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Two Palestines: Risk of a West Bank First Policy

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Date and time
Friday, July 13, 2007

A panel discusses the collapse of the Palestinian National Unity Government (NUG), following the takeover of Gaza by Hamas, which left the Palestinian territories in crisis. The United States and larger international community are contemplating a "West Bank First" strategy to bolster the position of President Abbas' Fatah party and the emergency government he assembled in the West Bank, which does not include any Hamas members. While some view this as a promising step forward in order to isolate Hamas, others warn that the strategy will further polarize the Palestinian people and result in greater violence in the future, undermining the confidence the Palestinian people have in a democratic process.

Dr. Carroll leads the Center's initiative on developing standards and best practices in international election observation, and has managed or participated in more than 20 Carter Center projects to strengthen democracy and electoral processes. Carroll joined The Carter Center in 1991 as assistant director of the Latin American and Caribbean Program, and since 2003 has directed the Democracy Program. He received his PhD in International Relations from the University of South Carolina, has published articles and book chapters on development and democratization, and has taught at Georgia State University and the University of the South.
Daniel Levy is a senior fellow and director of the Prospects for Peace Initiative at The Century Foundation and a Senior Fellow and director of the Middle East Initiative at the New America Foundation. During the Barak Government, he worked in the Prime Minister's Office as special adviser and head of the Jerusalem Affairs unit under Minister Haim Ramon. He also worked as senior policy adviser to former Israeli Minister of Justice, Yossi Beilin. He was a member of the official Israeli delegation to the Taba negotiations with the Palestinians in January 2001, and previously served on the negotiating team to the Oslo B Agreement from May to September 1995, under Prime Minister Rabin. In 2003, he worked as an analyst for the International Crisis Group Middle East Program. Daniel was the lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Initiative and prior to joining The Century Foundation and New America Foundation was directing policy planning and international relations at the Geneva Campaign Headquarters in Tel Aviv. Levy received a Bachelors and Masters with Honors from Kings College, Cambridge; he was awarded prizes in Social and Political Science and was Scholar of the College. He served as World Chairman of the World Union of Jewish Students in Jerusalem from 1991 to 1994 and as Projects Director for the Economic Co-operation Foundation, a policy planning think-tank in Tel Aviv.