairs, Embassy of Israel Mr. Alon Ozer Senior Investment Officer at Foundation of The Greater Miami Jewish Federation 2:30 PM - 3:00 PM Meet the Experts - Idea to Reality: The Amazing Story of Iron Dome

While the Iron Dome has proven highly effective at shooting down Hamas rockets, the system almost did not get built. Facing much skepticism, bureaucratic opposition and a lack of dedicated funding, Brig. Gen. (Res.) Dr. Danny Gold simply did not take no for an answer. He assembled a team of Israel’s top engineers and developed in just five years the system that revolutionized Israel’s defense capabilities. AIPAC TV interviews Brig. Gen. (Res.) Dr. Gold and the operator of an Iron Dome battery.

Moderator Mr. Brian Abrahams Midwest Regional Director, AIPAC Featuring Brig.-Gen. (Res.) Dr. Danny Gold CEO & Founder of Gold R&D Technology and Innovation LTD Second Lieutenant Avishai Malka Israel Defense Forces 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Panel Discussion - Prospects for Peace: The Past and Future of Israeli-Palestinian Relations

Twenty years have passed since the signing of the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn, and yet Israel and the Palestinians seem further from a comprehensive peace agreement than ever. The failure of the Camp David negotiations in 2000 due to Palestinian intransigence and the subsequent eruption of the violent Second Intifada stymied the peace process for many years. And, now that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has pursued Palestinian statehood at the U.N., rather than through negotiations, many Israelis question the Palestinians’ true intentions.

Moderator Dr. Marvin Feuer Director, Policy and Government Affairs, AIPAC Featuring Mr. Ghaith al-Omari Executive Director, American Task Force on Palestine Dr. Aaron David Miller Public Policy Scholar, Middle East Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Dr. David Makovsky Ziegler Distinguished Fellow and Director, Project on the Middle East Peace Process, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Panel Discussion - Sanctions Report Card: Can Economic Pressure Stop Iran's Nuclear Program?

U.S. sanctions against Iran have been in place since 1979, following the Islamic Revolution and seizure of the American embassy. But only in the past few years have sanctions aimed at forcing Iran to stop its nuclear program become significant. The Iranian economy is now reeling, with energy exports falling roughly 75 percent, the national currency plummeting in value and inflation rapidly climbing. Yet, Tehran continues to forge ahead with its nuclear program. The question now is whether the sanctions can influence Iranian decision making before the Islamic Republic achieves a breakout capacity.

Featuring The Honorable Ted Deutch (D-FL) Ranking Member, Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East and South Asia, United States House of Representatives Moderator Ambassador Brad Gordon Director, Policy and Government Affairs, AIPAC 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Panel Discussion - From Mubarak to Morsi: Egypt's Evolution

In his first year as the head of post-Mubarak Egypt, President Mohamed Morsi has taken bold steps, granting himself sweeping authority to rein in the military and further the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood. But he has also acted pragmatically in dealing with domestic criticism and foreign policy crises, such as last November’s Gaza conflict. How have Morsi’s moves consolidated his power over Egypt? What do these changes mean for the Egyptian government and the future of the country’s political system?

Featuring Mr. Brian Katulis Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress Dr. Steven Cook Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM Panel Discussion - The Palestinians and the U.N.: A New Path to Pressure Israel?

The Palestinians have always found a sympathetic ear at the U.N., where the Arab countries and Third World member states form an “automatic majority” that is disposed to support them and demonize Israel. Thus, it was unsurprising when the General Assembly voted last November to upgrade the status of the Palestinians to that of a non-member observer state, despite U.S. and Israeli objections. What are the ramifications of the Palestinian upgrade? Is it any different from previous U.N. resolutions? What further steps might the Palestinians take at the U.N. and other international bodies?

Featuring Mr. Hillel Neuer Executive Director, U.N. Watch, Geneva Dr. Tal Becker Principal Legal Adviser, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel Mr. Gil Troy Professor of History, McGill University 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM Town Hall Meeting - The Changing Face of the Electorate: America's New Political Reality

The 2012 elections were the latest evidence that seismic shifts are reshaping the U.S. political landscape. More than ever before, it has become essential for the parties to reach diverse populations who are growing in power. The U.S. Hispanic population, for example, grew by 43 percent between 2000 and 2010, and now one in six Americans-and one in four under the age of 18–are Hispanic.

