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News, Research and Events from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy
Baker Institute Update: Amb. Itamar Rabinovich on the legacy of Yitzhak Rabin; RYP at the MFAH

April 12, 2017: In this edition
Israel, Syria and the Larger Middle East: From Rabin to the Present

More than two decades after his assassination, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin remains an enduring symbol of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. At an event hosted by the Baker Institute Center for the Middle East, His Excellency Itamar Rabinovich, former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and one of Rabin’s closest aides, discussed the prime minister's life as recounted in his newly released book "Yitzhak Rabin: Soldier, Leader, Statesman."
After an introduction by the Honorable James A. Baker, III, Rabinovich joined Baker Institute director Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian (pictured above) for a conversation that ranged from Rabin’s extraordinary strategic ability to his unique trajectory in Israeli politics. Although Rabin advanced Israel’s interests during his first term as prime minister — rebuilding the Israeli Defense Forces and the country’s economy, for example­ — he encountered political setbacks and resigned in 1977. “Failed leaders are not often given a second chance,” Rabinovich said. “But Rabin knew that he was there for a purpose, and he was determined to use the office [of prime minister] to change the agenda.”
After serving as minister of defense through the 1980s, Rabin was reelected prime minister in 1992. According to Rabinovich, it was during this final term that Rabin “evolved into statesmanship.” The years before his assassination were characterized by his efforts to achieve peace with Syria and the Palestinians.
Today, negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are proving hard to revive, but “steps should be taken to keep the option of a two-state solution alive,” said Rabinovich.
This event was generously supported by the Isaac and Mildred Brochstein Endowment for Middle East Peace in Honor of Yitzhak Rabin.

To view the full video of the event, click here.

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Roundtable Young Professionals host screening "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"

On March 29, the Baker Institute Roundtable Young Professionals partnered with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston for a special presentation of Ang Lee’s latest film “Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk,” based on the novel by Ben Fountain. Ambassador Edward Djerejian introduced the movie, and a Q&A session with Fountain followed the screening.
RYP members enjoyed a reception in the museum galleries prior to the film. Sean Cowan, a member of the RYP advisory committee, noted that the organization "has much more substantive programming than any other young professional association I’m involved with. There are more compelling conversations and topics than are easily found in the social realm of the average 20-something.”
Cowan highlighted November’s Election Night Watch Party as being among the most memorable RYP events. “We were sitting at tables talking about politics in a substantive way that wasn't incredibly polarizing.”
If you’re interested in joining the Roundtable Young Professionals, please contact assistant development officer Emily Kinkaid (713.348.5191 or

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Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy is a nonpartisan, independent think tank in Houston, Texas. The institute's fellows and scholars conduct research and collaborate with experts from academia, government, the media, business and private organizations on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy.

The research and views expressed in publications are those of the individual author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy.

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