His response to leaving the Harvard Faculty: He has “the simple politics of a truck driver, not the complex ones of an academic.”
Daniel Pipes is one of the world’s leading experts on the Middle East, Muslim history, political Islam and terrorism. Pipes, an award-winning columnist for the National Review and Jerusalem Post, writes commentaries and articles about the Middle East in leading media organizations such as the BBC, Al Jazeera, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. Mr. Pipes has written twelve books. Four deal with Islam, three books concern Syria, and four deal with other Middle Eastern topics.
Mr. Pipes founded the Middle East Forum in 1994. Its mission is “promoting American interests” through publications, research, media outreach, and public education. It publishes the Middle East Quarterly and sponsors Campus Watch, Islamist Watch, the Legal Project, and the Washington Project.
His website, DanielPipes.org, offers an archive of his work and an opportunity to sign up to receive e-mails of his current writings. It is one of the Internet’s most accessed sources of specialized information on the Middle East and Muslim history.
Caroline Glick grew up in Chicago and made aliyah to Israel in 1991. She joined the Israel Defense Forces and served as an officer for five and a half years.
From 1994-1996, as an IDF captain, Ms. Glick served as Coordinator of Negotiations with the PLO in the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. In this capacity she was a core member of Israel’s negotiating team with the Palestinians.
After leaving the IDF at the end of 1996, Ms. Glick worked as the assistant to the Director General of the Israel Antiquities Authority, then returned to geo-politics serving as Assistant Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in 1997-1998.
From 1998-2000 she received a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard.
In the summer of 2000 Caroline returned to Israel and began writing at Makor Rishon newspaper. In March 2002, she accepted the position of Deputy Managing Editor of The Jerusalem Post.
Her writings, which have also been published in The Wall Street Journal, National Review, The Journal of International Secrutiy Affairs, The Boston Globe, The Washington Times, The Jewish Press, Frontpage Magazine and Moment Magazine and numerous online journals focus on the strategic and political issues challenging the Israel and the United States. She have appeared on MSNBC, FOX News, Sky News, Christian Broadcast Network, Israel Television channels 1, 2, 3 and 10. I am a frequent guest on talk radio shows in the US, Britain, Australia and Israel.
Ms. Glick is the senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Center for Security Policy in Washington. She routinely briefs senior administration officials and members of Congress on issues of joint Israeli-American concern.
In 2008, Caroline Glick published her first solo book – Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad was published by Gefen Publishers.
Robert Spencer is an American author and blogger best known for Criticism of Islam and research into Islamic terrorism and jihad. He has published twelve books, including two New York Times best-selling books. In 2003, with sponsorship by David Horowitz Freedom Center, he founded and has since directed Jihad Watch, a blog which he describes as containing “…news of the international jihad, [and] commentary…” which is dedicated to “bringing public attention to the role that jihad theology and ideology plays in the modern world, and to correcting popular misconceptions about the role of jihad and religion in modern-day conflicts”. He has also co-founded Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) and the Freedom Defense Initiative with blogger Pamela Geller, with whom he also co-authored a book, The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America.
Spencer is a member of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, the Uniat offshoot of the ancient Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch. It is a rite of the Catholic Church whose adherents are, according to Spencer, “mostly concentrated in Lebanon and Syria, also in Jordan and the Palestinian territories.” His grandparents were forced to emigrate from an area that is now part of Turkey because they wereChristians. According to a 2010 interview in New York magazine, Spencer’s father worked for the Voice of America during the Cold War, and in his younger days, Spencer himself worked at Revolution Books, a Communist bookstore in New York City founded by Robert Avakian
Spencer received a B.A. in 1983 and an M.A. in 1986 in religious studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His masters thesis was on Catholic history. He has said he has been studying Islamic theology, law, and history on his own since 1980. He worked in think tanks for more than 20 years, and in 2002–2003 did a stint as an adjunct fellow with the Free Congress Foundation, an arm of the Heritage Foundation. Spencer named Paul Weyrich, also a Melkite Catholic, as a mentor of his writings on Islam. Spencer writes, “Paul Weyrich taught me a great deal, by word and by example – about how to deal both personally and professionally with the slanders and smears that are a daily aspect of this work.” Spencer’s first book on Islam was published in 2002.
Isi Leibler is a veteran international Jewish leader with a distinguished record of contributions to the Jewish world and the cause of human rights. Born in Antwerp Belgium in 1934, Leibler was brought to Australia by his parents as an infant just before the outbreak of World War II.
