Speaking Topics

Topics that Dr. Ben-Meir addresses include:

The Arab-Israeli Conflict

1. Has the war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon further enhanced or diminished the prospect for peace between Israel and Lebanon?

2. Considering that Syria is a major Arab state, will it be possible to achieve a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace without the direct involvement of Syria and without returning the Golan Heights to Syrian control?

4. Has the Saudi offer, the Beirut Declaration, of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace in exchange for Israeli withdrawal from all the occupied territories in 1967 introduced a material change in the Arab attitude toward Israel?

5. How has the war in Gaza affected the prospects of an Israeli-Palestinian peace? What will be the long term repercussions in the Middle East for Israel’s invasion?

6. How does Hamas’ control of Gaza affect the possibility of a Two-State Solution?

7. How does the historical relationship between Israel and the United States affect the US’ ability to broker peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

8. Where does the Israeli-Palestinian conflict fit into the broader questions of war and conflict inherited by the new Obama administration?

Roles of Other Regional Players

1. How and why Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapon program should alarm the Israelis and what measures Israel can take to eclipse Iran’s nuclear ambitions, especially in the wake of the war in Lebanon.

2. Why Israel must take Iran’s threat to its very existence most seriously and why the doctrine of nuclear deterrence that produces Assured Mutual Destruction (M.A.D) will not work with Iran.

3. What geographical factors underlie Israeli-Turkish military and strategic cooperation, how has this new alliance already changed the balance of power in the Middle East, and what is its future potential in this regard?

4. How is Turkey well-positioned to play an increasingly critical role in advancing the Arab-Israeli peace process?

5. Turkey at present seems best positioned to act as a bridge between East and West and to advance better relations between the Arab/Muslim world and the United States. But can Turkey actually become such an interlocutor?

6. How does Egypt’s “cold peace” with Israel limit its effectiveness as a player in advancing Arab-Israeli relations, and why has “normalization” of these relations become vastly more important to advancing Egypt’s national interest?

7. What are the prospects of Iraq becoming a true democratic state, and does the new Iraqi constitution serve that objective?

International Terrorism

1. Since it appears that there is a definite link between terrorism and Islamic anti-Americanism, how should the United States approach this reality without further alienating the Muslim world?

2. To truly combat international terrorism, the United States must begin to recognize and deal with its root causes.

3. Many today agree that America’s energy dependence, especially on oil from the Middle East, seriously undermines the “war on terrorism.” How can America deal effectively with these intertwined and urgent issues?

U.S. Foreign Policy and its Leadership Role

1. Is it possible to contain the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and, if so, what policies must the United States pursue in this regard?

2. Why is it so important for the United States to recognize that a multilateral approach is the main and possibly the sole way of dealing with international conflicts, and why will such an approach enhance rather than diminish America’s moral authority to lead?

3. What will it take for the United States to earn and/or maintain the moral authority necessary to lead the world in the aftermath of the military intervention in Iraq?

4. Although many believe that promoting democracy and human rights throughout the Middle East is noble and necessary, the question remains: What policies should the United States pursue to help democratize the Middle East without provoking upheaval in the region?

5. What steps must the United States take to enhance its standing in the Middle East while still protecting its national interests there?

In addition to the above topics, Dr. Ben-Meir also tailors his presentations to the specific requirements of his audiences by addressing subject matters of their interest.