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This PJC lecture was held on October 29, 2014.

Professor Gavison is the Haim H. Cohn Professor Emerita of Human Rights Law at Hebrew University Law Faculty. Born in Jerusalem she received an LLB (cum laude) in 1969, LLM (summa cum laude) in 1971, and BA in economics and philosophy (1970), all from Hebrew University. In 1975 she received a D.Phil. in legal philosophy from Oxford University. Her dissertation (Legal Protection of Privacy) was written under the supervision of H.L.A. Hart.

From 1974 she has taught at the Hebrew University. She was a visiting professor at Yale Law School (1978-1980) and Law Center of the University of Southern California (1990-1992) and a Fellow at the Center of Human Values, Princeton University 1998-99, and at the Tikvah-Straus Center at NYU 2011-2012.

Prof. Gavison is one of the founders of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), and served as its Chairperson for many years and President (1996-1999).Published Human Rights in Israel (1995) and edited a three volume reader on Human Rights.  She is also the founding president of the Metzilah Center for Zionist, Jewish, Liberal and Humanist Thought.

From 1998-2008, she was a member of the International Commission of Jurists.

A major voice on human rights and constitutional issues and critic of judicial activism trends and the piecemeal constitution developed in Israel. Dr. Gavison published: The Constitutional Revolution: A reality or a self-Fulfilling Prophecy? (2000); (with Kremnitzer and Dotan) Judicial Activism : For and Against" (2000) and "Constitution for Israel: The Lessons of the American Experience" (2002).

In 1999-2001 held a dialogue with Rabbi Yaacov Medan, which culminated in the publication of A foundation for a New Covenant between Jews on Issues of State and Religion in Israel (2003).

Prof. Gavison has written extensively on the meaning and justification of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, while pointing out tensions and ways to accommodate them. E.g. "The Jewish State: Nature and Justification" (2003). In August 2013, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni appointed her to prepare a constitutional provision on what it means for Israel to be a “Jewish and democratic state”.

Prof. Gavison has won the Avihai prize (with R. Medan) in 2001; Jerusalem Toleration prize in 2002; and the EMET prize for law in 2003. She was awarded adoctor honoris causa from the JTS in 2003, and adoctor honoris causa from Bav-ilan University in 2009. She is the first recipient of the Cheshin prize which she received in 2009. She is a 2011 Israel Prize for Legal research  laureate.

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Former Major General Yaakov Amidror served as the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Israel and the Head of the National Security Council from April 2011 to November 2013. He is now the Anne and Greg Rosshandler Senior Fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, in Bar Ilan University. 

He served with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for 36 years. During his long military career, General Amidror held the following positions: commander of IDF Military Colleges, including the National Defense College, Military Secretary for the Minister of Defense, and Director of the Intelligence Analysis Division, responsible for National Intelligence Assessment. General Amidror received a Master's Degree in Political Science from the University of Haifa and various other degrees and certificates from IDF colleges.

After his retirement, he has served as Senior Research Fellow to the Institute for Middle East Research in Washington. General Amidror also served as Vice President of Lander Institute, an academic center in Jerusalem. He was a member of several large Israeli companies' boards as well as numerous high-tech start-ups.

Since retiring from the armed forces, General Amidror has published Reflections on Army and Security, a book on the subject of military affairs and national security (in Hebrew). A second book,Intelligence, Theory and Practice, was published in 2006 (also in Hebrew). His articles appear frequently in Israeli and international publications.

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Georgetown University's Department of Government Goldman Visiting Israeli Professor, Avraham Sela, will present this PJC lecture.

Professor Sela is a senioor research fellow at the Harry S. Truman Institue and the A. Ephraim and Shirley Diamond Professor Emeritus of International Relations at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and author of Decline of the Arab Israeli Conflict: Middle East Politics and the Quest for Regional Order(1998) and co-author of The Palestinian Hamas: Vision, Violence and Adjustment (2000).

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November 5, 2014— Book Talk: “ Iran Divided: The Historical Roots of Iranian Debates on Identity, Culture, and Governance in the Twenty-First Century” with Dr. Shireen Hunter. Iranian politics has been marked by sharp ideological divisions and infighting. These divides, kept largely out of public view until the 1990s, came to greater light with the contested 2009 presidential elections. To explain the diverse and complex forces that led to this event and that animate Iran’s current fractured society and polity, author Shireen T. Hunter looks beyond the battle between the forces of reform and reaction, democracy and dictatorship, and considers the historic forces that created the conditions faced by Iran since the revolution. Iran Divided: The Historical Roots of Iranian Debates on Identity, Culture, and Governance in the 21st Century explains historical and political factors and their relevance to Iran today, shedding light on the forces behind Iranian politics and society.

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Cosponsored with the Rumi Forum. Professor Saritoprak examined the place of Jesus in the Qur'an and Hadith. He presented the topic of Jesus in Islam from an Islamic theological perspective including both classical and contemporary theologians' views of Jesus. Like Christians, Muslims, in general, also believe in the second coming of Jesus, known in Islam as the descent of Jesus. Dr. Saritoprak highlighted different Islamic theological approaches to Jesus's descent. Finally, Dr. Saritoprak discussed the important role Jesus can play in interfaith dialogue.