Described in the new edition of Encyclopaedia Judaica as “unquestionably the dominant Jewish lay leader in Australia during the previous quarter century”, Leibler occupied the leadership of the Australian Jewish community (Executive Council of Australian Jewry) from 1978 and served four terms in this office, retiring in 1995.
In 1962, Mr. Leibler engineered a public campaign which resulted in Australia becoming the first country in the world to raise the plight of Soviet Jewry at the United Nations. In 1965, he published a book Soviet Jewry and Human Rights which had significant international repercussions and created a schism amongst the hitherto pro Soviet left.
Before the collapse of the Soviet Empire, Leibler made numerous visits to the Soviet Union and developed close associations with the leading Jewish dissidents and refuseniks, which he still maintains in Israel. The visits came to an end in 1980 with his arrest and expulsion from the Soviet Union.
Paradoxically, when Gorbachev liberalised the system, Leibler became the first international Jewish leader to be invited to the Soviet Union to evaluate the changes. He subsequently launched the first Jewish cultural centre in the Soviet Union – the Solomon Mykhoels Centre in Moscow, together with the first Hebrew Song Festivals in Moscow and Leningrad.
Following the liberation of Soviet Jewry, Mr Leibler focused his attention on the Asia-Pacific region. His meetings with Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao and Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen were recognised as major contributions towards accelerating the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and both countries. Leibler also convened a colloquium for leading Jewish and Chinese scholars in Beijing prior to diplomatic relations being instituted between Israel and China.
World Jewish Congress
Leibler occupied senior roles in the World Jewish Congress, the umbrella organisation representing global Jewry, including Chairman of the Governing Board and Senior Vice President. In 2004 Leibler confronted the leadership over the issue of governance, financial transparency, and financial irregularities. He called for an independent audit but was demonized by those seeking to cover up the issue and ultimately forced to leave the WJC. The issues were subsequently investigated by the New York Attorney General whose report vastly exceeded Leibler’s initial charges of irregularities. The WJC subsequently filed a $6 million libel against Leibler in the Israeli courts but were obliged to withdraw the action less than six months later. Leibler was fully vindicated with the election of Ronald Lauder as the new President and retirement of all those involved in the cover up and the scandals.
Publications and Writings
Leibler writes prolifically and is a weekly columnist to the Jerusalem Post enjoying a vast following throughout the world on the internet. He is also a regular columnist for Israel Hayom, the Israeli daily newspaper.
Leibler was one of the first to warn of the dangers of religious extremism, in particular radical religious nationalism. He has written extensively on this subject and his works have been translated into Hebrew, Russian, French and Spanish.
In recent times, he concentrated on the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora. His publication The Israel-Diaspora Identity Crisis: A Looming Disaster has been read and debated throughout the Jewish world. He now Chairs the Israel Diaspora Committee of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a leading Israeli think tank.
Leibler also published a study on the threat post Zionism poses to the soul of Israel, titled Is the Dream Ending? The publication was translated into Hebrew and widely distributed.
In Australia Leibler’s company, Jetset Tours, was the largest travel organization in the region with branches throughout the world. He was also a director one of Australia’s three national television companies. In Israel he has invested and acts as a consultant to a number of high tech companies.
Mr Leibler was awarded a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 1977, an AO (Officer of the Order of Australia) in 1989 and an honorary Doctor of Letters from Deakin University in 1990.
Bret Stephens (born November 21, 1973) is the foreign-affairs columnist of the Wall Street Journal and deputy editorial page editor, responsible for the editorial pages of the Journal‘s European and Asian editions. He was editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post in 2002–2004. Stephens won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. In awarding the prize, the Pulitzer board cited “his incisive columns on American foreign policy and domestic politics, often enlivened by a contrarian twist.”
Stephens began his career at the Journal as an op-ed editor in New York and later worked as an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal Europe in Brussels. In 2006, he took over the “Global View” column from George Melloan when he retired. In 2009, he was named deputy editorial page editor following the retirement of Melanie Kirkpatrick.
Between 2002 and 2004, he was editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post, a position he assumed at age 28 – the youngest person to hold that position. He is the winner of the 2008 Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism and the 2010 Bastiat Prize. In 2005, Stephens was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He is also a frequent contributor to Commentarymagazine.
