Book talk: “Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump”


Khaled Elgindy
Author and Nonresident Fellow, Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution

**A light lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m. Talk begins promptly at 1:00 p.m. 



The United States has invested billions of dollars and countless diplomatic hours in the pursuit of Israeli-Palestinian peace and a two-state solution. Yet American attempts to broker an end to the conflict have repeatedly come up short. Two irreducible factors stand in the way: Israeli power and Palestinian politics.

American peacemaking efforts have been hobbled by the U.S. assumption that a credible peace settlement could be achieved without addressing Israel’s vast superiority in power or internal Palestinian politics. While there is no denying the roles played by Israelis and Palestinians in perpetuating their conflict, Washington’s distinctive “blind spot” to Palestinian politics and Israeli power has prevented it from serving as an effective peace broker. Shaped by the pressures of American domestic politics and the special relationship with Israel, the blind spot also has deep historical roots, dating back to the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate over Palestine.

The size of the blind spot has varied over the years and from one administration to another, but it is always present. Unless and until U.S. policymakers are prepared to act in ways that constrain Israeli power and acknowledge Palestinian politics, American peacemaking stands little chance of success.


Copies of Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump will be available to purchase.


Biography of Speaker

Khaled Elgindy is a nonresident fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution and the author of the newly-released book, Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump, published by Brookings Institution Press in April 2019. He was a resident scholar at the Brookings Institution from 2010 through 2018, where he focused on the Middle East peace process, Palestinian politics, democratization in the Arab world, and related subjects. Prior to arriving at Brookings, Khaled served as an adviser to the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah on permanent status negotiations with Israel from 2004 to 2009, and was a key participant in the Annapolis negotiations of 2007-08. Khaled has held a number of political and policy-related positions in Washington, DC, both inside and outside of government, including as a professional staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives International Relations Committee in 2002 and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) from 2000-2002. He has also held positions at the Arab American Institute (AAI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI). Khaled’s writings have a appeared in wide range of publications, including The Christian Science Monitor,, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Los Angeles Times, The National Interest, The Washington Quarterly, and others. He is frequently quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Hill, Politico, and other print media, and is a regular commentator on TV and radio, including Aljazeera, BBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, PBS Newshour and others. Elgindy holds an M.A. degree in Arab Studies from Georgetown University (1994) and a B.A. in Political Science from Indiana University-Bloomington (1991).





Bookings are no longer available for this event.