Recent News & Events
MEET THE PRESS WITH
NBC’S DAVID GREGORY & ISRAELI AMBASSADOR MICHAEL OREN:
“Is JFK's 1963 Strategy of Peace Applicable to the Middle East Today?"
April 29, 2013
The Center for Israel Studies and School of International Service welcomed NBC's David Gregory SIS/BA '92 and Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren to discuss "Is JFK's 1963 Strategy of Peace Applicable to the Middle East Today?" This event was part of the university's celebration of JFK's "Strategy of Peace" speech at American University, one of the most important foreign policy speeches ever given by a U.S. president. To find out more about JFK's speech, and other commemorative activities, go to Is a 'Strategy of Peace' Possible in the Middle East?
For more information, and to access livestream of event (begin streaming at 8:35) see program.
GERMANS & AMERICAN IN ISRAEL — ISRAELIS IN GERMANY & THE U.S.
April 4, 2013
The Center for Israel Studies hosted the third Junior Scholars Conference on German-Jewish History. Co-sponsors: German Historical Institute Washington, the Wissenschaftliche Arbeitsgemeinschaft des Leo Baeck Instituts, the Seymour and Lillian Abensohn Chair in Israel Studies at American University, and the Institute for the History of the German Jews, Hamburg (Stefan Hördler, Michael Brenner, Miriam Ruerup). Fostering a new generation of scholars, the conference brought together a transatlantic group of postdocs and PhD students in their final phase in an intense two-day workshop. Keynote address by New York Times investigative reporter Eric Lichtblau on “The Flight of the Nazis to America.” For more information, see conference program.
THE INVISIBLE MEN FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION
March 20, 2013
AU presented a film screening of The Invisible Men, followed by a discussion with director Yariv Mozer. The Invisible Men tells the untold story of persecuted gay Palestinians who have run away from their families and are now hiding illegally in Tel Aviv.
ISRAEL STUDIES AND JEWISH STUDIES IN AMERICA
March 3, 2013
CIS hosted an academic conference on the relationship between Israel Studies and Jewish Studies at American universities; cosponsored by American University’s Center for Israel Studies and Jewish Studies Program, Israel Institute and Ludwig-Maximilian University. The conference was supported by the Bender Foundation in memory of Sondra D. Bender.
Please see also:
Keynote Video: Leon Wieseltier, Literary Editor of the New Republic
News Article: Scholars Discuss Evolving Israel Studies Programs
"MAD SIREN" DANCE PERFORMANCE AND DISCUSSION
February 21, 2013
Israeli choreographer Idan Cohen brought his dance company to AU to perform excerpts of his latest work, Mad Siren, set to W.A. Mozart's solo piano sonatas. Idan discussed the influences in this latest work with Pamela Squires, Washington Post dance critic. Mad Siren raises questions about "immigration, personal and collective history and the nature of fear and lack of understanding towards what is different. Sponsored by Bender Foundation in memory of Sondra D. Bender and co-sponsored by Embassy of Israel.
CONTRASTING SECULAR & RELIGIOUS AGENDA TERROR: FROM CHE GUEVARA TO OSAMA BIN LADEN
February 4, 2013
Lecture by Jonathan Fine, IDC (The Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel). Dr. Fine discussed the contrasts between the secular violent political agenda, which characterized guerilla and terrorist activities between 1945-1979, and the religious political agenda which started to dominate the international arena since the Islamic revolution in Iran, followed by the growing activities and influence of radical political religious groups in Judaism Christianity and Islam since the early 80’s.
ISRAELI POST-ELECTION ANALYSIS: SO WHAT’S NEW?
January 29, 2013
Standing room-only lecture and discussion on Israel’s recent elections with Nathan Sachs , Foreign Policy Fellow, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution and Hilary Krieger, Washington Bureau Chief, The Jerusalem Post. Moderated by SIS Dean James Goldgeier.
Event co-sponsored by: Center for Israel Studies, School of International Service, School of Public Affairs and student groups AU Students for Israel and Christians United for Israel.
Israel: Building a Shared Society
January 27, 2013
Conference on Israeli Arab Issues hosted by Center for Israel Studies and cosponsored by Washington Forum on Israeli Arab issues. Featured speakers included Dr. Alean Al-Krenawi, president, Achva Academic College; Forsan Hussein, CEO, Jerusalem International YMCA; Shuruk Ismail, Yad Hanadiv (the Rothschild Foundation); Prof. Elie Rekhess, Northwestern University; and Dr. Sigal Shelach, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Workshops included “Public and Private Efforts Towards Economic Parity”, “Arab Mobility and The Glass Ceiling”, and“Education for Shared Living”.
