Itzhak Galnoor is the Herbert Samuel Professor of Political Science (emeritus) at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has been a Visiting Professor at many international universities, and served on the Executive Committee of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) and edited its Advances in Political Science book series, published by Cambridge University Press.
Galnoor was Head of the Civil Service Commission in the Government headed by Itzhak Rabin; A member of the Israel Science Foundation’s Executive Committee and in charge of its Humanities and Social Sciences division (2001-2007); on the Governing Board of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2003-2007); Deputy Chair of the Council for Higher Education 2007-2008. He is the head of the Israeli Political Science Association (2012-). Since 2007 he is a Senior Fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and Academic Director of the State Responsibility and the Limits of Privatization project at the Chazan Center for Social Justice. His book (with Dr. Dana Blander) The Israeli Political System (2013) is forthcoming in English in 2016 at Cambridge University Press. In June 2015 Galnoor was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Association of Israel Studies (AIS).


Colin Shindler is an Emeritus Professor at the School of Oriental Studies, University of London. He was the first Professor of Israel Studies in the UK and founding chair of the European Association of Israel Studies.
He is the author of numerous books about Israel including The Rise of the Israeli Right (2015). His recent publications include a second edition of his History of Modern Israel (Cambridge 2013) and Israel and the European Left (Bloomsbury 2012). His areas of expertise include both the Israeli Right as well as the European Left.
His next book The Hebrew Republic: Episodes from the History of Israel and the Jewish Diaspora will be published by Rowman and Littlefield later in 2017.
He often contributes to the international media including the New York Times, the Times Literary Supplement, Jerusalem Post and Ha’aretz.

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Yaron Peleg is Kennedy-Leigh Lecturer in Modern Hebrew Studies at the University of Cambridge. His publications include, Directed by God, Jewishness in Contemporary Israeli Film and Television (2016), Israeli Culture Between the Two Intifadas (2008) and Orientalism and the Hebrew Imagination (2005). He is also co-editor of an anthology of articles on contemporary Israeli cinema, Identities in Motion (2011). Dr. Peleg has also published articles on topics, including literary critiques, which examine the concept of Land in modern Hebrew prose, attitudes toward militarism, homoeroticism in biblical as well as more modern Hebrew literature and various articles about Israeli cinema that focus on gender, masculinity, ethnicity and religiosity.

Books on Iran’s Basij and Ambassador’s Memoir also Cited

The Rise of the Israeli Right
(Washington, D.C. – November 30) Colin Shindler’s The Rise of the Israeli Right: From Odessa to Hebron, has been awarded the gold medal in The Washington Institute’s 2016 Book Prize competition, the research organization announced today. Shindler, emeritus professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, will receive the prestigious award and an accompanying $25,000 prize.

The Washington Institute Book Prize is awarded annually to exceptional new books that have illuminated the Middle East for American readers. “The Book Prize celebrates outstanding new scholarship examining the Middle East and assessing the myriad issues, opportunities, and threats facing the region today,” said Institute Executive Director Robert Satloff, the Howard P. Berkowitz Chair in U.S. Middle East Policy.

In its gold prize commendation, the judges wrote: „Colin Shindler’s The Rise of the Israeli Right expertly traces the evolution of this stream of the Zionist movement from the work of Ze’ev Jabotinsky in the early 20th century to its role as the dominant force in Israeli politics today. This myth-defying book describes the many contradictions that have characterized the Israeli Right – its liberalism and militancy, pragmatism and idealism. The Rise of the Israeli Right is indispensable to any nuanced understanding of the Right today, and why its hold on power now appears unshakable.“ The Rise of the Israeli Right is published by Cambridge University Press.

Saeid Golkar was awarded the silver medal, with its $10,000 prize, for Captive Society: The Basij Militia and Social Control in Iran published by Columbia University Press and The Wilson Center. The judges wrote: „Saeid Golkar has produced the authoritative account of the Basij paramilitary militia, a secretive but pervasive institution whose tentacles reach into every corner of Iranian life. Captive Society draws on a unique range of insider sources and interviews to demonstrate that while Iran is dominated by religious clerics, it is controlled by the Basij. No wonder Iran’s clerical regime has crushed every challenge—and has grown even stronger.“ Golkar is a lecturer for the Middle East and North African Studies Program at Northwestern University and senior fellow on Iran policy at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

The jurors presented the bronze prize, worth $5,000, to veteran U.S diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad for his autobiography The Envoy: From Kabul to the White House (St. Martin’s Press). The judges wrote: „Zalmay Khalilzad has written an ‚only-in-America‘ memoir of personal transformation — an Afghan reborn as an American, and an academic remade into an ambassador — woven into the saga of America’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Gifted with insights into traditional Muslim ways, Khalilzad shows how American illusions led the United States down dead ends, and takes deserved credit for salvaging some gains from the wreckage. The Envoy is a model memoir, and an invaluable document for any history of America’s darkest moments in the Middle East.“

Now in its ninth year, the Book Prize has been generously supported since its inception by Washington Institute Trustees Shelly and Michael Kassen. Shelly Kassen is president of the Institute.

