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Recent Events - 2010

Israel (Un) Divided: Internal Conflicts and Prospects for Peace

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hosted by the U.S. Institute of Peace and The Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies

For Israel, the question of peace with its neighbors has always touched on the most sensitive internal divides. As part of a USIP series focusing on domestic politics in Israel and its neighbors, a panel of esteemed experts will examine various levels of internal dynamics in Israel - from divides within Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's inner circle to fissures within Israeli society more broadly - and their impact on Israel's regional conflicts and its relationship with the United States.

This event was on the record and featured the following speakers:

David Makovsky
Ziegler Distinguished Fellow and Director, Project on the Middle East Peace Process
The Washington Institute

Yoram Peri
Abraham S. and Jack Kay Chair in Israel Studies and
Director of the Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies
University of Maryland

Shai Feldman
Judith and Sidney Swartz Director of the Crown Center for Middle East Studies
Brandeis University

Scott Lasensky, Chair and Discussant
co-author with Daniel C. Kurtzer, "Negotiating Arab-Israeli Peace"
U.S. Institute of Peace

Click here to go to the event's website


Dr. Yuval Benziman
The Israeli-Arab Conflict in Israel Cultural Texts of the 1980’s

Wednesday, November 12, 2010

To watch the video of this event, click play:

Dr. Yuval Benizman is a Visiting Professor at the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies at University of Maryland for the year 2010-11.   His field of research is Israeli culture and its portrayal of Israeli-Arab conflict. His PhD. dissertation at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem dealt with how the conflict is represented in Israeli cultural texts of the 1980s.

The Richard and Elizabeth Dubin Lecture Series:

Ambassador Michael Oren’s visit to UMD
“The U.S. - Israel Relationship: A Historical and Personal Perspective”

To watch the video of this event, click play:

October 14, 2010: An audience of 300 people attended the lecture “The U.S. - Israel Relationship: A Historical and Personal Perspective” featuring Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Dr. Michael Oren.  Ambassador Oren.

Please click here to download a flyer for the event.

Professor P.R. Kumaraswamy
Speaking on Indo-Israeli Relations: Breaking from the Past

Tuesday, September 14

Prof. P R. Kumaraswamy teaches contemporary Middle East at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.  During 1991-1999 he was a Research Fellow at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  His publications include Historical Dictionary of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, (Scarecrow, 2006).

Domestic Dysfunction in the Israel-Palestine Conflict:
The Peace Process Meets Anti-Politics

Tuesday, April 27

Sponsored by the Maryland School of Public Policy, Saul I. Stern Professorship of Civic Engagement, in collaboration with The Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies

Speakers included:

  • Ghaith al-Omari
    Advocacy Director, American Task Force on Palestine
  • Yossi Alper
    Coeditor, bitterlemons
  • Amjad Atallah
    Co-Director, Middle East Task Force, New America Foundation
  • Kenneth Pollack
    Director, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution
  • Yoram Peri
    Director, Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies,University of Maryland
  • Shibly Telhami
    Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, University of Maryland

Maryland Day, 2010

Israeli Dance Instruction and Practice

11:45 am - 1:45 pm

Israeli dance instruction by professional dance teacher Mike Fox
Participants will learned basic steps and then use them to dance

Israeli Films screening

10:30 am - 3:30 pm
Hornbake Library, Room 0302J (basement)

Participants enjoyed a series of short Israeli films

A Matter of Size,
a film by Sharon Mayman and Erez Tadmoor A Matter of Size

“A Matter of Size” is a comedy about four obese Israelis who are fed up with dieting and who find how to live with and appreciate their bodies through the Japanese sport of Sumo Wrestling. Herzl, one of the obese Israelis, is first exposed to Sumo Wrestling while working at a Japanese restaurant that happens to be owned by Kitano, a former coach of Sumo Wrestlers. Once Herzl falls in love with the sport, he decides to give it a try and bring his friends along for the ride.

Co-Sponsored by:

The Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies, The Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies, East Asian Languages and Cultures Department, the Israeli Embassy, and the Baltimore Film Festival


Etgar Keret, Contemporary Israeli Author and Filmmaker

etgar keret

Hear his presentation

What about me? by Etgar Keret & Shira Geffen

Hailed as the voice of young Israel and one of its most radical and extraordinary writers, Etgar Keret is internationally acclaimed for his short stories. Born in Tel Aviv in 1967 to an extremely diverse family, his brother heads an Israeli group that lobbies for the legalization of marijuana, and his sister is an orthodox Jew and the mother of ten children. Keret regards his family as a microcosm of Israel. His book, The Nimrod Flip-Out, (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006), is a collection of 32 short stories that captures the craziness of life in Israel today. Rarely extending beyond three or four pages, these stories fuse the banal with the surreal. Shot through with a dark, tragicomic sensibility and casual, comic-strip violence, he offers a window on a surreal world that is at once funny and sad.

As a filmmaker, Keret is the writer of several feature screenplays, including Skin Deep (1996), which won First Prize at several international film festivals and was awarded the Israeli Oscar. Wrist Cutters, featuring Tom Waits, was released in August 2007. Jellyfish, his first movie as a director along with his wife Shira Geffen, won the coveted Camera d'Or prize for best first feature at the Cannes Film Festival 2007. The animated feature film $9.99, based on several of Keret's stories, marries the tradition of Jewish self-flagellating humor with uncanny absurdity. The film shows us miracles coexisting with the mundane, and offers a beguiling view of what hope looks like in a hauntingly fragmented world.

Presented by the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies, University of Maryland, February 23, 2010



Dispatches from Jerusalem

Linda Gradstein

National Public Radio’s Mideast Correspondent

Interviewed by:

Professor Yoram Peri,
Director, The Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies
Dean Kevin Klose,
Dean, Phillip Merrill School of Journalism

Linda Gradstein has been the NPR correspondent in Jerusalem for almost 20 years. She has covered five Israeli elections, four wars, and major stories such as the immigration of more than one million people from the former Soviet Union to Israel, the rise of Hamas in Gaza, and the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. She has won several awards for her coverage. Linda has a BS in foreign service and an MA in Arab studies, both from Georgetown University.

Co-Sponsored by the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies
and the Phillip Merrill College of Journalism

Presented at the School of Journalism, University of Maryland, March 22, 2010

Israel as a Jewish State

View Presentations

This conference considered the broad themes of democracy, identity and Jewish religion in the Israeli context. Speakers addressed the question of how can Israel, as a self-defined Jewish state with an ethnic definition of citizenship and a committment to democratic pluralism, balance these competing claims.

This conference was presented March 7 - 8: March 7th: at University of Maryland, College Park, and March 8th: at The Wilson Center, Washington, D.C.


Please check back soon, as video will be available shortly.

Is Israel Western?

Sammy Smooha

Sammy Smooha

Distinguished Israeli Sociologist, Professor at Haifa University, recipient of the prestigious Israel Prize, and Visiting Professor at Univerity of Maryland.

Presented at the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies, University of Maryland, February 23, 2010

To see past events, click the following links:



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