Israeli scholar closes seminar series

Golan to discuss possibilities for peace in Israel and Palestine

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What: A free seminar, "Israel, Palestine and the Chances for Peace"

Who: Galia Golan, faculty member of the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, and author of "Israel and Palestine: Peace Plans and Proposals from Oslo to Disengagement"

When: 5 p.m. today

Where: Strings Music Pavilion, at Mount Werner and Pine Grove roads

— If there ever was a time for Israel and Palestine to try to set aside their differences and seek a two-state solution to decades of often violent conflict, that time is now, Galia Golan said.

Golan will speak tonight at the Strings Music Pavilion on "Israel, Palestine and the Chances for Peace" in the summer's final installment of Seminars at Steamboat.

With "weak" Palestinian leadership and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's intention to step down this fall, where Israeli-Palestinian relations will go in the near future is critical, Golan said.

"There's no secret that the situation is not promising," Golan said. "There's a great deal of concern that if we have another failure, it will be too late."

However, the situation is not grim, he said, and the conflict truly has "come a long way" throughout the years - Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization recognize one another, and a majority of Israeli and Palestinian people are willing to see a two-state solution to ongoing territorial disputes, Golan said.

"Negotiations have come up with any number of solutions - now, it's about where is the political will to implement them," Golan said.

Golan is a member of the faculty at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel. He most recently wrote "Israel and Palestine: Peace Plans and Proposals from Oslo to Disengagement."

The 2008 series, which began in July, has gone well, with about 500 people attending each event, Seminars at Steamboat spokeswoman Jane Stein said.

"We are delighted to be in the new Strings Music Pavilion, which has more seating," Stein said. "Last year, Strings was pulling in extra seating to have people sit on the lawn."

Friends of the Seminars - donors who have contributed to the program - are invited to a post-seminar dinner at Rex's American Grill to continue the discussion. Please RSVP to seminarsatsteamboat@yahoo.com.

This year was the first that Seminars at Steamboat has hosted the post-seminar dinners, and the board is pleased with both the attendance and the continuing dialogue on public policy issues they have garnered, Stein said.

The board plans to meet Friday to recap the 2008 season and start looking ahead at topics and speakers for next summer, Stein said.

"So stay tuned," she said.

- To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203

or e-mail mdudley@steamboatpilot.com

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