Asher Susser

Asher Susser is Associate Professor of Middle East Studies at Tel Aviv University. From 1989 to 1995 and from 2001 to 2007 he served four terms as the Director of the university’s Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies. Susser is currently the Senior Fellow on the Myra and Robert Kraft Chair in Arab Politics at the Crown Center for Middle East Studies, a position he also held in 2007-2008. He is the author or editor of eight books, the most recent of which is Challenges to the Cohesion of the Arab State (editor, 2008) and is presently writing a new book on Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians.


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The Rise of Hamas In Palestine and the Crisis of Secularism in the Arab World

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Prof. Asher Suser
Crown Essay 1, February 2010


The Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections in January 2006 has more often than not been explained as the result of rampant corruption within the Fatah leadership, poor management by Fatah of the election campaign, and extreme divisiveness within its own ranks. This was contrasted with Hamas, which was seen as honest, well organized, and united. In this essay, historian Asher Susser argues that while these explanations are unquestionably relevant, they miss a key historical process that is at work: The rise of Hamas as part of a regional phenomenon of secularism in crisis, whereby secularizing Arab and Palestinian nationalism is in decline while Islamist politics is on the rise. Using Hamas’ rise as a starting point, Prof. Susser examines the crisis of secularism in the Palestinian and the broader Middle Eastern context.

Brandeis Now Interview

March 26, 2010
"Crown Center's Asher Susser Traces the Rise of Hamas

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