Moderator Ms. Amy Walter* National Editor, Cook Political Report Featuring Dr. Glen Bolger Co-Founder and Partner, Public Opinion Strategies Mr. Mark Mellman CEO, The Mellman Group 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM Town Hall Meeting - Israel@65

Israel's achievements during its 65 years of statehood are remarkable. Consider this: When America was 65, slavery was a norm, women did not enjoy equal rights and a civil war was yet to be fought. What drove Israel's founders to create, develop,and preserve a nation-state?

Featuring Dr. Kenneth Stein Director, Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel; President, Center for Israel Education 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM Town Hall Meeting - The Next Chapter: Israel's Young Leaders

The idealism and energy of young people has always been a catalyst for bringing about major changes in societies all the world over. Today in Israel, a new generation is stepping forward to assume responsibility for steering the direction of the state. How will these young leaders shape the future? What role will they have in writing the next chapter of Jewish history?

Featuring Mr. Dany Gliksberg Deputy Director, Ayalim The Honorable Einat Wilf Member of Knesset, Ha'atzmaut 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM Town Hall Meeting - Words That Work: Making the Case for Israel

Renowned political communications expert Dr. Frank Luntz hosts a thought-provoking and dynamic session on the most effective ways for supporters of the U.S.-Israel relationship to communicate winning arguments. Learn how to best counter those who attack Israel or question the Jewish state’s right to exist.

Featuring Dr. Frank Luntz CEO, Luntz Global 2:45 PM - 3:15 PM Village Stage - Preparing the Future: The Work of Pro-Israel Students on Campus

Students on college campuses are on often on the front lines of the debate over U.S. policy in the Middle East. That’s why AIPAC believes the key to securing the U.S.-Israel alliance in the future is to educate student leaders today. AIPAC's Leadership Development Department empowers students to be confident advocates for Israel--both on campus and beyond. Two students involved with AIPAC will discuss their pro-Israel efforts.

Featuring Mr. Michael Citron San Francisco Leadership Management Director, AIPAC Jacob Baime Northern New England Area Director, AIPAC Ms. Ellen Kruk Chicago Development Coordinator & Young Leadership Director, AIPAC 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM Town Hall Meeting - The Threat From Within: Islamic Radicalism in the United States

Islamic extremists operating within the United States pose a serious risk to America’s security. Acts of domestic terrorism, as well as various attacks that have been thwarted by intelligence agencies and law enforcement, point to the severity of the threat. What can and should the United States do to combat these homegrown radicals?

Featuring Dr. Steven Emerson Executive Director, Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM Town Hall Meeting - City of Gold: The Past, Present and Future of Jerusalem

For thousands of years, Jerusalem has been the spiritual focal point of the Jewish people. For 65 years, the city has been the capital of the modern state of Israel. Explore the Jewish people’s unique bond with Jerusalem, U.S. policy toward the holy city, and the complex questions regarding the city that would need to be resolved as part of any future peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Featuring Mr. Asher Afriat Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Israel Seminar 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Panel Discussion - Canadian Connection: Growing Ties Between Jerusalem and Ottawa

Since its 1947 vote in favor of the U.N. partition resolution, Canada has maintained a close relationship with Israel. In recent years, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has led Canada to pursue even stronger ties with the Jewish state, increasing cooperative efforts in the areas of trade, education and defense.

Moderator Mr. Shimon Fogel Chief Executive Officer, The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Canada Featuring The Honorable Irwin Cotler Member of the Canadian Parliament, Emeritus Professor of Law at McGill University, and former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada The Honorable Robert Dechert Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs,, House of Commons, Canada 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Panel Discussion - The Middle East Today: A Post Arab Spring Analysis

The Arab Spring produced tectonic shifts in the Middle East, and these impacts are being felt not just by Israel, but all across the globe. In a remarkably short period, governments have been toppled, military conflicts have erupted, balances of power have shifted and a cloud of uncertainty has enveloped the region.

