looking back

One hundred years after the Balfour Declaration, what are the futures of Israel and Palestine? Join top scholars and public figures as they debate what kind of states should Israelis and Palestinians seek and how these competing visions inform their approach to the conflict.

Session I: Looking Back: Zionism and the Arab World

Opening Remarks: Shai Feldman

Jehuda Jehuda Reinharz was named the seventh president of Brandeis University in 1994. During his nearly 17 years as president, he transformed the university through an unprecedented campus-wide expansion. He created 36 endowed faculty and staff positions, 29 new or renovated campus buildings, and 17 new research centers and institutes. During Reinharz’s presidency, the university raised $1.2 billion dollars and its endowment more than quadrupled. He is the author of more than 100 articles and author/coauthor of 31 books. He is also the recipient of numerous honorary degrees. He is currently the Richard Koret Professor of Modern Jewish History, Director of the Tauber Institute, and President of the Mandel Foundation.                      

abdelmonem Abdel Monem Said Aly is a Senior Fellow at the Crown Center and also the Chairman of Al-Masry Al-Youm, a leading Arabic language daily newspaper in Egypt. In 2013-16, he was Chairman of the Board, CEO, and Director of the Regional Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo. Previously, Said Aly was also the President of the Al-Ahram Center for Political & Strategic Studies in Cairo and the Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Al-Ahram Newspaper and Publishing House. He was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., in 2004 and a Research Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University in 2003. He co-authored Arabs and Israelis: Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).


Session II: Debating the Future of Palestine

ziad Ziad Asali is the President and founder of the American Task Force on Palestine. He holds an MD from the American University of Beirut (AUB) Medical School. Asali was the Medical Director and Chairman of the Board at the Christian County Medical Clinic in Taylorville, Illinois, and he served as Chairman of the Board of Physicians Health Association of Illinois in Springfield, Illinois before he retired from practicing medicine in 2000. He is a Diplomat of the Board of Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He has been a member of the Chairman's Council of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and served as ADC’s President from 2001-2003. He served as the President of the Arab-American University Graduates (AAUG) from 1993-1995 and was Chairman of the American Committee on Jerusalem (ACJ), which he co-founded, from 1995-2003.          

george George Bisharat has been the Honorable Raymond L. Sullivan Professor of Law at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco since 1991. He previously worked as a trial lawyer for the Office of the Public Defender in San Francisco. He holds a PhD in Anthropology and Middle East Studies from Harvard University. He has published numerous academic journal articles and book chapters in addition to his book: Palestinian Lawyers and Israeli Rule: Law and Disorder in the West Bank (1989). He writes frequently on law and politics in the Middle East for major media sources in the U.S. and abroad.


Session III: Debating the Future of Israel

asherAsher Susser is the Stein Family Professor of Modern Israel Studies at the University of Arizona, Professor of History in the Department of Middle Eastern History at Tel Aviv University (TAU) and a Senior Fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies at TAU. He was the Director of the Moshe Dayan Center for twelve years and has taught for some thirty years in TAU’s Department of Middle Eastern History. He is also a former Senior Fellow on the Myra and Robert Kraft Chair in Arab Politics at the Crown Center. His most recent book is on Israel, Jordan and Palestine; The Two-State Imperative (2012). He also wrote the Political Biography of Jordan’s Prime Minister Wasfi al-Tall (1994) and is the author or editor of eight other books and a monograph on The Rise of Hamas in Palestine and the Crisis of Secularism in the Arab World (2010).                     

martin Martin Kramer was the founding president of Shalem College in Jerusalem, Israel’s first liberal arts college, where he continues to teach the modern history of the Middle East. He is the Koret Visiting Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He holds a PhD in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. He previously taught at Tel Aviv University, Brandeis University, the University of Chicago, Cornell University, Georgetown University, and The Johns Hopkins University. He is a former director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at TAU. His most recent publication is The War on Error: Israel, Islam, and the Middle East (Routledge, 2016).

Concluding Remarks: Nadim Shehadi


Co-sponsored with Tufts University's Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies, The University of Arizona's Center for Judaic Studies, UCLA's Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, and The American Interest

With generous support from the Neubauer Family Foundation

Media: Brandeis University Crown Center hosts event debating the futures of Israel and Palestine