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Recent Events

Beholding the Holy City: The Davidization of Jerusalem
featuring Professor Dana Hercbergs

Thursday, November 14, 2013 | 12:30 - 2:00 PM
3105 Susquehanna Hall

This talk depicts a new spatial and visual regime in Jerusalem embraced by the tourism and real estate industries, with a focus on the Tower of David as the new icon. The “davidization” of Jerusalem is linked to political shifts such as the decline of the peace process and Israel’s Judaizing mission for the area, primarily the “Holy Basin.”

Dana Hercbergs is a Visiting Assistant Professor with the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies. Her research focuses on Arab and Jewish encounters and identities in the Middle East particularly in Jerusalem, and mobilities associated with tourism and travel in Israel/Palestine.

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Jews and Words: An Israeli Proposal
featuring Fania Oz-Salzberger

Monday, October 7, 2013 | 4:00-5:30 PM
Prince George's Room, Stamp Student Union

Following the publication of Jews and Words (Yale, 2012) co-authored with her father, novelist Amos Oz, historian Fania Oz-Salzberger presents the book's main arguments about Jewish history, continuity, and nationhood beyond religion. Reconsidering the power of words and ideas, the book and the lecture offer a fresh Israeli perspective on the importance of "textlines" for families, societies and cultures in general.

Fania Oz-Salzberger is a writer and history professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Haifa. She recently held the Leon Liberman Chair in Modern Israel Studies at Monash University, and the Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Professorship for Distinguished Teaching at the Center for Human Values, Princeton University.

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1973: The Road to War
featuring Yigal Kipnis

Monday, September 23, 2013 | 4:00-5:30 PM
The Atrium, Stamp Student Union

Dr. Yigal Kipnis is an Israeli historian and since 1978 he has been a farmer and a resident of the Golan Heights.

His book, 1973: The Road to War, was published in Hebrew at the end of 2012. In this book Kipnis, for the first time and on the basis of updated documentation, revealed the political conduct which led to war in the Middle East in October 1973.

Kipnis served as a pilot in the Israel Air Force for 31 years, 26 of those in the IAF reserves. He completed his service in 1999 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

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Media in the Middle East after the Arab Spring

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Professor Yoram Peri from the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies and Professor Sahar Khamis from the Department of Communication discuss social media, citizen journalism and social activism in the Middle East today.

Israel's New Government: New Faces, Same Policies?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC

Part of the Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Middle East Forum

Most articles and op-eds published recently on the recent Israeli election deal with the election results, the changing balance of power in Israel, and the diminishing support for Prime Minister Netanyahu. Yoram Peri will present an analysis of the deeper political changes, social trends, and cultural transformations that have long-term significance for Israeli society and politics. These include the emergence of a new, fourth generation of political leaders; the generational upheaval in the Israeli electorate; and the religionization of Israeli collective identity. Peri will also examine the implications of these trends for Israeli policies concerning the Middle East conflict.

Click here to read a summary of Professor Peri's remarks.

What is it like to live in an Israeli Settlement?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Most scholarship on the Israeli settlements examines them in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this talk, professor Ringel will examine what has been an unexplored aspect of the Israeli settlements– the cultural, and religious life of their inhabitants.

Joseph Ringel is a visiting professor of Israel Studies at the University of Maryland. His areas of research include the history of Jewish communities under Islam, rabbinic re-sponses to modernity, and the Sephardi–Mizrahi experience in the state of Israel. He is currently working on a manuscript on the history of Sephardi religious culture in Israel.

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Will Syria Survive?

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Moshe Ma’oz is a Professor (emeritus) in Hebrew University’s Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies. Originally specializing in the Ottoman period, he has spent much of his career studying modern Syria and has authored a number of books on the subject, including a biography of its late president, Hafez Asad. His most recent book, Muslim Attitudes to Israel: The Ambivalences of Rejection, Antagonism, Tolerance, and Cooperation, was published in 2011.

Professor Ma’oz discussed the impact of the Arab Spring and recent developments in Syria on Israel’s security and strategic position in the region.

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The Internal Impact of Occupation: Israel Democracy in Crisis

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Gershom Gorenberg is an American-born Israeli journalist and historian. He has written extensively on American-Israeli relations in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The American Prospect, and The Jerusalem Report. His most recent book "The Unmaking of Israel" was published in 2011.

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Could Israel have solved the Palestinian Refugee Problem before 1967?

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

The continuing problem of Palestinian refugees has been a central issue in Middle Eastern politics since 1948, as well as in defining relations between Washington and Jerusalem. Not surprisingly, the Palestinian refugee problem was a leading preoccupation of the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Yet the issue of Israeli policy towards the refugee issue has been ignored in Israeli and other scholarship. Professor Zweig will discuss why this is has been the case, and will survey the development of Israeli policy on this issue and the Israeli response to a major effort by the Kennedy administration to finally resolve the refugee problem. The failure of this initiative sheds light on the roots of Israeli policy toward this central issue in resolving the Israeli - Palestinian conflict.

Ronald Zweig is professor of Israel Studies and Director of the Taub Center for Israel Studies at New York University. His research interests include the history of the British Mandate, the state of Israel, and modern Jewish history. His most recent book, The Gold Train: The Looting of Hungarian Jewry, was published in 2002.

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The 2013 Israeli Elections & the Prospects for Peace in the Middle East

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Israelis elected a Knesset and Prime Minister on Jan. 22, two days after President Obama's second inauguration. This panel of noted experts discussed the outcome of this particularly important Israeli election and its likely effect on American-Israeli relations and on Middle East peace.

Yoram Peri is the Abraham S. and Jack Kay Chair in Israel Studies and Director of the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies. He was a political advisor to former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and has published extensively on Israeli society, media, and the role of the Israeli military in politics.

Sam Lehman–Wilzig is a visiting professor at the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies, and is a Professor of Political Studies at Bar–Ilan University in Israel. His publications cover Israeli politics, communications, and the impact of technology on society.

Tamara Cofman Wittes is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. She served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2009 to 2012, coordinating U.S. policy on democracy and human rights in the Middle East. She was central to organizing the U.S. government's response to the Arab awakening.

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The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict's Impact on the Arab and Jewish Diasporas in Latin America

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Following research conducted in 2011-2012 at the W. Wilson International Center for Scholars and field work in six Latin American countries, we will explore the concept of "long-distance nationalism" in protracted ethnopolitical conflicts in the homeland and the variables relevant for Arab and Jewish communities' involvement in peace building.

'Edy' Kaufman is a Senior Researcher at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM), and a Professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. His research has focused on human rights and conflict resolution on several continents, especially Latin America and the Middle East. He has been instrumental in conducting joint research projects with Palestinian academics, and has helped to introduce conflict resolution as a discipline to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and to Israel and the Middle East in general. This past summer, he co-taught a course on multi-track diplomacy and conflict transformation with Manuel Hassassian, the diplomatic representative of the Palestinian Authority to the United Kingdom.

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To see past events, click the following links:



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