Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood – Obstacles to Peace in the Middle East or Opportunities?

Event Date: Tuesday February 15, 2011
Time: 12:00PM to 1:30PM
Location: Pound Hall, Room 202, Harvard Law School Campus

“Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood

Obstacles to Peace in the Middle East or Opportunities?”


Robert Pastor

Date: February 15, 2011

Time: 12:00PM to 1:30PM

Where: Pound Hall, Room 202, Harvard Law School Campus

The foreign policy of the United States and its allies have been based on the premise that all three organizations are immutable threats to peace in the Middle East and thus, these organizations should be defeated or suppressed for peace to be possible. Dr. Pastor has studied and held conversations in the last four years with leaders from Hamas and, to a lesser extent, with Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. He contends that all three groups have deep roots in their societies, and a policy of suppression has made peace and democracy more difficult to achieve, not less. He just returned from two weeks in the Middle East and believes that the recent changes in Egypt makes the need to find a more effective and inclusive strategy all the more urgent.

Bring your lunch. Drinks and dessert will be served.

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Speaker Bio

Dr. Robert A. Pastor is Professor of International Relations at American University and is Founder and Co-Director of AU’s Center for Democracy and Election Management (CDEM), which has developed and managed programs on democracy and election administration in the Middle East and promoted dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians on democracy and free elections.   Dr. Pastor also is Senior Advisor to the Carter Center on the Middle East and on Conflict Resolution, where he is organizing a  dialogue between Syrians and Americans and facilitating reconciliation among Palestinians.

Dr. Pastor has combined a career of diplomacy, conflict resolution, scholarship, and teaching.  He has worked in the U.S. government, non-governmental organizations, and academe.   He was Senior Director on the National Security Council (1977-81), a consultant to the Departments of State and Defense, and was nominated by President Clinton to be Ambassador to Panama. From 1985 until 2002, Dr. Pastor was Professor at Emory University and Founding Director of the Carter Center’s Latin American and Caribbean Program and Democracy Programs, which organized election-monitoring missions all over the world, including to the West Bank and Gaza in 1996.  He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia, a Fulbright Professor in Mexico, and a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in Political Science and an M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government.  He is the author or editor of seventeen books, including A Century’s Journey: How The Great Powers Shape the World (Basic Books) and The North American Idea: A Vision of a Continental Future (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).  To read more, click here.


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