The Impact of Covid-19 on Middle Eastern and North African Studies: A Curated Reading List (March 2020 through April 2, 2021)

April 12, 2021

Think tanks, scholars and analysts are producing excellent assessments of the impact that the Coronavirus pandemic is having on Middle Eastern countries. The number of monthly articles devoted to the pandemic was extraordinarily high until mid-July 2020,  when the topic took a back seat to intense discussions on speculations about Israel’s possible annexation of portions […]

Preliminary Election Results for 23 Knesset Election

March 25, 2021

One of the most striking elements to emerge from the preliminary results is that the current Knesset is going to be much more fragmented. If only eight party lists were elected to the Knesset a year ago, thirteen factions succeeded in entering the parliament in this round.

Origins of Israeli Democracy: Jewish Political Culture and Pre-State Practice

March 16, 2021

Neither Israel’s political culture nor Israel’s democracy based on Jewish self determination simply materialized on May 15, 1948. A connection exists from Jewish self-rule in the Diaspora to Zionist political autonomy during the Yishuv and to contemporary Israeli political culture. Likewise, the origins of Israeli democracy are found in the hundreds of years of Jewish Diasporas transitioning into the Zionist movement to the state; from aliyot before the Palestine Mandate to 1948 and since. Components of Israeli political culture...

2019-2021 Elections

March 9, 2021

Israel entered a period of political instability when its governing coalition fell apart in December 2018 over the issue of Haredi military service. The articles, activities and other digital resources below provide insights into how and why Israel’s Knesset elections in April and September 2019 failed to produce a new government, leading to a third election within a year on March 2, 2020. The urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic helped break the political logjam with a unity government featuring a rotation agreement for prime minister between Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz, but that government failed to survive into 2021. For the fourth time in less than two years, Israelis are electing a new Knesset on March 23, 2021.

Nachman Shai: Veteran Labor Voice seeks Return to Knesset

February 21, 2021

Former three-term Knesset member is motivated to run in the March 23 elections to create a better Israel for his children and grandchildren, provide a voice for the vital senior population, topple Prime Minister Netanyahu, and restore the Labor Party’s legacy.

Israel-Indo Asian Relations

February 18, 2021

Until the 1990s, when Israel’s increased engagement with Asia notably expanded, her relations particularly with China, India and Japan, were limited for three broad reasons.  First, Israel’s state-seeking and state-building endeavors focused westwards on Europe, the Americas and Africa. Once statehood unfolded in 1948, no trade evolved with hostile Middle Eastern Arab neighbors after the […]

The June 1967 War: How It Changed Jewish, Israeli and Middle Eastern History

February 9, 2021

In our ebook for teens, college students and adults, The June 1967 War: How It changed Jewish, Israeli, and Middle Eastern History, according to many, we captured the drama and essence of the war’s enduring and so far unending impact. The June 1967 Middle East War transformed Israeli, Jewish, and Middle Eastern History. In the span of six weeks, in May and June 1967, Israel, its neighbors and the international community were engulfed with varying emotions including admonition, arrogance, audacity, astonishment, bravado, boasting, daring, euphoria, fears of annihilation, hesitation, humiliation, indecision, miscalculation, pride, procrastination, relief, resignation, self-doubt, self-importance, and tension.

Options and Realities for Biden’s Foreign Policy in the Middle East

January 27, 2021

President Biden comes to the presidency with more Washington experience than any other former president. While he has designated a foreign policy team with significant experience, his immediate priorities will be domestic. With a razor thin senate majority why would he expend political capital in trying to find solutions to Middle Eastern issues that are highly complex, seemingly intractable, and culturally embedded? The exception might be seeking to curtail Iran's nuclear and regional aggressiveness.

2021 Strategic Overview: Vaccines and Vacillations

January 26, 2021

From the Tel Aviv based, INSS, The Institute for National Security Studies, their annual review of Israel's domestic and foreign policy challenges is available. Released by one of Israel's most prestigious think tanks, their 2021 Strategic Overview contains more than a dozen thoroughly researched topics. This publication has no peer for excellence and analyses. Its authors are highly respected for their competence in respective fields of specialty, and in the coherence that each of them brings to their essays.

Accessible Sources for Understanding Zionism to 1949

January 3, 2021

Modern Zionism to 1949 Learning about modern Jewish history, Israel and the Middle East can be daunting. Whether student or teacher, Jew or non-Jew, knowing what sources to trust and where to find them can be overwhelming, given the number of blogs, organizations, websites, and individuals who claim their views are the most relevant, salient, […]

Why learning about Israel matters

December 23, 2020

Whether you are Jewish or non-Jewish, knowing and familiarizing yourself with the history and future of Israel is about knowing your unique origins.

Hannukah: Predictions, Politics, the Pandemic, and Accountability

December 10, 2020

Do you think any of the Maccabees would have guessed that the one jar of oil would have kept the menorah burning in Mod’in for eight days rather than one? If one had predicted yes or no, there probably would not have been either good or bad consequences in the years after 165 BCE.