The Israel Social Protest Movement: From the Tents on Rothschild to the 2013 Election
January 16, 2013
Lecture and discussion with Boaz Goan: Israeli playwright, journalist, and political activist. Cosponsored by American University Center for Israel Studies; American Jewish Committee, Washington Regional Office; Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and Theatre J.
Israel and the New Middle East
November 27, 2012
See video: Lecture by Dr. Dan Schueftan
The dramatic changes in the Middle East present Israel with an unprecedented regional challenge. The relations with the most important countries in the region—Turkey, Iran and Egypt—have moved in a negative direction, and the "Arab Street" has become more influential. How will Israel face this challenge?
Dr. Dan Schueftan is Director of the National Security Studies Center at University of Haifa and Aaron & Cecile Goldman Visiting Professor, Dept. of Government, Georgetown University. Scheuftan previously served as an advisor to Israel’s National Security Council and to former Israeli Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Ariel Sharon. He is the author of several books on contemporary Middle Eastern history.
Ambassador Dennis Ross and U.S. Policy in the Middle East during the Second Obama Administration
November 26, 2012
A standing room only crowd attended SIS Dean James Goldgeier’s discussion with Ambassador Dennis Ross on US Policy in the Middle East in the next U.S. administration. Ambassador Dennis Ross is the Ziegler Distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Ross served as a counselor from 2001-2009 and rejoined the Institute in December 2011 after serving two years as special assistant to President Obama as well as National Security Council senior director for the Central Region, and a year as special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, focusing on Iran. For more than twelve years, Ambassador Ross played a leading role in shaping U.S. involvement in the Middle East peace process and dealing directly with the parties in negotiations. Ambassador Ross serves on the SIS Dean's Council. Sponsored by the School of International Service and Center for Israel Studies
Please see also:
Ambassador Ross: Big changes on horizon in Middle East (recap article)
Video: Ross & Goldgeier
Israel, Iran, and the Bomb
November 12, 2012
See videos: Panel Discussion and Questions & Answer
Does Iran actually aim at developing nuclear weapons? Are Israel or the United States likely to strike Iran militarily and what are the potential results of such a strike? Are there alternatives to a military strike? Could a nuclear Iran be contained or deterred? And what are the long-term prospects for a nuclear free Middle East? This panel of experts, moderated by SIS Dean James Goldgeier, provided a spectrum of perspectives on the topic and cleared some of the “fog of war” that surrounds this increasingly threatening situation. Sponsored by International Politics Program (SIS) and The Center for Israel Studies.
Nordau to Nasdaq: “IT Innovators” lecture by Roni Einav
October 15, 2012
Lecture by Roni Einarv (Israeli Hi-Tech Entrepreneur), author of Nordau to NASDAQ: The Evolution of an Israeli High-Tech Start-up. Co-sponsored by CIS and Kogod School of Business.
“A View from Inside: Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations”
October 11, 2012
Lecture by Ghaith al-Omari, Executive Director of the American Task Force on Palestine. Sponsored by American University Negotiation Project and cosponsored by CIS.
Erev Shel Shoshanim: Moshe Dor's Israel in Poetry and Song
September 13, 2012
A celebration of Israel’s creative spirit through the work of Moshe Dor, one of Israel's foremost literary figures. The evening featured readings of his poetry in Hebrew and in English translation as well as choral performances of his poems, including the most well-known — Erev Shel Shoshanim — by the AU Chamber Singers. A new choral setting of three of Dor’s new poems by composer Fernando Benadon of American University received its world premiere on this occasion, and was commissioned by the AU Chamber Singers and Center for Israel Studies. Dor’s poems are accessible to American audiences through the artful translations of poet Barbara Goldberg (AU MFA 1985). Dor began his collaboration with Ms. Goldberg when he was distinguished writer in residence at American University in 1986. The evening featured readings from Dor's most recent work in English translation, Scorched By the Sun, translated by Goldberg. Co-sponsored by Center for Israel Studies (CIS), AU Performing Arts Department, AU Literature Department, AU Speigler Endowment, Embassy of Israel, and The Word Works.
