April 23, 2002

Contact: Sarah Ray
802-443-5794
sray@middlebury.edu
Posted: April 23, 2002

MIDDLEBURY, VT - Middlebury College will host a symposium titled "Any Hope Left for Peace in the Middle East?" at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7. The event, the fifth Silberman Symposium in Jewish Studies, will bring together academic experts and a former ambassador to offer and exchange views on the situation in the Middle East and the prospects for peace. The symposium will consist of a keynote address and a subsequent discussion, which are free and open to the public. It will take place in Mead Chapel on Hepburn Road off College Street (Route 125).

"What is happening in the Middle East is a terrible tragedy that seems to make the wish for peace more remote day by day. What we hope to accomplish is to deepen our understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and learn from Ambassador Ross, who has had a central role in United States efforts to advance a diplomatic solution to the conflict," said Robert Schine, symposium organizer, Middlebury College dean of the faculty, and Curt C. and Else Silberman Professor in Jewish Studies

The symposium will begin with a lecture by Dennis Ross, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and former ambassador and special Middle East coordinator during the Clinton administration. For more than 12 years, during both the Clinton and first Bush administrations, Ross played a leading role in shaping the United States’ involvement in the Middle East peace process and in dealing directly with the parties in negotiations. He was instrumental in assisting Israelis and Palestinians in reaching the 1995 Interim Agreement; he also successfully brokered the Hebron Accord in 1997, facilitated the Israeli-Jordan peace treaty, and intensively worked to bring Israel and Syria together.

Former President Clinton awarded Ross the Presidential Medal for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service, and former Secretaries of State Baker and Albright presented him with the State Department’s highest award. At the institute, he is working on a book about his experiences in the pursuit of peace.

Immediately following Ross’ talk, a group of experts will respond to and discuss his comments. Participants in the discussion will be Walid Saleh, Middlebury College assistant professor of religion; Robert Schine; Gregory Gause, Middlebury College visiting associate professor of political science and University of Vermont associate professor of political science and director of the Middle East studies program; and panel moderator Frank Sesno, university professor of public policy and communication at George Mason University, former CNN

Washington bureau chief, Middlebury College trustee, and member of the Middlebury College class of 1977.

 

Silberman Symposium

The Silberman Symposium is supported by the fund for the Curt C. and Else Silberman Chair in Jewish Studies. Establishing the fund in 1994, Curt Silberman said, "Our intention is not to sponsor a chair for Jewish students and Jewish studies per se. What is intended is the creation of a forum for students of all creeds and religions and even non-believers, which would become at the same time a kind of community forum with scholars, professors, lecturers, and citizens at large as participants." Its goal is universal: to contribute "toward better understanding of each other."

For more information, contact Martha Baldwin of the Middlebury College Center for International Affairs, at 802-443-5324 or baldwin@middlebury.edu.

To follow is an events calendar listing:

 

Events Calendar Listing:

Middlebury College Silberman Symposium in Jewish Studies: "Any Hope Left for Peace in the Middle East?"

 

Tuesday, May 7

4:30 p.m.

 

Keynote Address: Dennis Ross, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and former ambassador and special Middle East coordinator during the Clinton administration.

 

Response and Discussion: Participants are Walid Saleh, Middlebury College assistant professor of religion; Robert Schine, Middlebury College dean of the faculty and Curt C. and Else Silberman Professor in Jewish Studies; Gregory Gause, Middlebury College visiting associate professor of political science, University of Vermont associate professor of political science and director of the Middle East studies program; and panel moderator Frank Sesno, university professor of public policy and communication at George Mason University, former CNN Washington bureau chief, Middlebury College trustee, and member of the Middlebury College class of 1977.

Admission is free.

Mead Chapel, Hepburn Road off College Street (Route 125)

For more information, contact Martha Baldwin of the Middlebury College Center for International Affairs, at 802-443-5324 or baldwin@middlebury.edu.

Communications Office

802-443-5500