NIF to host event with foreign policy luminaries on the Middle East

January 15, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Less than two weeks after President Joe Biden takes office NIF Australia is hosting seasoned American Middle East negotiator, and NIF board member, Aaron David Miller and former Knesset member Ksenia Svetlova to discuss America’s Middle East policy shift under the new administration.

Joe Biden

In four turbulent years as president, Donald Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, recognised Israeli sovereignty in the Golan, cut US aid to the Palestinians, ended the Iranian nuclear agreement and established unprecedented diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.

Miller and Svetlova will join NIF Australia executive director Liam Getreu to analyse the direction President-elect Biden will take with his foreign policy, as well as whether domestic concerns will overshadow foreign policy considerations, particularly when it comes to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“This will be a fascinating conversation between two experienced policymakers and commentators as they share their insights on US policy and its impact on Israel and its neighbours,” said Getreu. “The whole world is waiting to see the new administration’s priorities and what it will mean for international relations. The Middle East is no exception.”

Aaron David Miller

Getreu added that the opportunity to hear from two such distinguished voices would provide for a wide-ranging and topical conversation about the US, Israel and the Middle East.

Aaron David Miller served at the US State Department from 1978 to 2003 for both Republican and Democratic secretaries of state, including Colin Powell, Madeline Albright and James Baker. He is currently a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, focusing on US foreign policy.

Ksenia Svetlova

He has written five books, including his most recent, The End of Greatness: Why America Can’t Have (and Doesn’t Want) Another Great President and The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace). He received his PhD in the Middle East and US diplomatic history from the University of Michigan. Miller is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a global affairs analyst for CNN. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Politico, Foreign Policy, USAToday, and He is a frequent commentator on NPR, BBC, and Sirius XM radio.

Ksenia Svetlova is the director of the Mitvim Institute for Foreign Policy program on Israel-Middle East relations, and a former Knesset member, having represented Tzipi Livni’s HaTnuah party.

She is an expert in Middle Eastern affairs, radical Islam and modern Egypt. During her time in the Knesset she was a member of the foreign affairs and defence committee.

Svetlova was born in Moscow, Russia, her family made aliyah to Israel in 1991. She holds a BA and MA in journalism and Middle Eastern Studies from Hebrew University and is fluent in Arabic.

She served for 14 years as a reporter and analyst on Arab Affairs for Israel’s Channel Nine, covering Gaza and the West Bank, and reporting from Tahrir Square, Damascus, Beirut, Manama, and Tripoli. Her reports and op-eds were published by the Jerusalem Post, BBC, Kommersant, Al-Monitor and other Israeli and international media.

Today she also chairs the public council of the Israeli Society for International Development (SID) and is a senior research fellow at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.

The event is on Tuesday 2 February from 8pm – 9pm. It is free but registration is required at


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