2010-2011 News & Events Notes
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
Februay 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.
The Mountain and the Wall: Mount Herzl and the Western Wall as Changing Symbols of Commemoration in Israel
December 13, 2010
By Michael Brenner, professor of Jewish history and culture at Ludwig-Maximillian University, Munich. His books include Zionism: A Brief History and After the Holocaust: Rebuilding Jewish Lives in Postwar Germany.
Jewish Influence in American Politics—1930's to the Present:
The Issue of Jewish Refugees
November 16, 2010
Lecture by Dr. Fred Lazin, Abensohn Visiting Professor of Israel Studies. Professor Lazin will address questions such as
- How influential are American Jews in Washington?
- Why did American Jews fail to open America's gates to German Jews in the 1930s?
- What role did the Israelis play in the Struggle for Soviet Jewry in the USA?
- How significant was Jewish influence when Soviet Jews wanted to come to America?
Cosponsors: Center for Israel Studies, Jewish Studies Program.
Integrating Israel's Arab Citizens into Its High Tech Industry:
Commerce for Diversity, Integration, and Peace
November 9, 2010
See Video with Erran Carmel, Dr. Ramzi Halabi, and Smadar Nehab
Professor Erran Carmel of the Information Technology department at the Kogod School of Business moderated a discussion with the leaders of Israeli NGO “Tsofen.” Tsofen's Chairman, Dr. Ramzi Halabi, and Executive Director Smadar Nehab discussed their work integrating Israel’s Arab citizens into its high tech industry and extending the benefits of these industries to Arab communities in Israel. Sponsors: Kogod Information Technology Department; AU Center For Israel Studies; Ameinu; Middle East Studies @ AU; One Voice @ AU.
Book Talk with Tom Segev
November 8, 2010
See Tom Segev Book Talk Video. Simon Wiesenthal: The Life and Legends. Historian, award-winning author and Ha’aretz columnist, Tom Segev discussed his recent biography of Simon Wiesenthal, revealing the fascinating truth behind this simultaneously admired, despised and feared hunter of Nazis. American Today wrote an article about the event.