Day Three Highlights: 2020 ISGAP-Oxford Summer Institute

Professor Uzi Rabi, Director, Dayan Center, Tel Aviv University

“Pandemics and Antisemitism: Corona Days in the Middle East”

The lecture will discuss the junction in history where pandemics and antisemitism encounters each other. History has taught us that pandemics have always revived the hostility to “the other”, and antisemitism has risen accordingly, for example, during the Spanish Flu. We will examine the extent to which COVID-19 has influenced levels of antisemitism in the various Middle Eastern States, and will give special focus to the atmosphere in Iran and the Palestinian Authority and their reactions to Israel during these times. The lecture will draw a panoramic view of the Middle East in 2020 – considering that beyond the virus, we are dealing with the “routine” sorrows of the region.

Professor Yossi Shain, Director, Tel Aviv University School of Political Science, Government and International Affairs

“The Israeli Century, the Corona Epidemic and Antisemitism”

This lecture deals with antisemitism in times of international crisis, with a particular case study focus on COVID-19’s present-day impact. We will examine why Jews have always been entangled in such crises, how the gentiles reacted and what history can tell us about the Jewish response.

Professor Mohammed S. Dajani, Palestinian Scholar, Founder, Wasatia Movement

“Combating Antisemitism in the Arab/Muslim World”

This lecture will provide an overview of combatting Anti-Semitism in the Muslim and Arab world by promoting Holocaust education at the Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim levels. It addresses the questions: What are the barriers to Holocaust Education in Palestine and the Arab and Muslim world? Why Holocaust denial is widespread in the Muslim world? Does the visiting experience of suffering affect empathy for an adversary? It discusses the effects of Palestinian students’ visits to concentration camps in Poland and Germany on their empathy for Holocaust Education in Palestine. It will shed light on Holocaust denial and efforts to cast doubts on the existence of gas chambers and diminishing the crimes committed in Nazi death concentration camps. It concludes by outlining a strategy for Holocaust Education Teaching recommending that Arab and Muslim governments revise their school curriculum to ensure that this tragic episode of history is taught as part of their educational curriculum.

Dr. Ramy Aziz, Research Scholar, ISGAP

“The Islamists and the Contemporary forms of Antisemitism (Anti-Zionism and anti-Israel)”

This lecture will examine the contemporary forms of antisemitism, “anti-Zionism and anti-Israel”, and how Islamists use these new forms of antisemitism as a cover to commit the crime of antisemitism, with impunity. The historical roots of antisemitism in Islamist literature such as Hassan al-Bana, Sayyid Qutb, and Yusuf al-Qardawi, will be reviewed. The relationship between Islamists and the other antisemitic groups in the West will be explored, including how they use similar tactics to recruit through contemporary forms of antisemitism that continue to incite against the Jewish people.

Professor Benny Morris, Department of History and Middle Eastern Studies, Ben-Gurion University

“A Fresh Look at the 1948 War, the First Arab-Israeli War”

The presentation will cover the war’s military/political development, the nature of war (political versus religious/cultural), the war aims of the participants, the refugee problems created by the war, and the balance of forces in the war’s two parts.

Professor David Menashri, Founding Director, Alliance Center for Iranian Studies; Senior Research Fellow, Professor Emeritus, Tel Aviv University

“Iran, the Jews and Antisemitism”

Forty years after the Islamic Revolution, while attracting the attention of scholars, politicians and the media, Iran is still an enigma. For a better understanding Iran and its politics, the talk will begin with a discussion of the domestic challenges and regional ambitions. It will try to explain the reasons behind its obsession with Israel, the Jews and the Holocaust.