Former advisor to Israeli Minister of Defense to discuss Arabs in Israel during UNT lecture

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What: The Arab Minority in Israel: Between Islamic Radicalism and Palestinian Nationalism -- A lecture at the University of North Texas by Dr. Elie Rekhess, former strategic advisor to Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak.

When: 2 p.m. Feb. 22 (Monday)

Where: Room 117 of UNT's Biology Building, located one block east of Chestnut Street and Avenue C (1510 Chestnut St.)

 Cost: Free

Contact: Nanette Behning at 940-369-8172 or

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- A 2008 survey by the Israeli Democracy Institute's Guttman Center showed that Arab citizens comprised just over 20 percent of Israel's total population, with most identifying themselves as Arab or Palestinian by nationality and Israeli by citizenship.

Dr. Elie Rekhess, a former strategic advisor to Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak and a leading expert on Jewish-Arab relations and Palestinian politics, will discuss the dilemmas of the national identity of Israel's sizable Arab minority during a free lecture at the University of North Texas Feb. 22 (Monday).

The Arab Minority in Israel: Between Islamic Radicalism and Palestinian Nationalism begins at 2 p.m. in Room 117 of UNT's Biology Building, located one block east of Chestnut Street and Avenue C. 

During the lecture, Rekhess, who directs Tel Aviv University's Konrad Adenauer Program for Jewish-Arab Cooperation, will analyze Israelization -- the integration of those of Arab nationality into Israeli society -- and Palestinization -- the strengthening of the Palestinian Arab component in the Arabs' national identity. He will also discuss how the emergence of fundamentalist Islam has transformed Arab society in Israel.

At Tel Aviv University, Rekhess is also a senior research fellow in the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies. He is currently the Crown Visiting Chair in Middle East Studies at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. The Crown Visiting Chair is affiliated with Northwestern's Department of History and the Center for Jewish Studies. Rekhess has also taught in the Summer Institute for Israel Studies at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass.; the Center for Jewish Studies at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Penn., and at Lafayette College in Easter, Penn., and Spertus College in Chicago.

He is the author or editor of 11 books, including Arab Youth in Israel: Caught between Prospects and Risk and Together but Apart: Mixed Cities in Israel.
Rekhess received his bachelor's degree in history of Islamic countries from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and master's and doctoral degrees in history from Tel Aviv University.

Rekhess' lecture at UNT is sponsored by the UNT Jewish Studies and International Studies Programs, with support from the UNT College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History, North Texas Hillel, the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, the M.B. and Edna Zale Foundation and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.
For more information, contact Nanette Behning at 940-369-8172 or

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

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