Please see also: Celebrating an Israeli Literary Giant
Israel: Cultural Images and Political Realities
May 21, 2012
Academic conference cosponsored by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE) and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. Several of Israel’s leading scholars addressed topics such as "The Image of Jews in Arab Cinema”, “Mom I’m Home: The Lebanon Case in Israeli Films” and “Communicating Awe: Israeli Media on Yom Hashoah”. The afternoon featured a roundtable discussion on “Fateful Issues in Israeli Politics and Society” moderated by Professor Ilan Troen, Director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandeis University and including American University Schusterman Visiting Professor Fred Lazin. The participating professors were all part of AICE’s Visiting Israeli Scholars Program. See Conference Program
Fred Lazin: Israel’s Changing Collective Identity
April 24, 2012
Lecture by Schusterman Visiting Israeli Professor Fred Lazin on the changes in Israeli society from the Sabra culture of 1948 to today's multiculturalism.
Peter Beinart: The Crisis of Zionism
April 23, 2012
Author Peter Beinart spoke about his newly released book, The Crisis of Zionism. Beinart is Senior Political Writer at the Daily Beast, associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York and a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation. Aaron David Miller, Distinguished Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center and advisor to six Secretaries of State on Arab/Israeli negotiations, provided a formal response, sparking a lively discussion.
Talia Carner: Princess or Prisoner?
April 17, 2012
Award-winning Israeli author Talia Carner discussed her newest book, Jerusalem Maiden, followed by a reception and book-signing. In Jerusalem Maiden in 1911, in the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem under the backward Ottoman rule, a young woman sets out to challenge God. The feisty Esther's life-long struggle between her passions and her strict society's religious dictates sends her to secretly explore worlds outside her religion, city and the Holy Land.
Idan Raichel: Inside the Artist's Studio
March 6, 2012
See video: Idan Raichel at AU: Inside the Artist's Studio
Israeli music superstar Idan Raichel came to American University for an intimate discussion and performance. The New York Times calls Idan an "Israeli Singer of the world…[who] has worked with about 100 different musicians and singers to fuse traditional Middle Eastern instruments with electronic sounds, and to combine Jewish music with that of regions ranging from West Africa to Latin America and India." Idan recently toured with India.arie and they played together at the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. See related Washington Jewish Week article: Ultra-Unorthodox Performer.
Is Israeli-Palestinian Peace Still Possible?
Reflections of a Committed Israeli Peace Activist
February 16, 2012
Lecture by Gershon Baskin, Israeli activist, who has been credited with playing a critical role in the Gilad Shalit deal. The Palestinian house is divided into two separate regimes. Israel has a Likud-led coalition government. The US President is campaigning for re-election, Europe is trying to relieve itself from financial collapse, neither Russia nor China are engaged; can the two parties (Israelis and Palestinians) do it by themselves? See related article: Jewish Peace Activist Warns of Trouble Brewing in Mideast.
Greener, Cleaner, Better: Israeli Innovation in Greentech
Conference, February 7, 2012
The conference highlighted three themes: new thinking on green technologies and ecosystems, the unique Israeli success in this sector, and special regional/political issues. Keynote address by Michael Granoff of Better Place, the electric vehicle company.
Please see Greentech Conference Archive.
Strengthening Israel’s Democracy: Arab Citizens of Israel
January 22, 2012
Conference hosted by the Center for Israel Studies. Co-sponsored by Greater Washington Forum on Israeli Arab Issues. For conference schedule, please see http://tinyurl.com/IsraeliArabs2012.
The Knowledge Economy Triangle:
India, Israel, and the United States
January 17, 2012
Panel discussion on the evolving strategic relationships – economic, technological and cultural – between India, Israel and the United States. Location: Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center. Co-sponsored by Center for Israel Studies (CIS), Kogod School of Business, Embassy of India, Embassy of Israel, American Jewish Committee and Virginia Israel Advisory Board (Office of the Governor).
Screening of award-winning Israeli films My Australia and Mabul, with post-film discussion
December 4, 2011
Screening of Israeli films My Australia and Mabul (The Flood) in AU’s Greenberg Theatre, as part of the Washington Jewish Film Festival. Large crowds attended the films and participated in a post-film discussion with Mabul director Guy Nattiv and screenwriter, Noa Berman-Herzberg
Screening of LIA and post-film discussion
December 6, 2011
Screening of documentary film by Israeli director Taly Goldenberg, about the life of Lia Van Leer, legendary founder of the Israel Film Archive and cinematheques in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. A discussion followed with filmmaker Aviva Kempner and Fred Lazin, Schusterman Visiting Israeli Professor.
