Israel Today Forum features Middle East peace expert just back from Israel

David Makovsky

Thursday, May 23, 7 pm

Information “hot off the press” is how David Makovsky characterizes what he’ll be discussing at the third and final Israel Today forum at the Simon Family JCC on the Sandler Family Campus in Virginia Beach.

Makovsky is flying to Virginia Beach directly from a conference in the Middle East where he is an invited speaker on the topic of the Israeli-Palestinian twostate solution. Not long after landing in Tidewater, Makovsky will make the rounds of community, educational and media institutions, sharing his thoughts and observations about a variety of subjects concerning Israel, Palestine, Iran, Syria, and current events in the Middle East.

In a program that is free and open to the community, Makovsky will focus his discussion on those topics, with an emphasis on leadership in the troubled region, and the United States as it relates to Israel.

The Israel Today Forum and Makovsky’s appearances in the area are presented by the Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater, community supporters and all area synagogues and Jewish agencies.

An in-demand speaker and commentator (our phone interview was interrupted by a request for a comment in a New York Times op-ed), Makovsky is the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s Ziegler Distinguished Fellow and director of their Project on the Middle East Peace Process.

“We are fortunate to have a speaker of Mr. Makovsky’s caliber and experience speak about leadership and current events going on right now in Israel and the region, and especially fortunate to have him visit directly after returning from Israel and the Middle East,” says Miriam Seeherman, chairman of the CRC.

“He has his finger on the pulse of the conflict, he’s extremely well-informed on important and topical issues, and he can fill us in with first-hand accounts and observations that are hard for us to get otherwise.”

Before joining The Washington Institute, from 1989 to 2000, Makovsky was an award-winning journalist who covered the peace process in Israel. A former executive editor of the Jerusalem Post, Makovsky was also diplomatic correspondent for Israel’s leading daily, Haaretz. He worked as a contributing editor to U.S. News and World Report, and for 11 years was its special Jerusalem correspondent.

A distinguished recipient of the National Press Club’s Edwin M. Hood Award, Makovsky continues to write, authoring numerous Washington Institute monographs and essays on issues related to the Middle East Peace Process and the Arab- Israeli conflict. In 2009, he co-wrote with Dennis Ross The Washington Post bestseller Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East.

In his extensive coverage and travels throughout the Middle East over the years, Makovsky has met with many leaders, enabling him to sketch fascinating portraits of them and to clearly explain their influence in shaping the past, present and future of Israel and its tenuous relations with its neighbors. “I think that this region has changed so much in the past few years, that we have to never say never when it comes to negotiating,” Makovsky says.

“I think it’s unclear to me that we’re going to get a grand bargain or deal at this time because there are very difficult issues out there right now, but just because we aren’t able to solve everything doesn’t mean that we should do nothing.”

To RSVP, contact For more details, or more information about the Community Relations Council, visit

by Laine Mednick Rutherford