Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

Center for Israel Studies | 2010-2011 News


Center for Israel Studies
Battelle Tompkins, Room T39

Center for Israel Studies
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016

2010-2011 News & Events

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
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
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
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.


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.

See also:
Nonprofit Addresses Divide in Israel’s High-Tech Sector


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.


Akbar Ahmed

Jewish/Muslim Relations: Bridging the Divide

October 11, 2010
ABC News Nighline correspondent John Donvan moderated a discussion between AU Professor Akbar Ahmed and Senior Rabbi Bruce Lustig of Washington Hebrew Congregation on Jewish/Muslim Relations: Bridging the Divide. The discussion, in the new SIS building, attracted a standing room only crowd of over 150, and was cosponsored by the Center for Israel Studies, SIS, Muslim Student Association and Jewish Student Association. See more in Washington Jewish Week.





Screening of Sayed Kashua's Forever Scared

October 18, 2010
Presented at the Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival with introduction by Fred Lazin, Seymour and Lillian Abensohn Visiting Professor of Israel Studies at American University.





India, Israel and the Wider Middle East: Squaring the Circle
With Professor P.R. Kumaraswamy

September 15, 2010
Dr. Kumaraswamy, a well-known scholar and authority on India-Israeli relations, spoke about his new book, India’s Israel Policy (Columbia University Press), and wider India/Middle East relations. The event was cosponsored by CIS and the American Jewish Committee.

SheshBesh: Cultural Respect Through Music

Distinguished ensemble SheshBesh visited from Israel to perform concert and promote cultural understanding through music.

Learn More

Watch Video

Is The American Jewish Establishment Failing Liberal Zionism?

Peter Beinart

Peter Beinart critiques an establishment that he contends is out of touch with young Jews at the Amos Perlmutter Memorial Lecture: "The Crisis of Zionism"

Read More

Watch Video at iTunesU

Video: Integrating Israeli Arabs into High Tech

Tsofen: 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.

See Video

iTunesU Archived Event Podcasts & Video

Idan Raichel at American University: Inside the Artist's Studio

See our podcasts and videos on iTunesU.

See CIS on iTunesU