Aaron Miller, deputy special Middle East coordinator for the Department of State, discussed the impact of Jordan’s King Hussein on the Middle East peace process Wednesday night at GW Hillel.
The event, entitled “Rebuilding the Middle East peace process and the impact of the death of King Hussein,” was attended by about 80 people, said GW Friends of Israel President Adam Segal.
“Students had the opportunity to share their views and find out facts from an expert,” Segal said.
In his speech, Miller called the peace process “irreversible,” citing the progress the peace accords have made in the 1990s as an indication of peace in the future, said Marc Shaller, GW College Democrats president. The CDs co-sponsored the event.
Segal said the death of King Hussein, a strong proponent of the peace process, occurred just two days after the event was advertised, adding to the impact of the lecture.
Hussein died Feb. 7 after a long and public bout with cancer. He was the Middle East’s longest reigning monarch, having assumed the throne in 1952. He played a significant role in furthering the peace process between Israel, its Arab neighbors and Palestinians. Hussein’s eldest son Abdullah is Jordan’s new king.
“The death of King Hussein deeply saddened members of the Friends of Israel,” Segal said.
“We look forward to King Abdullah playing an important role in the future peace process and bringing Arabs, Israelis and Americans to a better understanding,” he said.
Shaller said Miller was an effective speaker because he dedicated more time for student questions than he did to his lecture, allowing students to express their views.
“Miller plays the role of mediator perfectly,” Shaller. “He’s as bi-partisan as you can be and his perspective on the Middle East is enlightening and refreshing.”