Featuring Dr. Robert Satloff* Executive Director, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy Mr. Amos Harel Military Correspondent and Defense Analyst, Ha'aretz Mr. Bret Stephens Foreign Affairs Columnist and Editorial Board Member, The Wall Street Journal 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Panel Discussion - Liberal Leanings: The Progressive Case for Israel

Support for the U.S. - Israel relationship across the political spectrum is a key ingredient to ensuring Israel's safety, security and very survival.

Featuring Ms. Ann Lewis Founder and President, No Limits Foundation; Former Senior Advisor to Hillary Clinton The Honorable John A. Pérez Speaker of the Assembly Moderator Mr. Jeffrey Mendelsohn National Outreach Director, AIPAC 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Panel Discussion - Maintaining an Edge: Ensuring Israel's Military Superiority

Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME) in the Middle East is vital to the Jewish state’s security and survival. U.S. assistance has helped to maintain that edge over many years.

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Panel Discussion - Battling Lawfare: The Global Legal War Against Israel

As part of the effort to fight the Jewish state, non-governmental organizations are increasingly exploiting Western courts and international agencies. Through civil and criminal lawsuits in the United States, Europe and international courts, these organizations seek to tie Israel’s hands and subvert its relations with Western countries.

Featuring Ambassador Daniel Taub Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, State of Israel to the Court of St. James Ms. Marlene Mazel Deputy Director, Department of Special International Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Israel Moderator Mr. Keath Blatt In-House Counsel, AIPAC 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Panel Discussion - Israel as a Strategic Asset to the United States

The U.S.-Israel alliance is a two-way partnership whose economic, military and political benefits to the United States have been substantial. Israel is a counterweight against radical forces in the Middle East, and it has prevented the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the region. The Jewish state continues to help the United States deal with security threats, and the two countries work together to develop sophisticated military technologies. Of course, cooperation extends beyond traditional security issues: Israeli civilian innovations, for example, are helping the United States maintain its economic competitiveness around the world.

Featuring Dr. Michael Eisenstadt Senior Fellow and Director, Military and Security Studies Program, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy Dr. David Pollock Kaufman Fellow, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy Moderator Ms. Amy Berelowitz Legislative Assistant, Policy and Government Affairs, AIPAC 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Panel Discussion - State of Flux: U.S.-Egyptian Relations Today

Egypt’s long-standing peace treaty with Israel and the billions it has received in U.S. foreign aid have for decades cemented the country’s status as an American ally in the Middle East. Yet, questions about the future have been raised since the Muslim Brotherhood emerged victorious from parliamentary and presidential elections. Ties between America and this key Middle East country are at their most fragile point in a generation.

Featuring Ms. Carmiel Arbit Assistant Director, Policy and Government Affairs, AIPAC Dr. Wendy Chamberlain President, Middle East Institute 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Panel Discussion - From Solidarity to Support: African Americans and Israel

“I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world,” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said just two weeks before he was assassinated. Like Dr. King, many prominent African Americans have long been strong supporters of Zionism, reflecting on shared histories of struggle with the Jewish people and identifying with their quest for self-determination. And, in recent years, a growing number of African Americans have become involved with the pro-Israel movement in the United States.

Featuring The Honorable Nikki Hall Commissioner, South Carolina Public Service Commission Ms. L Diane Bennett President and CEO, LDBA/KinetaCorp The Honorable Ceasar Mitchell President, Atlanta City Council Moderator The Honorable Ashley Bell Commissioner, Hall County, Georgia 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Panel Discussion - Post-War Syria: What Might the Future Hold?

Syria hosts a fragmented society of competing factions with unique interests, from the long-oppressed Kurds in the north to the majority Sunni Muslim sect. As a result of continued warfare, the country remains highly unstable. When the fighting stops, will it be possible for these different groups to find ways to share power and co-exist peacefully?

