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For the Media

Israel, Obama Should Support Abbas’s UN Initiative 

WHO:     Boaz Atzili, assistant professor in American University’s School of International Service,  focuses on international security with an emphasis on territorial conflicts and the politics of borders-- especially those in the Middle East.  In particular, Atzili possesses expertise on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Atzili’s work also concentrates on international aspects of state weakness and state failure such as in Lebanon. Atzili teaches courses focusing on Arab-Israeli relations and international security.  He is also on the faculty of the Center for Israel Studies.

WHAT:    Available for print & television
WHEN:    May 26 – ongoing

WHERE:  American University, in-studio, or via telephone.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 26)— Boaz Atzili (PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; BA, International Relations, Hebrew University in Jerusalem) brings a unique viewpoint to the recently resurrected 1967 border proposal hailed by President Obama a week ago, and denounced since by Netanyahu. In his recent Huffington Post article:  The 1967 Borders: No Legal Basis, No Power Basis, but Permanent (, Atzili argues the 1967 border is a legitimate way for Israel to cement its international recognition.  And from a personal perspective as a 1967 border baby brought back to a bomb shelter on a Kibbutz on Israel’s border with Egyptian controlled Gaza, Atzili makes a compelling argument to save a new generation of Palestinian and Israeli babies from the threat of war by embracing not only the 1967 borders but also Abbas’s UN initiative.

Atzili’s article explains Israel’s borders going back to the 1947 Partition Plan and what happened between 1949 and 1967. Atzili pragmatically recognizes that “The borders of 1967 are not set in stone legally or in balance of power terms.  Yet these borders are here to stay.”  Part of the reasoning asserted by Atzili is that since the 1950s, “The right of conquest . . . has ceased to exist.  For Israel, neither military advancement nor settlement establishment—both methods that worked well before 1949 – can change this reality.”  He reasons that Iraq’s attempt to annex Kuwait drew sharp international rebuke.  This new reality is the basis of Atzili’s forthcoming book Good Fences, Bad Neighbors: Border Fixity and International Conflict (Fall 2011).

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.

Media Advisory