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Archive for November 2014

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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