Back to Encounter in the News

Part 1: The Policy Dimension
Part 2: The Palestinian Pulse
Part 3: The Intra-communal Landscape
Part 4: Negotiations: What’s Next?
Part 5: In Our Backyard: Jews as Allies in NYC
Part 6: The Road Ahead: Building Popular Movements for Political Change

Please join us for a webinar series exploring what the results of the U.S. elec­tion might mean for Israelis, Palestinians, American Jews and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

How might American foreign policy on Israel and the conflict be affected by the new administration? 

What could this mean for the Israeli Government and their poli­cies vis-à-vis the Palestinians?

How are Palestinians reacting to the results?

What are the impli­ca­tions for impor­tant intra-communal work underway between Jews and Muslims, and Jews and other commu­ni­ties here in America?

What does it mean to be an ally in combating hate crimes?

What are Palestinians doing in this moment of change, after the elec­tion of Donald Trump, and in light of the Security Council reso­lu­tion and Secretary Kerry’s speech?

Part 1: The Policy Dimension

On December 8th at 9:00am PST / 12:00pm EST / 7:00pm IST, Dr. Michael Koplow, Policy Director at the Israel Policy Forum, will discuss the poten­tial rami­fi­ca­tions for American and Israeli policy and how this could impact the conflict.To reserve your spot click here.


About Dr. Michael Koplow 

Dr. Michael Koplow is the Policy Director of the Israel Policy Forum. Before coming to IPF, he was the founding Program Director of the Israel Institute from 2012 to 2015. He holds a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University, where he special­ized in polit­ical devel­op­ment and ideology, and the poli­tics of Middle Eastern states. In 2012–13 he served as a Young Turkey Young America fellow through the Atlantic Council’s Young Atlanticist program. He is the author of the Ottomans and Zionists blog and his work has appeared in Security Studies, Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, The National Interest, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, and The Atlantic, among other publi­ca­tions. In addi­tion to his Ph.D., he holds a B.A. from Brandeis University, a J.D. from New York University, and an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University.

Part 2: The Palestinian Pulse

On December 15th at 9:00am PST / 12:00pm EST / 7:00pm IST, Dr. Khalil Shikaki, Palestinian poll­ster and Director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, will present the find­ings from his latest poll (to be released December 13) surveying Palestinian reac­tions to the elec­tion. To reserve your spot click here.


About Dr. Khalil Shikaki

Dr. Khalil Shikaki, was born and raised in Rafah, in Gaza. He moved to Jerusalem when he was a teenager and completed high school there before heading to the American University of Beirut. Upon receiving his B.A. in Political Science, Dr. Shikaki moved to Quwait to work for General Motors in marketing, where he devel­oped an interest and skills in polling. Dr. Shikaki went on to earn a Ph.D. from Columbia University and then returned to Nablus. The first intifada began shortly there­after, closing down the Palestinian univer­si­ties so he returned to the United States to teach at the University of Wisconsin and the University of South Florida. Dr. Shikaki was able to return to the West Bank in 1993 and continue to teach there as well as found the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, which he currently directs. He is also a visiting scholar at the Crown Center at Brandeis University.

Part 3: The Intra-communal Landscape

On January 9th at 9:00am PST / 12:00pm EST / 7:00pm IST, Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson, President of Auburn Theological Seminary, will discuss the current climate in the U.S. and how it is likely to influ­ence work aimed at fostering connec­tions between American Jews and other faith commu­ni­ties. To reserve your spot click here.


About Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson

The Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson is pres­i­dent of Auburn Theological Seminary. With her lead­er­ship, Auburn has become a leading orga­ni­za­tion in the multi­faith move­ment for justice. Henderson is an inter­na­tional leader in theo­log­ical educa­tion and has pioneered programs for excel­lence in reli­gious lead­er­ship of many faith tradi­tions and moral lead­er­ship in the public square. She was named co-recipient of the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize and joined esteemed past winners such as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. Katherine is a Parish Associate of The First Presbyterian Church in New York City and a grad­uate of the College of Wooster and Union Theological Seminary. She also holds a doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York City and is ordained in the Presbyterian Church. Henderson was raised in Louisville, KY, during the civil rights move­ment. As a child she accom­pa­nied her parents on civil rights marches and sat with them at church gath­er­ings where people of many faith tradi­tions and people who claimed no faith tradi­tion came together out of moral convic­tion or commit­ment — all united for justice. This personal history has fueled Henderson’s work and life­long passion for justice. 

Part 4: Negotiations: What’s Next?

On January 12th at 9:00am PST / 12:00pm EST / 7:00pm IST, Dr. Varsen Aghabekian and Jamil Rabah of the Negotiations Affairs Department of the PLO, will discuss the impact of Secretary Kerry’s speech and the recent United Nations Security Council reso­lu­tion, along with the current polit­ical climate on nego­ti­a­tions and what we can expect to see in the coming months. To reserve your spot click here.