"Twenty Years Together: The Place of Russian Israelis in Israel’s Social and Cultural Mosaic"
November 16, 2011
Lecture by Larissa Remennick, Professor of Sociology, Bar-Ilan University.
"The Arab Spring: Causes and Consequences in the Middle East, Focusing on Egypt, Syria and Libya"
November 15, 2011
Lecture by AU SIS Adjunct Professor Yosef Olmert. In addition to his teaching work, Dr. Olmert served in senior positions in the Israeli government, such as the Director of Communications under Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and Policy Advisor to Defense Minister Moshe Arens. Dr. Olmert served diplomatic missions across the world and was a participant at the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991 and subsequent Israeli/Syrian peace talks.
"The Jerusalem Syndrome: How a Tiny Political Network Shapes Israel’s Policies on a Volatile City"
November 10, 2011
Lecture by Ami Pedahzur, Professor of Government and Middle Eastern Studies, and the head of the TIGER Lab (Terrorism, Insurgencies, & Guerillas in Education & Research), University of Texas, Austin.
"Sharett versus Ben-Gurion: A Reconsideration of Israel's Policy of Massive Retaliation in the 1950s."
November 8, 2011
Lecture by Michael Doran, Roger Hertog Senior Fellow at Saban Center for Middle East Policy, The Brookings Institution.
“Women Who Make Things Happen”
October 27, 2011
Panel discussion on women who build growth businesses with Shelly Porges, senior advisor, Global Entrepreneurship Program, U.S. State Department and Dr. Liora Katzenstein, founding president of the Institute for the Study of Entrepreneurship and Management of Innovation (ISEMI), Tel Aviv. Co-sponsored by CIS and Kogod School of Business. See related article: Female Entrepreneurs as a Global Priority.
"Can the Peace Process Be Saved?"
September 22, 2011
Lecture by Israeli Major General (ret.) Danny Rothschild, followed by Q&A
Israeli Major General (ret.) Danny Rothschild is the Director of the Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya and is the Chairman of the Annual Herzliya Conference Series on the Balance of Israel’s National Security. During his service as Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Rothschild played a significant role in the negotiations that led to Israel’s peace agreements with Jordan and with the Palestinians. Co-sponsored by CIS and the SIS International Politics Program.
An Israeli Love Story
September 13, 2011
Written by esteemed playwright Pnina Gary and starring award-winning actress Adi Bielski, An Israeli Love Story vividly captures the atmosphere of pre-state Israel, yet the play’s universal themes of love and loss in a time of war remain relevant today. See also:
Pnina Gary: An Israeli Love Story
About Love and Israel: An Israeli Love Story
Reflections On the Eve of 9/11
September 1, 2011
A Conversation with Professors Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University and Ed Kessler, Director of Cambridge University's Woolf Institute of Abrahamic Faiths.
See event recap: Religion and Revolution, Post-9/11.
The Turbulent Middle East:
Israel's Challenges & Opportunities
May 16, 2011
Conference cosponsored by the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE) and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.
Several of Israel’s leading scholars addressed topics such as "Israel's Egyptian Conundrum: Policy and Strategy and the Arab Spring" and "Is Democracy or Economics Driving Upheaval in the Middle East?" The participating professors are all part of AICE’s Visiting Israeli Scholars Program. See Conference Program.
Performance by SheshBesh, theArab-Jewish Ensemble of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
April 5, 2011, Abramson Family Recital Hall
SheshBesh brought their unique sound and approach to AU. The ensemble’s onstage collaboration, music and musicianship create a multi-cultural environment that reflects their belief that the language of music has the ability to build bridges between people of all cultures. Co-sponsors: CIS, Department of Performing Arts Music Program, Speigler Endowment Fund, Embassy of Israel, American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. For more information on the ensemble and the performance, see SheshBesh Promotes Cultural Respect through Music.
Screening of Defamation
March 31, 2011, AU Wechsler Theater
CIS cosponsored a screening and post-film panel discussion with Defamation director Yoav Shamir, Yoram Peri, Kay Chair in Israel Studies, University of Maryland and Russell Stone, professor emeritus, American University. Cosponsored by Center for Social Media, American University's School of Communication, The Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies at UMD, and American University's Center for Israel Studies and Jewish Studies Program.