Elliot Abrams is an American diplomat who served in foreign policy positions for Ronald Reagon and George W. Bush. He is currently a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Additionally, Abrams holds positions on the Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf (CPSG), Center for Security Policy & National Secretary Advisory Council, Committee for a Free Lebanon, and the Project for the New American Century. He also was the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington in 1996. Abrams is a current member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. He teaches foreign policy at Georgetown University and maintains a CFR blog called “Pressure Points” that is about the U.S. foreign policy and human rights.
During Bush’s first term, he served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director on the National Security Council for Near East and North African Affairs. At the start of Bush’s second term, Abrams was promoted to be his Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy, in charge of promoting Bush’s strategy of advancing democracy abroad.
Khaled Abu Toameh
Khaled Abu Toameh, a reporter for The Jerusalem Post who has covered Palestinian and Arab affairs for the past three decades, is the recipient of the 2014 Daniel Pearl Award.
The award, named for Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in 2002, recognizes courage and integrity in journalism.
“Khaled Abu Toameh has been telling us, with courage and objectivity, what life is like in the West Bank and Gaza,” said Judea Pearl, father of the dead journalist. “Rarely has a reporter been so successful in penetrating a conflict so complex and remaining consistently and definitively on the side of truth.”
Abu Toameh, an Arab Israeli, studied at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. In addition to the Post he has worked for many media outlets, including the BBC, Voice of America, Wall Street Journal and US News & World Report. He also serves as a distinguished fellow with the New York-based Gatestone Institute.
Khaled Abu Toameh was born in the West Bank city of Tulkarem to an Israeli Arab father and a Palestinian Arab mother. He grew up in the Arab-Israeli town Baqa al-Gharbiyye. He received a B.A. in English literature from the Hebrew Universityand lives in Jerusalem with his wife and children.
Khaled Abu Toameh started working at the official Palestinian daily Al-Fajr where he eventually became one of the editors, but he left citing the propaganda and lack of journalistic freedom in the Palestinian media. He subsequently worked as a senior reporter for The Jerusalem Report.
Since 2002 Abu Toameh reports for the Jerusalem Post on Arab affairs. He was the first journalist to report on the sex scandal that rocked the Palestinian Authority in early 2010 and which led to the dismissal of Rafiq Husseini, the Palestinian President’s Mahmoud Abbas chief of staff. The scandal was revealed by former Palestinian intelligence official Fahmi Shabaneh in an exclusive interview with Abu Toameh in The Jerusalem Post.
Since 1989 he has been a producer and consultant for NBC News He has produced several documentaries on the Palestinians for the BBC, Channel 4, Australian, Danish and Swedish television, including ones that exposed the connection between Yasser Arafat and payments to the armed wing of Fatah, as well as the financial corruption within the Palestinian Authority.
Abu Toameh has served as a lecturer with the University of Minnesota – School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He has also lectured at the London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), as well as the London-based think tank Chatham House.
Abu Toameh has spoken at the House of Commons of the United Kingdom by invitation. He was a keynote speaker at the 2009 annual conference of the Canadian Association of Journalists in Vancouver. He has spoken on the situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and prospects for peace in the Middle East at university campuses throughout the U.S. and Canada. A series of his talks have been sponsored by StandWithUs, and he spoke at their annual conference in Los Angeles in 2008.
In August 2011 Abu Toameh was invited to speak at the Sydney Institute in Australia on the challenge of Palestinian state-building. Two days later he also gave a talk on “Human rights challenges in the Palestinian territories” at a seminar organized by The Australian Human Rights Centre.
Abu Toameh is a staunch defender of freedom of speech and has criticized the Palestinian Authority for arresting and harassing Palestinian journalists in the West Bank. He said it has become impossible for an independent Arab journalists to work freely in the Palestinian-controlled territories of the West Bank.
In 2009, Toameh declared that “Israel is a wonderful place to live and we are happy to be there. Israel is a free and open country. If I were given the choice, I would rather live in Israel as a second class citizen than as a first class citizen in Cairo, Gaza, Amman or Ramallah.” In December 2011 Abu Toameh met in Jerusalem with Georgia State Elected Officials and briefed them on the current developments in the Middle East and the peace process.