Featuring Mr. Andrew Tabler Senior Fellow, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy Mr. Tony Badran Research Fellow, Levant, Foundation for Defense of Democracies 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Panel Discussion - Inside Iran: The Politics of the Islamic Republic

Though it is a theocracy in which authority ultimately lies with unelected religious leaders, Iran also allows its people some circumscribed say in the decision-making process. Iranians voted last March for a new parliament, handing Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei a victory over allies of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in the country’s first election since the fraudulent 2009 presidential contest. And, in June of this year, they will go to the polls to elect a president to succeed Ahmadinejad. What is the structure of the Iranian regime? Who are its key players? Who makes up the opposition, and how powerful is it?

Featuring Mr. Alex Vatanka Adjunct Scholar, Middle East Institute Mr. Reuel Marc Gerecht Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies Professor David Menashri President of the College of Law and Business in Israel; Professor (Emeritus), Middle Eastern and African History, Tel Aviv University. 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Panel Discussion - The View From Ramallah: Understanding Public Opinion

Public opinion on the streets of Ramallah and Gaza plays a significant role in empowering and constraining Palestinian leaders. It has both given and deprived them of legitimacy to act in ways that significantly affect the prospects for peacemaking and state building. And yet, the views of the Palestinian street are often a mystery to people in the West. Why are Palestinians divided between Fatah and Hamas? Do they support violence against Israelis? And what is their opinion of the Palestinian Authority’s U.N. strategy?

Featuring Mr. Avi Issacharoff Middle East analyst for Walla and The Tower Dr. Shibley Telhami Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, University of Maryland; Nonresident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Panel Discussion - Turkey and Israel: Irreconcilable Differences?

Since 1948, Israeli-Turkish ties have known periods of disagreement and tension, as well as times of cooperation and understanding. But in the past three years, relations have hit a historic low. In 2010, Israeli marines stormed a Turkish ship, to enforce a naval blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, resulting in the death of nine Turkish activists. Following a 2011 U.N. report that largely exonerated the Jewish state, Ankara expelled Israel’s ambassador and froze military cooperation. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Erdogan has accused Israel of being a terrorist state, even as he cozies up to Hamas.

Featuring Dr. Soner Cagaptay Beyer Family Fellow and Director, Turkish Research Program, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy Mr. Dan Arbell Guest Scholar, The Brookings Institute Mr. Alan Makovsky Senior Professional Staff Member, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, United States House of Representatives 3:15 PM - 3:45 PM Village Stage - Higher Cause: The Story of an Amazing Rescue on Top of the World

He would have become the youngest Israeli to summit Mount Everest. Just 300 meters from the top, Nadav Ben Yehuda spotted a Turkish climber he had befriended at a lower base camp. Ben Yehuda gave up his quest to reach the summit to save the life of Aydin Irmak, who would have perished on the mountain. Ben Yehuda will recount his harrowing story and discuss what, if any, impact it has had on ties between Israel and Turkey.

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM Meet the Experts - Beyond the Base: Attracting New Constituencies to the Pro-Israel Cause

Israel is not just an issue of concern to the Jewish community. Other religious and ethnic groups across the country have long expressed support for the Jewish state. In recent years, growing numbers of Americans have become more deeply involved in pro-Israel advocacy. Why do non-Jews become strong pro-Israel activists? How are they getting involved and what is AIPAC doing to facilitate those efforts? AIPAC TV will discuss key issues with representatives of these constituencies.

Featuring The Honorable Steve Benjamin Mayor, Columbia, South Carolina Moderator Mr. Brian Abrahams Midwest Regional Director, AIPAC 3:45 PM - 4:15 PM Village Stage - National Music: The Struggle to Create a Symphony in the Promised Land

In the early 1930s Hitler began forcing Jewish musicians out of orchestras across central Europe. The Nazis unwittingly presented a unique opportunity and with the short window of time, Bronislaw Huberman dedicated himself to fulfilling a dream: creating the pre-1948 Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra. Josh Aaronson, the director of the film “Orchestra of Exiles,” will reveal this amazing story of saving Jews, fighting anti-Semitism and helping build the early aspects of the modern Jewish state.

Featuring Mr. Josh Aaronson Writer and Director, Orchestra of Exiles

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