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Recent Bulletins & Events


“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?

Click on a link to view:
1. Background on JFK Speech and Gregory/Oren Discussion (44:06)
2. Q&A with Gregory and Oren (33:18)
3. David Gregory Interview (1:54)
4. Ambassador Oren Interview (1:59)



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.



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. 



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
Program: Conference Program



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.



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.



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

View the Video of Moshe Dor.

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