Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Israel's strategic dilemmas in a changing Middle East

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) is hosting Dr Jonathan Spyer, an eminent analyst of Middle-East affairs on a speaking tour of Australia.

He was in Perth for one day on Friday 13th March, giving private briefings to WA State and federal parliamentarians, academics, strategic analysts and to AIJAC supporters.

He also gave a public lecture at the University of WA, hosted by the Centre for Muslim States and Societies (CMSS) and the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS), as follows (click here to download the flyer):

"Israel's strategic dilemmas in a changing Middle East"
Strategic relations in the Middle East are currently undergoing rapid change. The changes offer both opportunity and cause for concern to Israel. Centrally, a new regional cold war is taking shape - pitting an Iranian-led alliance against a pro-western alliance which includes Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. The pro-Iranian alliance has made the destruction of Israel a central goal, and is supporting insurgent movements among the Palestinians and further afield as part of this objective. The Second Lebanon War and the recent Gaza war must be seen in this perspective. At the same time, the new regional cold war sees Israel aligned on the same side as major Arab states in a regional struggle for the first time. This lecture will explore the emergence of this new strategic situation, its key components and its meaning for hopes for peace in the Middle East.

Dr Jonathan Spyer at the University of WA with Prof. Yasmeen
Click here to download an mp4 of the lecture and the subsequent discussion, in full. Note that the lecture commences 9 minutes into this 2-hour recording.

About Dr Jonathan Spyer
Currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Global Research in International Affairs, at the Inter-Disciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, Dr. Jonathan Spyer is a former official of the Israel Government Press Office, and has served as a Special Adviser on international affairs to Israeli cabinet ministers. His specialization is in the field of Israeli foreign policy, the Arab-Israel conflict, and the political history of Israel. He also lectures on the new anti-Semitism in Europe and the Middle East, Islamist ideologies and movements and political trends in the modern Middle East.

He received his Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics, and his MSc. in Modern Politics of the Middle East at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Born in Britain, he has lived in Israel for the past 13 years. Dr. Spyer's analysis of Israeli and broader regional events and processes has been published in major journals in Israel and abroad including the Guardian, Ha'aretz, the Jerusalem Post and the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA).

He has many book chapters on Middle East issues and is the co-author of "The Rise of Nationalism: The Arab World, Turkey and Iran, (Mason Crest Publishers, 2007) and will soon publish "The Transforming Fire: Tracing the Israel-Islamist Conflict" (Continuum, 2010 - forthcoming).

He acts as a consultant to a wide variety of bodies in the academic, non-governmental, media and public affairs fields.
Dr. Spyer was also a guest of Fran Kelly on ABC "Radio National" on 18 March 2009. The segment can be downloaded here.
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