US Jewish machers meet Mideast mavens

The session focused on Middle East affairs and issues vital to both US and Israeli security.

July 28, 2016 17:48
1 minute read.
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Stephen M. Greenberg. (photo credit: Courtesy)

American Jewish leaders on Wednesday stressed the importance of collaborating with top foreign policy experts in the face of growing challenges emanating from the Middle East. The remarks followed an unprecedented meeting between the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and a panel of scholars and experts from the Council on Foreign Relations.

The meeting took place last week and saw leaders from more than 50 member organizations of the conference discussing world affairs with a panel of CFR scholars and experts, led by CFR President Dr. Richard Haass.

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The discussions focused on Middle East issues, including the recent turmoil in Turkey, efforts to combat Islamic State and other terrorist groups, the need to end the Syrian civil war, and US-Iranian relations following last year’s nuclear deal.

Panel member Dr. Ray Takeyh, a former senior adviser on Iran to the US State Department, commented on the varying levels of dissatisfaction with the immediate results of last year’s nuclear agreement in both Washington and Tehran.

The panel of experts also included the council’s Dr. Steven A. Cook, who compared the failed military coup in Turkey to the successful ouster of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi by the country’s military in 2013.

At the conclusion of the session, Conference of Presidents chairman Stephen M. Greenberg and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman/CEO, said: “As conflicts intensify, fueling instability in many parts of the world, it is imperative for the Jewish community and all Americans to understand the increasingly complex and multi-faceted implications of US foreign policy today. That is why the Conference of Presidents and the Council on Foreign Relations convened this unprecedented joint briefing for the leaders of our member organizations focusing primarily on the most turbulent region in the world, the Middle East.”

The Conference of Presidents leaders said engaging with senior, experienced foreign policy scholars, experts and practitioners from the CFR “provided them with a deeper understanding of the complicated issues and dynamic forces influencing the foreign policy decisions of the US and other governments, helping to clarify many issues and guide our future discourse. We appreciated the opportunity to hear these in-depth perspectives, and hope this will be the first of many such sessions.”

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