In the Durban Review Conference, Toameh criticized Israeli Arab Knesset members for supporting extremism and calling Israel a “state of apartheid” rather than fighting for the rights of Arab citizens of Israel:
And then they come here to tell us that Israel is a state of apartheid? Excuse me. What kind of hypocrisy is this? What then are you doing in the Knesset? If you are living in an apartheid system, why were you allowed, as an Arab, to run in the election? What are you talking about? We do have problems as Arabs with the establishment here. But to come and say that Israel is an apartheid state is a big exaggeration. I am not here to defend Israel, but I think that Knesset members like this gentleman are doing huge damage to the cause of Israeli Arabs. I want to see the Knesset member sitting in the Knesset, in Jerusalem, and fighting for the rights of Arabs over there.
In response, Ali Kazak, former PLO ambassador to Australia, called Toameh a “traitor.”
Abu Toameh is not only condemned but is often threatened. He says however that more threats are coming from outside the Middle East than from within the Palestinian Authority and that rather uniquely those that threaten him do not not question his reporting but rather want him to shut up.
In an article published in November 2011, Khaled Abu Toameh criticized the current leadership of Israel’s Arab citizens for damaging relations between Jews and Arabs inside the Jewish state. Abu Toameh has also written against the mistreatment of Palestinians by Arab governments, which he accused of imposing “apartheid” against Palestinians, especially in Lebanon.
Abu Toameh shared Israel Media Watch’s 2010 award for media criticism with the satirical Israeli website Latma.
On May 10, 2011 Khaled Abu Toameh won the Hudson Institute Award for Courage in Journalism.
Canada’s Toronto Sun columnist Salim Mansur praised Abu Toameh for his courage and knowledge of the politics of the Arab world.
Abu Toameh is the 2013 recipient of the Emet award given by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).
Daniel Greenfield is a blogger and columnist born in Israel and living in New York City. He is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a contributing editor at Family Security Matters.
His original biweekly column appears at Front Page Magazine and his blog articles regularly appear at Family Security Matters, the Jewish Press, Times of Israel, Act for America and Right Side News, as well as daily at the Canada Free Press and a number of other outlets. He has a column titled Western Front at Israel National News and has op eds have also appeared in the New York Sun, the Jewish Press and at FOX Nation.
He was named one of the Jewish Press’ Most Worthwhile Blogs from 2006-2011 and his writing has been cited by Rush Limbaugh, Melanie Philips, Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes, Judith Klinghoffer, John Podhoretz, Jeff Jacoby and Michelle Malkin, among others.
Investigative pieces have included the story of Obama and Pfleger, which were the first to break months before the mainstream media. He also detailed for the first time many of Obama’s radical clergy ties, including Farrakhan supporters, as well as exposing Rabbis for Obama as being a front group for Pro-Hamas appeasement supporters.
He revealed that the Vice-President of the Center for American Progress and the new senior adviser for Nancy Pelosi had participated in terrorist fundraising and broke the story of how Ron Paul and Barney Frank had tried to put Soros’ associates in charge of destroying America’s military.
He has investigated the billionaires funding the Anti-Israel left, the Islamist misogyny, in the new French government, Iran’s meth empire , the coverup of Islamic genocide in Nigeria and the lost history of Harlem’s Black Hitler. He broke the story of the Secretary of State recognizing a terrorist propagandist with an award as one of the International Women of Courage and exposed the falsehoods in Prince of Slaves, a Muslim propaganda film aired on PBS. He investigated the ties of the Durham torture Dems to Anti-Israel and Pro-Saddam activism and the Islamist ties of Al Queda’s Congressman.
The scope of his writing covers everything from domestic American politics to creeping Islamism in Scotland and how foreign aid makes its way into the hands of terrorists to white aborigines in Australia, Islamist Imams in Libya, flogging in the Maldives and the hunt for witches in the Muslim world.
He writes a daily blog column on issues involving Islamic Terrorism, Israeli and American politics and Europe’s own clash of civilizations.
Douglas Murray is the Associate Director at the Henry Jackson Society, having joined in April 2011. He previously founded the Centre for Social Cohesion, a think tank studying extremism and terrorism in the UK. A bestselling author and award-winning political commentator, Douglas is a columnist for Standpoint and writes frequently for a variety of other publications, including the Spectator and Wall Street Journal. A prolific debater, Douglas has spoken on a variety of prominent platforms, including at the British and European Parliaments and the White House. He has authored books on neo-conservatism, terrorism and national security as well as on freedom of speech. His latest book, Bloody Sunday: Truths, Lies and the Saville Inquiry, was published in November 2011.
