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“The Jamal Khashoggi Affair as a Backdrop to the Regional Power Play in the Middle East”

November 20, 2018 @ 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

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The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) Invites You to a Seminar on Capitol Hill:

“The Jamal Khashoggi Affair as a Backdrop to the Regional Power Play in the Middle East

U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center
Room: SVC 203-02
Washington, D.C.

Lunch to be provided. All dietary laws observed.
For those of you who are unable to attend, please watch LIVE on EMET’s Facebook page!

The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has drawn renewed attention to the systemic human rights abuses that pervade Saudi Arabia and the region. Notwithstanding Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s reputation as a reformer, he continues to preside over a repressive regime that denies fundamental rights to its people. At the same time, Saudi rivals like Turkey and Iran brutally suppress dissent even as they criticize Riyadh for engaging in similar conduct.
Indeed, the murder of Khashoggi has provided Turkey’s strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the world’s top jailer of journalists, an opportunity to revamp his tarnished image by presenting himself as a champion of press freedoms and human rights. The Turkish president has also exploited the crisis by trying to extract concessions not only from Saudi Arabia, but also from the U.S. In the meantime, Erdogan’s crackdown on dissidents and egregious violations of human rights and freedoms continue full speed.
Meanwhile, Iranian citizens continue to protest against the Islamist regime for its human rights violations, foreign adventurism, and economic and environmental mismanagement. These demonstrations come as the Trump administration reimposes sanctions on Iran pursuant to its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal. These developments have placed Tehran in an increasingly precarious position, and gives the Trump administration an opportunity to increase pressure on Iran by imposing new human rights sanctions on the regime.
To further discuss the ongoing human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Iran and their repercussions for the region, EMET is pleased to welcome a noted panel of experts on the Middle East: Dr. Aykan Erdemir, Dr. Harold Rhode, and Tzvi Kahn.
About Dr. Aykan Erdemir 
Dr. Aykan Erdemir is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Dr. Aykan Erdemir is a former member of the Turkish Parliament (2011-2015) who served in the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, EU Harmonization Committee, and the Ad Hoc Parliamentary Committee on the IT Sector and the Internet. As an outspoken defender of pluralism, minority rights, and religious freedoms in the Middle East, Dr. Erdemir has been at the forefront of the struggle against religious persecution, hate crimes, and hate speech in Turkey. He is a founding member of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief, and a drafter of and signatory to the Oslo Charter for Freedom of Religion or Belief (2014) as well as a signatory legislator to the London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism.
About Dr. Harold Rhode
Dr. Harold Rhode is one of the few experts we have in the West who really understands the mentality of the Middle East. Dr. Rhode had spent more than 28 years in the office of U.S. Secretary of Defense as an advisor on U.S. Islamic Affairs. After getting his PhD in Islamic history at Columbia University under the esteemed Bernard Lewis, Dr. Rhode studied and traveled extensively throughout the Islamic world. He speaks fluent Turkish. Dr. Rhode served with the United States armed forces in Iraq, both during the recent war in Iraq and during the Gulf War. Dr. Rhode is also famous for being the person responsible for finding and rescuing sacred Jewish manuscripts from Iraq during the Iraq war.
About Tzvi Kahn
Tzvi Kahn is a senior Iran analyst at FDD. He previously worked as a senior policy analyst at the Foreign Policy Initiative, where he published extensively on Iran’s nuclear program and regional ambitions. Tzvi also served as assistant director for policy and government affairs at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). From 2013 to 2014, he was an FDD national security fellow.  Tzvi’s work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, National Review, The American Interest, World Affairs, The Hill, Politico, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Post, The Forward, and Middle East Quarterly, among other outlets. Tzvi holds an MA in Middle East Studies from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and a BA in English and in Classical Languages from Yeshiva University.
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November 20, 2018
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
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