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Panel discussion on Middle East scheduled April 15 at ISU-Idaho Falls

April 10, 2009
ISU Marketing and Communications

The panel discussion “The Future of the Middle East: Israeli-Palestinian Relations and the Nuclear Question” will be held at noon Wednesday, April 15, in Room 109 of the Bennion Student Union at ISU-Idaho Falls.

There will be brief presentations by Daniel Dale, professor and chair of the ISU Department of Physics and Astronomy; by ISU student Mohanad Elabed, on Israeli-Palestinian relations and the day-to-day experience of Palestinians in the West Bank; and by Allan Christelow, professor of history, on the prospects for diplomatic solutions to both of these problems.  Following their presentations there will be questions and comments from the audience.

The Middle East is now at a critical point of transition, following the crisis in Gaza, and the formation of a new Israeli government, according to Christelow, event organizer.  The Israelis are concerned with the growing influence of Iran in the region, and its connections with Hizbullah in Lebanon, and with Hamas in the Palestinian territories. There has been a great deal of discussion concerning the prospect of Iran developing a nuclear weapon, and whether it is possible to draw Iran into effective agreements that will allow it to continue development of its civilian nuclear program, while allowing adequate oversight to assure the rest of the world that it is not developing nuclear weapons.

Understanding this issue requires both technical expertise and an understanding of the political dynamics of the Middle East.  Idaho State University has the resources to contribute to both elements of this discussion.  We hope that this panel will contribute to launching an ongoing discussion of these topics at ISU and in the southeast Idaho community.


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