Head to Head

Should the US be neutral on Israel-Palestine?

Ambassador Martin Indyk on whether the US has been an honest and neutral broker in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

In this episode of Head to Head, Mehdi Hasan challenges Martin Indyk on the US-Israel relationship.

Formerly the United States’ ambassador to Israel, assistant secretary of state for Near East Affairs, and US special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in 2013-2014, Martin Indyk has been at the heart of US-Israel relations for several decades. He worked as adviser to US President Bill Clinton and was a member of his negotiating team at the Camp David talks in 2000. 

We are not neutral. We don't claim to be neutral.

by Ambassador Martin Indyk

We challenge him on whether the US has been an unbiased mediator in peace talks, whether its role has been to play “Israel’s lawyer”, and the consequences for peace in the Middle East. 

We also examine the dynamics of the US-Israel relationship, exploring recent tensions between the countries’ leaders.

Is the US a roadblock to Middle East peace? Or is it the only viable broker? 

We are joined by a panel of three experts: 

  • Ghada Karmi, a Palestinian activist, author of Return: A Palestinian Memoir, and research fellow at the University of Exeter’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
  • Rachel Shabi, an award-winning journalist, and author of Not the Enemy: Israel’s Jews from Arab Lands
  • Alan Johnson, senior research fellow at BICOM, the Britain Israel Communications & Research Centre, and former professor of democratic theory and practice at Edge Hill University

Should the US be neutral on Israel-Palestine? with Martin Indyk will be broadcast on May 13 at 20:00 GMT and will be repeated on May 14 at 12:00, May 15 at 01:00, and May 16 at 06:00.

Head to Head is Al Jazeera’s forum for ideas, a gladiatorial contest tackling big issues such as faith, nationalism, democracy and foreign intervention in front of an opinionated audience at the Oxford Union. 

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Watch previous Head to Head shows here.