See all of Douglas Murray’s work
Media Experience: A variety of platforms, including BBC, Question Time and Newsnight; Sky News; Al-Jazeera; Fox News
Expertise: UK and US Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Middle East (specifically Israel and Iran), National Security and defense, US and UK foreign policy, Northern Ireland, domestic radicalization, multiculturalism.
Michael Curtis is a regular contributor to The Commentator, author of “Jews, Antisemitism, and the Middle East”, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in political science at Rutgers University. Curtis is the author of 30 books. We highly recommend his forthcoming book, Should Israel Exist? A sovereign nation under assault by the international community.
Melanie Phillips is a British journalist, author, publisher, and prominent right-wing voice in the British media. She started on the left of the political spectrum, writing for The Guardian and New Statesman. During the 1990s she moved to the right, and currently writes for the Daily Mail, covering political and social issues from a social conservative perspective. Phillips defines herself as a liberal who has “been mugged by reality”.
Phillips has often appeared as a panellist on the BBC Radio programme The Moral Maze and BBC One‘s Question Time. She has written a number of books, including her memoir Guardian Angel: My Story, My Britain. She was awarded the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 1996, while she was writing for
Geert Wilders, born 6 September 1963, is a Dutch politician and the founder and leader of the Party for Freedom , the fourth-largest political party in the Netherlands. Wilders is the Parliamentary group leader of his party in the Dutch House of Representatives. In the formation in 2010 of the current Rutte cabinet, aminority cabinet of VVD and CDA, he actively participated in the negotiations, resulting in a “support agreement” (gedoogakkoord) between the PVV and these parties, but withdrew his support in April 2012, citing disagreements with the cabinet on proposed budget cuts. Wilders is best known for his criticism of Islam, summing up his views by saying, “I don’t hate Muslims, I hate Islam”. Wilders’ views regarding Islam have made him a controversial figure in the Netherlands and abroad.
Raised a Roman Catholic, Wilders left the church at his coming of age. His travels to Israel as a young adult, as well as to neighbouring Arab countries, helped form his political views. Wilders worked as a speechwriter for the conservative-liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie – VVD), and later served as parliamentary assistant to party leader Frits Bolkestein from 1990 to 1998. He was elected to the Utrecht city council in 1996, and later to the House of Representatives. Citing irreconcilable differences over the party’s position on the accession of Turkey to the European Union, he left the VVD in 2004 to form his own party, the Party for Freedom.
Wilders has campaigned to stop what he views as the “Islamisation of the Netherlands”. He compares the Quran with Mein Kampf and has campaigned to have the book banned in the Netherlands. He advocates ending immigration from Muslim countries, and supports banning the construction of new mosques. Wilders was a speaker at the Facing Jihad Conference held in Jerusalem in 2008, which discussed the dangers of jihad, and has called for a hard line against what he called the “street terror” exerted by minorities in Dutch cities. His controversial 2008 film about his views on Islam,Fitna, received international attention. He has been described in the media as populist and labeled far-right, though this is disputed by other observers. Wilders, who has refused to align himself with European far-right leaders such as Jean-Marie Le Pen and Jörg Haider, views himself as a right-wing liberal and has expressed concern of being “linked with the wrong rightist fascist groups.”
Wilders was banned from entering the United Kingdom between 12 February 2009 and 13 October 2009 by the Labour government, the Home Office saying his presence would be a “threat to one of the fundamental interests of society”. The ban was overturned after Wilders appealed and he visited the UK in October 2009, and again in March 2010 to show his film. In January 2009, theAmsterdam Court of Appeal ordered Wilders’ prosecution for “incitement to hatred and discrimination“. Wilders was acquitted of these charges on 23 June 2011.
Wilders was born in the city of Venlo, in the southeast Netherlands. He is the youngest of four children, and was raised Catholic. He was born to a Dutch father and a Dutch mother born in the Dutch East Indies, of Dutch, Frisian, German and Dutch-Indonesian descent or Indo heritage through his mother’s side. His father worked as a manager for the printing and copying manufacturing company Océ. His father left the area to avoid the Nazis and became so traumatised from the experience that he refused to physically enter Germany even forty years later.
Wilders received his secondary education at the Mavo and Havo middle school and high school in Venlo. Reflecting passions that came to the fore later in his career, Wilders took a course in health insurance at the Stichting Opleiding Sociale Verzekeringen in Amsterdam and earned several law certificates at the Dutch Open University.
