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Friday, June 19, 2009
Shuffling the Deck of Middle East Policy Experts

Les Gelb and David Makovsky

The New York Times is reporting that Dennis B. Ross, the Obama administration’s senior Iran policy maker, is moving on up to the White House, only three months into his job at the State Department.

Wondering why, they ask: “is Mr. Ross going to assume more of a role in Mr. Obama’s evolving Middle East policy, particularly in relations with Israel?” David Makovsky, Mr. Ross’s co-author in the just-published book Myths, Illusions & Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East, offered a different possible reason: “Dennis Ross is the Lebron James of Middle East diplomacy.”

The New York Times couldn’t have asked a more knowledgeable person for comment. Makovsky, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and Director of their Project on the Middle East Peace Process, is a seasoned expert on Middle East Policy. He is a frequent Op-Ed contributor on the topic at such outlets as the Wall Street Journal and Huffington Post.

This Sunday on Jun 21, Makovsky will join Les Gelb, former editor and columnist for the New York Times and President Emeritus and Fellow on the Council on Foreign Relations for the talk, Puncturing Middle East Mythologies—focusing on a variety of mythologies that have become obstacles to reshaping foreign policy in the region.

Interestingly, it’s not just the White House that is shuffling around people on their Middle East policy. Dennis Ross was originally scheduled to be with us on Sunday night with his co-author David Makovsky. Now it’s Makovsky and Les Gelb.

Upcoming events:

  • Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche in Conversation with Daniel Goleman: Jun 22
  • Tony Blair in Conversation with Matthew Bishop: Jun 22
  • A Reel Pieces Special: Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg: Jun 25
  • How to Change the World with Howard Gardner and Guests: Jane Goodall: Sep 2

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