Three months after the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office, its initial impact on Israel’s foreign policy is already discernible. While choosing to pursue far-reaching legal reforms that seek to alter Israel’s system of governance and erode its democracy, the government initially sought to maintain a sense of continuity in foreign relations, especially regarding ties with the U.S. and the Arab world. Aspirations were even voiced to advance normalization with Saudi Arabia. However, the government’s structure, composition, and policies, as well as the mass pro-democracy protest movement that evolved in Israel in response, prevent a business-as-usual approach on both the domestic and diplomatic fronts. Israeli relations with the Biden administration, with liberal democratic allies in Europe, with Arab countries who signed peace agreements and normalized ties, and with the Palestinian Authority, have all suffered. Criticism of Israel is mounting, and regional cooperation endeavors are slowing down.
Please join us for a webinar that will convene leading Israeli foreign policy experts from the fields of diplomacy, media, civil society, and academia to map and analyze these developments as well as anticipate future trends.
Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Middle East Correspondent, Axios; Diplomatic Correspondent, Walla! News
Maya Sion Tzidkiyahu
Director, Israel-Europe Relations Program, Mitvim - The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
Israel’s Former Minister of Diaspora Affairs
Nimrod Goren, moderator
Senior Fellow for Israeli Affairs, Middle East Institute
Detailed Speaker Biographies
Prof. Elie Podeh is a Bamberger and Fuld Professor in the History of the Muslim Peoples in the Department of Islamic and Middle East Studies, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He served as the Department Chair during the years 2004-2009, and President of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Association of Israel (MEISAI) during the years 2016-2022. Since 2011, he is a Board Member of Mitvim - The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies. He has published and edited fourteen books and more than eighty academic articles in English, Hebrew and Arabic. His most recent book is Israel’s Secret Relations with States and Minorities in the Middle East, 1948-2020 (Hebrew, 2022; and English forthcoming).
Barak Ravid is the Middle East correspondent of Axios and the diplomatic correspondent of Walla! News in Israel. In the last 17 years, Ravid covered Israel’s national security and foreign policy in addition to U.S. policy in the Middle East. During his career, Ravid published hundreds of exclusive stories on the Middle East peace process, Israel’s relations with the Arab world, the Iran nuclear crisis and the U.S.-Israel relationship. His first book, Trump’s Peace: The Abraham Accords and the Reshaping of the Middle East, was published in Hebrew in December 2021 and became a bestseller. The English edition of the book will be published in the coming weeks. Ravid is a frequent guest on U.S. television networks. He gave numerous interviews on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CBS, and Newsmax.
Dr. Nachman Shai is Israel's former Minister of Diaspora Affairs. He served as a Member of Knesset from 2009-2019, and has held multiple parliamentary positions, including Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. Dr. Shai was a visiting professor at Emory University and Duke University, previously served as the Israel Defense Force Spokesperson with the rank of Brigadier General and was Commander and Editor-in-Chief of Israel Army Radio. He also held several positions in government, including Director General of the Ministry of Science, Culture, and Sport, and served as the senior vice president and director general of the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) in Israel. Dr. Shai has published three books on Israeli diplomacy, media, and security.
Maya Sion Tzidkiyahu
Dr. Maya Sion-Tzidkiyahu is the Director of the Israel-Europe Relations Program at Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies. In addition, Dr. Sion-Tzidkiyhau is an adjunct lecturer at the European Forum at the Hebrew University and at the European Union Studies Program at Tel Aviv University, where she teaches about the European Union and about EU-Israel relations. Between 2016 and 2021, she was the Co-President of the European Association for the Study of European Integration. Maya has a PhD in European Studies and Political Science (Comparative Politics).
Nimrod Goren, moderator
Dr. Nimrod Goren is Senior Fellow for Israeli Affairs at the Middle East Institute. He is also the President of Mitvim - The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, Co-Founder of Diplomeds - The Council for Mediterranean Diplomacy, and Co-Chair of a regional initiative at President Isaac Herzog’s Israeli Climate Forum. Dr. Goren holds a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was a Hubert Humphrey Fellow at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He was a Teaching Fellow on Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University, is a past recipient of the Victor J. Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East and the Centennial Medal of the Institute of International Education, and he was selected as a Vamik Volkan Scholar by the International Dialogue Initiative.
Photo by Amir Levy/ Contributor via Getty Images