Submissions for the 2017 Book Prize will commence after January 1, 2017. Publishers may submit English-language nonfiction books on any subject that bears on the modern Middle East or America’s role in the region published between May 1, 2016 and May 1, 2017. The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2017. Complete details are available at

About the Washington Institute: The Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens that seeks to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. Drawing on the research of its fellows and the experience of its policy practitioners, the Institute promotes informed debate and scholarly research on U.S. policy in the region.

Prof. Fania Oz-Salzberger was recently nominated as director of PAIDEIA The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweeden. She is director, The Posen Forum for Jewish European and Israeli Political Thought, Faculty of Law, University of Haifa.
Fania Oz-Salzberger is Professor of History at the Faculty of Law and the Center for German and European Studies, as well as the founding Director of the Posen Research Forum for Political Thought, at the University of Haifa. From 2007-2012 she was the Leon Liberman Chair in Modern Israel Studies at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilization, Monash University. Prior to that, from 2009-2010, she was the Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching at the Center for Human Values at Princeton University. Her books include Translating the Enlightenment: Scottish Civic Discourse in Eighteenth Century Germany (Oxford, 1995), Israelis in Berlin (Jerusalem, 2001; Frankfurt am Main, 2001), and recently Jews and Words (Yale, 2012), co-authored with Amos Oz. She has published numerous essays on the history of ideas and political thought, most recently on translation in the European Enlightenment, on the biblical sources of John Locke and on languages and literacy in early modern Europe. She earned a B.A. and M.A., summa cum laude, from Tel Aviv University and a D.Phil. from Oxford University.

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David Menashri is Professor Emeritus at Tel Aviv University and Senior Research Fellow at the Alliance Center for Iranian Studies and the Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University (TAU). Menashri founded and was the first Director the Alliance Center for Iranian Studies and is internationally recognized Iran scholar. He has been a visiting Fulbright scholar at Princeton and Cornell University, and, among others, a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, Yale, UCLA, Oxford, Melbourne and Monash Universities (Australia), the Universities of Munich and Mainz (Germany) and Waseda (Tokyo). In the late 1970s Menashri spent two years conducting research and field studies in Iranian universities on the eve of the Islamic Revolution with grant from Ford Foundation. Prof. Menashri’s publications includes: Post-Revolutionary Politics in Iran: Religion, Society and Power; Revolution at A Crossroads: Iran’s Domestic Challenges and Regional Ambitions; Iran: Between Islam and the West (Hebrew); Education and the Making of Modern Iran; Iran: A Decade of War and Revolution; Iran in Revolution (Hebrew). He is also the editor of: Iran: Anatomy of Revolution (together with Liora Hendelman-Baavur, 2009, Hebrew); Religion and State in the Middle East (Hebrew); Central Asia Meets the Middle East; and The Iranian Revolution and the Muslim World.

Derek Penslar is a comparative historian with interests in the relationship
between modern Israel and diaspora Jewish societies, global nationalist
movements, and post-colonial states. He is the Stanley Lewis Professor of
Modern Israel Studies at the University of Oxford and the Samuel J. Zacks
Professor of Jewish History at the University of Toronto. Next year he will
move to Harvard, where he has accepted the William Lee Frost Chair in Modern
Jewish History. Penslar is the author or editor of ten books, including
Shylock’s Children Economics and Jewish Identity in Modern Europe; Israel in
History: The Jewish State in Comparative Perspective; The Origins of the
State of Israel: A Documentary History, and Jews and the Military: A
History. Penslar is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the
American Academy for Jewish Research.

Einladung Penslar

Foto by Michael Lionstar

Vom leisen Schreiben des lauteren Worts

David Grossman ist einer der bedeutendsten Schriftsteller der hebräischen Sprache. Der Titel seines neuesten Romans klingt wie der Anfang eines Witzes: „Kommt ein Pferd in die Bar“. Erzählt wird von dem Comedian Dovele, der vor seinem Publikum aufzutreten hat, aber bald bleibt uns allen das Lachen im Halse stecken. Statt Späße zu machen, redet Dovele Grinstein von der Tragik seines Lebens. Aus dem Stand-up wird sein Aufstand gegen das Dasein.

Im Akademietheater liest Grossman auf Hebräisch aus seinem Roman. Die Lesung aus der deutschen Übersetzung übernimmt Martin Reinke.

In seinen Romanen bringt Grossman das Unerhörte zur Sprache. Er weicht dem Schmerz nicht aus. Obgleich und vielleicht auch weil sein eigener Sohn im Libanonkrieg fiel, ist Grossman eine prominente und authentische Stimme der israelischen Friedensbewegung.

Mit dem Wiener Autor Doron Rabinovici spricht David Grossman über sein neues Buch, über sein Schreiben und über seinen Weg, Worte der Verständigung zu finden.

(Foto by Michael Lionstar)