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October 14, 2014.  ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and Boko Haram in northern Nigeria continue to use an overlapping language of political Islam and references to the caliphate and the Shariah. This event brought together experts on the Middle East, Islamic political thought and Islam in West Africa to help explain these confusing phenomena.

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The SFS Asian Studies Program, with generous support from the Office of Global Engagement, the Master of Science in Foreign Service program, and the Center for Australian, New Zealand & Pacific Studies, hosted the Honorable Kevin Rudd. Mr. Rudd, Australia's 26th Prime Minister, visited Georgetown University on 2 October 2014 for private breakfast with faculty and students. Mr. Rudd discussed the rise of China and alternative futures for U.S.-China relations, and the event was moderated by Dr. Michael Green, Associate Professor of International Affairs in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.  

Mr. Rudd served as Australia's Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010, then as Foreign Minister from 2010 to 2012. In 2013, he returned to the Prime Ministership. As Prime Minister, Mr. Rudd led Australia's response during the Global Financial Crisis and played an important role in the creation of the G20. As Foreign Minister, he was a driving force in expanding the East Asia Summit (EAS) to include both the United States and Russia in 2010. Today, Mr. Rudd remains engaged in various international challenges, including the rise of China, climate change, and sustainable development. Mr. Rudd received his bachelor's degree in Asian Studies at the Australian National University. He is a fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese.

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On 4 October 2014, high-ranking North Korean officials paid an unprecedented surprise visit to Incheon, South Korea. Their officially stated purpose was to participate in the closing ceremonies of the 2014 Asian Games, but both South Korean and international media have perceived this event as a possible indicator of instability in Pyongyang. Kim Jong-un has not made any public appearance in more than a month, and the country's de facto no.2 and no.3 leaders made a surprise visit to South Korea. Rumors say there was a coup in Pyongyang that forced Kim out of power. What is going on inside North Korea?

Listen to our short interview with Dr. Victor Cha, D.S. Song-KF Professor of International Affairs & Government and Director of Asian Studies, to learn more about recent developments in North Korea.

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John Updike, a titan of American literature who passed away in 2009 is the subject of Adam Begley's most recent book, Updike. Begley's most recent book, released this April by HarperCollins, has earned rave reviews from its conclusions and methodical, comprehensive approach to unearthing  the links between Updike's own life and his novels.  

Adam had an exposure to the literary world from his childhood. After graduating from Harvard, Mr. Begley went on to pursue a Ph.D from 
Stanford in American literature, which he received in 1989. In 2010 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 2011 was the recipient of the Leon Levy Center for Biography Fellowship. Mr. Begley is also the author of Literary Agents: A Writer’s Guide, and Certitude: A Profusely Illustrated Guide to Blockheads and Bullheads, Past and Present. From 1996-2009, he worked as the books editor for the New York Observer. His numerous book reviews have appeared in several prominent publications, including the New York Times and The Guardian

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September 15, 2014: This Anti-Defamation League and Program for Jewish Civilization event looks at the current incidents of anti-semitism that have occurred in Europe. Experts will focus on specific countries including France, Hungary, and England. 


Sarah Fainberg is a Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) at Tel Aviv University and a Visiting Professor of Government at Tel Aviv University’s Harold Hartog School of Government and Policy. Her current research focuses on Israel’s interests in and relationship with the Eurasian states (former Soviet countries) and Israel’s relations with the American and French diasporas. A native of France, Dr. Fainberg received her Ph.D. in Political Science at Sciences Po-Paris (2008) and is a graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris (1998). She previously served as Visiting Assistant Professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service (2009-2012). She also taught at Columbia University (2005-2007) and St. Petersburg's State University in Russia (2002-2003). In addition, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Harriman Institute of Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies at Columbia University (2006-2007). She has given lectures and public talks at Moscow State University, Columbia University, Sciences Po-CERI (Paris), the University of Ottawa, Georgetown University, the Hebrew University and the IDC, Herzliya. She is the author of two books:Les Discriminés. L’antisémitisme soviétique après Staline (Paris: Fayard, 2014in English: Dissecting State Discrimination: The Soviet-Jewish Experience After Stalin), and (with Jacques Berlinerblau and Aurora Nou) Secularism on the Edge: Church-State Relations in the US, France, and Israel (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). Dr. Fainberg is bilingual in French and Russian, and fluent in English and Hebrew.

Stacy Bernard Davis is currently working for the State Department Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combatting Anti-Semitism. Previously she worked for the State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. She has a Master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Dieter Dettke is an expert on German foreign and economic policy, European integration, European security issues and translatlantic relations. He has studied at the Universities of Bonn, Berlin and Strasbourg, and was a Fullbright Scholar at the University of Washington. Dr. Dettke has also served as a Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations and Assignments at the Bundestag and German Foreign Office.

Andrew Srulevitch is the Director of European Affairs for the Anti-Defamation League.

Deborah Lipstadt is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University. She is the author of Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory,History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier, and Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust

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