News Release: International, Politics

Jan. 6,  2009

Experts Comment on Israel-Hamas Conflict

Stein advises Obama administration to forego pat formulas

Israel expert Ken Stein of Emory advises the Obama administration not to be "pressured by pundits or the international community or Middle Eastern players to issue your own formula for an Arab-Israeli agreement." Stein says such moves are "counter-productive to the negotiating process, to the administration and historical precedent proves it."

History of Hamas by Ken Stein in Encarta Encyclopedia

Stein not only has seen the current conflict between Israel and Hamas before, he literally wrote the history of Hamas currently featured on the Encarta Encyclopedia site.

Stein, professor of contemporary Middle Eastern history, political science and Israeli Studies and director of the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel, chronicles the group's activities since its founding in 1988 as a militant segment of the Palestinian Arab national movement. He also traces the rise of Hamas as a political player after the 2005 municipal elections in Gaza and the West Bank, and the current pattern of cease-fires and break-downs.

In addition to the history of Hamas, Stein can speak about:

  • The end game of the conflict between Israel and Hamas
  • American foreign policy toward the conflict with the new Obama administration, including what policy choices the president-elect should make, given previous administration experiences
  • Impact of the conflict on domestic politics inside Israel and the Palestinian community
  • Impact of the conflict on the region as a whole¿including Arab states, Iran and oil production/prices.

Reach Stein at 404-727-2798, or

Cherribi Stresses Importance of French-Syrian Connection

European political expert Sam Cherribi says that the initiative undertaken by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to urge a cease fire "is important, because France is the only country that can convince Syria to put pressure on Hamas. Hamas listens to Syria."

Cherribi adds that it's a good thing "Syria initiated the idea of involving the Fatah faction of Mahmud Abbas as a mediator between Israel and Hamas. The sad thing is that no moderate Arab countries like Jordan or Egypt are going to be accepted as brokers."

Cherribi was a member of Parliament (MP) in The Netherlands from 1994-2002, representing his hometown of Amsterdam. As a Dutch MP he served as a member of the Council of Europe (an assembly focused primarily on human rights), the West European Union (focused on defense and security) and twice served as a member of the Dutch delegation to the United Nations.

Reach Cherrbi at 404-727-7709, or


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