Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s November 1977 visit to Jerusalem and the subsequent Israel-Egyptian peace process, created a successful model of conflict resolution in the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is probably the most important single political event (as opposed to violent clashes, such as the Six Day War) in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. There was the leader of the largest and most populous Arab state, and the one that led repeated Arab wars against Israel, coming to the capital of the Jewish state, acknowledging Israel as a legitimate regional entity and offering to end the conflict with it. The Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty that followed the visit (signed in March 1979) did indeed lead to the effective moderation of the Arab world, paving the road to the Israel-Jordan peace (1994), to the less successful, albeit, highly important Oslo process, and to the current alignment between Israel and the Sunni Arab states, notably Saudi Arabia. The presentations will offer a description and analysis of this model and explain why attempts to apply it to other actors and fronts have failed.
About the Speaker
Efraim Karsh is Director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies; Professor Emeritus of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King’s College London; Professor of Political Science at Bar-Ilan University; and a Principal Research Fellow (and former Director) of the Middle East Forum (Philadelphia), where he also edits the scholarly journal Middle East Quarterly. He has held various academic posts at Harvard and Columbia universities, the Sorbonne, the London School of Economics, Helsinki University, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, and the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies in Washington D.C. In 1989 he joined King’s College London, where he established the Middle East and Mediterranean Studies Program (currently the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies), directing it for 16 years. In 2013 he joined Bar-Ilan University, and in October 2016 became director of the BESA Center for Strategic Studies. Born and raised in Israel, Prof. Karsh earned his undergraduate degree in Arabic language and literature and modern Middle Eastern history from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and his graduate and doctoral degrees in international relations from Tel Aviv University.
Eytan Gilboa is Director of the Center for International Communication at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. He is also a senior research associate at the BESA Center for Strategic Studies, Chair of The Israel Communication Association and visiting professor of public diplomacy at the University of Southern California. He has published several books and numerous articles and book chapters on US policy in the Middle East, public diplomacy and international communication. He received his BA degree from the Hebrew University and MA and PhD degrees from Harvard University. Gilboa has been a visiting professor or scholar in several leading American and European universities and research centers. He was an adviser to various ministries and agencies in several countries. He frequently contributes op-ed articles to newspapers and news websites around the world, and serves as a popular commentator on local and foreign television and radio networks.