Coercing Strength, Beaten by Weakness: Israel’s Triangular Deterrence
March 25, 2011, Training and Events Room, Bender Library
Lecture by Professor Boaz Atzili, SIS. “Triangular deterrence” occurs when one state uses threats and/or punishments against another state in order to coerce it to prevent nonstate actors from conducting attacks from its territory. Under what conditions will triangular deterrence be successful? Such triangular deterrence has long been one of Israel’s primary strategies in dealing with the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah, and other armed nonstate threats to its security. This talk analyzed Israel’s attempts to deter against Palestinian groups operating from Egypt and Syria from the 1950s to the 1970s, and discussed the policy implications for current day Israeli policy towards Lebanon and Syria. Cosponsored by Middle East Studies @ AU and AU Center for Israel Studies.
How the Arab Lobby Influences US Middle East Policy
March 15, Butler Board Room
Dr. Mitchell Bard. In this detailed political history, Dr. Mitchell Bard exposes the efforts of powerful interests inside and outside the US government intended to influence US Middle East policy.
Richard Breitman and Norman Goda Discuss "Hitler's Shadow: Nazi War Criminals, US Intelligence, and the Cold War"
February 24, 2011
AU professor Richard Breitman and Norman Goda, professor of history at University of Florida, discussed their recent National Archives report, based on recently declassified records. It investigates how and why numerous Nazi war criminals, including high officials of the Gestapo, escaped prosecution at the end of World War II. See Video Highlights.
Amos Perlmutter Memorial Lecture: Peter Beinart
February 17, 2011
Peter Beinart, New America Foundation fellow and professor at CUNY, discussed issues raised in his essay "The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment." See more in Peter Beinart QA and in recap article, Is the American Jewish Establishment Failing Liberal Zionism?
Transformation in Egypt
February 10, 2011
Panel Discussion with Professor Professor Hillary Mann Leverett, Senior Lecturer and Senior Research Fellow at Yale University, with expertise on Iran and the Middle East, Dr. Kristin Diwan, Assistant Professor in Comparative and Regional Studies with a focus on the politics of the Middle East, and Dr. Boaz Atzili, Assistant Professor in International Politics with a focus on international security and Arab-Israeli relations.
Dafna Kaffeman: What Could Be Sweeter Than Going to Paradise? Two Artists in Conversation
January 27, 2011
American Artist Mindy Weisel and Israeli Artist Dafna Kaffeman discuss the connections between inspiration and the poetic and humanitarian possibilities of art. Dafna Kaffeman is head of Glass Studies at Bezalel Art Academy in Jerusalem. Her smaller, delicate pieces and dynamic, large-scale installations often deal with issues raised by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Please see also Dafna Kaffeman exhibition at the American University Museum.
A Tale of Two Capitals:
Dialogues on Contemporary Jewish Challenges in Israel and the US
January 16, 2011
An interactive day of learning with professors from American University and Hebrew University.
Space and Place in the Israeli Cultural Imagination
January 12, 2011
By Barbara Mann, Associate Professor of Hebrew Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Her interdisciplinary study, A Place in History: Modernism, Tel Aviv, and the Creation of Jewish Urban Space (Stanford) was published in 2005.
United Forever? Reflections on the Place of Jerusalem in the Zionist Imagination
January 10, 2011
Lecture by Eran Kaplan, lecturer in Israel Studies at Princeton Universitiy. His book, The Jewish Radical Right: Revisionist Zionism and Its Ideological Legacy was published in 2005 and he is now completing, with Derek Penslar, Zionism and the Yishuv: A Source Book, which will be published by the University of Wisconsin Press.
Michael Brenner named Abensohn Endowed Chair in Israel Studies.
Ambassador Dennis Ross suggested a U.S. diplomatic initiative in 2013 with Iran.
Erev Shel Shoshanim highlights poetry of Moshe Dor during Israel’s upcoming 65th anniversary.
iTunesU Podcasts & Video
See our podcasts and videos on iTunesU.
Greener, Cleaner, Better: Greentech Conference
Archives from Greener, Cleaner, Better: Israeli Innovation in Greentech, including Michael Granoff keynote video and more.
AU Museum Receives Contemporary Israeli Art
The Rothfeld Collection of Contemporary Israeli Art chronicles Israel’s history, includes prominent artists’ works.
Video: Integrating Israeli Arabs into High Tech
Video: Israeli NGO Tsofen's Chairman Dr. Ramzi Halabi and Executive Director Smadar Nehab discuss their work integrating Israel’s Arab citizens into its high tech industry and extending the benefits of these industries to Arab communities.