About Dr. Varsen Aghabekian 

Dr. Varsen Aghabekian is the Operations Officer in the Palestinian Negotiations Support Project of the Negotiations Affairs Department of the PLO. Previously, Dr. Aghabakian has served as exec­u­tive office director of the Jerusalem Capital of Arab Culture and the manager of the capacity and insti­tu­tion building project for the Office of the President of the Palestinian Authority. Prior to that, Dr. Aghabekian was the director of research and plan­ning at the Welfare Association and an asso­ciate professor at Al-Quds University, where she taught manage­ment and research. In 2000, she was the director of the National Plan for Human Resource Development and Education in Health for the Palestinian Authority. In addi­tion, Dr. Aghabekian is a member of the board of commis­sioners of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens’ Rights. She has authored several studies, manuals, and national reports on educa­tion, youth, women, and manage­ment as well as sector reviews and studies on Jerusalem. She sits on the exec­u­tive committee of the Palestinian Community Advocacy Network (PCAN). Dr. Aghabekian holds a Ph.D. in Administrative and Policy Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, PA and a M.Sc. in Nursing Management from
Indiana University-Purdue University. 

About Jamil Rabah

Jamil Rabah is a Palestinian poll­ster and polit­ical analyst. Jamil studied in the United States and holds a Masters degree in inter­na­tional rela­tions. His acad­emic work also included nuclear strategy, survey research and philos­ophy. Following his grad­u­a­tion in 1988, Jamil got involved in polling and was the first to start conducting public opinion polls in Palestine and in other parts of the Middle East. He has been involved in polling since his grad­u­a­tion. Between 1990 and 1998, Mr. Rabah was in charge of polling at the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC). During this period, he was a member of the multi­lat­eral working group on Arms Control and Regional Security (ACRS) which was part of the Middle East peace process. In 2001, Jamil joined IUED, which is part of the University of Geneva, where he was a researcher with other acad­e­mics exam­ining Palestinian devel­op­mental and human­i­tarian needs. In 2005, he started his own survey research company called Near East Consulting. In 2011, Jamil joined the NSP (Negotiations Support Project) as a policy advisor in charge of the compen­sa­tion file.

Part 5: In Our Backyard: Jews as Allies in NYC

On January 18th at 9:00am PST / 12:00pm EST / 7:00pm IST, Rama Issa-Ibrahim of the NYC Commission on Human Rights, will explore New York City’s initia­tives to support Muslim/Arab commu­ni­ties and how can Jewish and Muslim/Arab New Yorkers can bridge divides and build alliances. To reserve your spot click here.


About Rama Issa

Rama Issa is the Lead Advisor on Arab, Muslim, and South Asian Relations at the NYC Commission on Human Rights working to increase the Commission’s efforts to engage the Arab and Muslim commu­ni­ties city­wide. Prior to joining CCHR, Rama was the Programs and Policy Associate at the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC, working closely with funders, govern­ment agen­cies and non-profit orga­ni­za­tions to increase oppor­tu­ni­ties and equity for all NYC resi­dents. Rama has forged strong ties with the Arab American and Muslims immi­grant commu­ni­ties, she spent her first 4 years in NYC working for the Arab-American Family Support Center in strength­ening public-private part­ner­ship, and program design and imple­men­ta­tion. After grad­u­ating college, she worked with refugee youth for 10 months at the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut while interning at the UNDP’s Democratic Governance Unit. Rama is profi­cient in English, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese and holds a B.A. in both Political Science and Religion from the University of Florida. 

Part 6: The Road Ahead: Building Popular Movements for Political Change

On January 24th at 9:00am PST / 12:00pm EST / 7:00pm IST, Fadi Quran, Policy Member of Al-Shabaka Policy and Senior Campaigner at Avaaz, will share reflec­tions on what’s next for Palestinians, as well as the emer­gence of new grass­roots, popular move­ments. To reserve your spot click here.


About Fadi Quran

Al-Shabaka Policy Member Fadi Quran is a Senior Campaigner at Avaaz and a commu­nity orga­nizer. He previ­ously served as UN Advocacy Officer with Al-Haq’s legal research and advo­cacy unit. Apart from his work in advo­cacy and inter­na­tional law, Fadi is also an entre­pre­neur in the alter­na­tive energy field, where he has founded two compa­nies bringing wind and solar energy to Palestine and other coun­tries in the region. Fadi holds degrees in Physics and International Relations from Stanford University, and is finishing an MA in Human Rights and Democracy at Birzeit University, where his research has focused on consti­tu­tional law, collec­tive actions, social contract theory and revolutions.

Email events@​encounterprograms.​org for more infor­ma­tion. Participants may join by computer or phone.

Encounter neither contests nor endorses the views presented by speakers in this series.

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