Wilders’ goal after he graduated from secondary school was to see the world. Because he did not have enough money to travel to Australia, his preferred destination, he went to Israel instead. For several years he volunteered in a moshav and worked for several firms, becoming in his own words “a true friend of Israel”. With the money he saved, he travelled to the neighbouring Arab countries, and was moved by the lack of democracy in the region. When he returned to the Netherlands, he retained Israeli ideas about counter-terrorism and a “special feeling of solidarity” for the country.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA), and a professor at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya, Israel. He is also editor of the journal ‘Turkish Studies’. His latest book, Israel: An Introduction, has just been published by Yale University Press. Other recent books include The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). He writes regularly and is the editor of the GLORIA center website and of his blog, Rubin Reports. He is also Middle East editor and a columnist at PJMedia.
Rubin has been a guest on This Week with David Brinkley, Nightline, Face the Nation, The MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour, The Larry King Show, and others on CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. Among the newspapers around the world for which he has written are La Vanguardia in Spain, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in Germany; The National Post and The Globe and Mail in Canada; La Opinión, Liberal Forum, and Limes in Italy; The Age, The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Australian Financial Review in Australia; Zaman, Referans, and Radikal in Turkey; and The Pioneer in India. Rubin is a frequent contributor to the Middle East column in The Jerusalem Post.
Senior Research Fellow at the GLORIA Center
Dr. Jonathan Spyer is senior research fellow at the GLORIA Center and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. He is the author of The Transforming Fire: The Rise of the Israel-Islamist Conflict (Continuum, 2010) and a columnist at the Jerusalem Post newspaper. Spyer holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics and a Master’s Degree in Middle East Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.
Mark Steyn (born December 8, 1959) is a Canadian-born writer, conservative-leaning political commentator, and cultural critic He has written five books, including America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It, a New York Times bestseller.
Steyn has commented on divisions between the Western world and the Islamic World. He criticizes the tolerance of what he calls “Islamic cultural intolerance.” Steyn argues that multiculturalism only requires feeling good about other cultures and is “fundamentally a fraud … subliminally accepted on that basis.”In Jewish World Review, Steyn argues “Multiculturalism means that the worst attributes of Muslim culture — the subjugation of women — combine with the worst attributes of Western culture — licence and self-gratification.” He states, “I am not a racist, only a culturist. I believe Western culture — rule of law, universal suffrage — is preferable to Arab culture.”
Efraim Karsh is director of the Middle East Forum, editor of the Middle East Quarterly, and Professor of Middle East and Mediterranean Studies at King’s College London.
Born and raised in Israel, Mr. Karsh earned his undergraduate degree in Arabic language and literature and modern Middle Eastern history from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and his graduate and doctoral degrees in international relations from Tel Aviv University. After acquiring his first academic degree, he served for seven years as an intelligence officer in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), where he attained the rank of major.
Prior to coming to King’s in 1989, Mr. Karsh held various academic posts at Columbia University, the Sorbonne, the London School of Economics, Helsinki University, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies in Washington D.C., and the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel-Aviv University. In 2003 he was the first Nahshon Visiting Professor in Israel Studies at Harvard.
Mr. Karsh has published extensively on the Middle East, strategic and military affairs, and European neutrality. He is the author of fifteen books, including Palestine Betrayed(Yale); Islamic Imperialism: A History (Yale); Empires of the Sand: the Struggle for Mastery in the Middle East 1798-1923(Harvard); Fabricating Israeli History: The “New Historians” (Routledge); The Gulf Conflict 1990-1991(Princeton); Saddam Hussein (Free Press); Arafat’s War (Grove); and Neutrality and Small States(Routledge).
Mr. Karsh has appeared as a commentator on all the main British and American television networks and has contributed over 100 articles to leading newspapers and magazines, including Commentary,The Daily Telegraph, The International Herald Tribune, The London Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
He has served on many academic and professional boards; has acted as referee for numerous scholarly journals, publishers, and grant awarding organizations; has consulted the British Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as well as national and international economic companies/organizations; and has briefed several parliamentary committees. A recent CENTCOM directory of Centers of Excellence on the Middle East ranked Mr. Karsh as the fifth highly quoted academic among 20 top published authors on the Middle East, with his articles quoted three times as often as the best of the four non-American scholars on the list.
He is founding editor of the scholarly journal Israel Affairs, now in its sixteenth year, and founding general editor of a Routledge book series on Israeli History, Politics and Society.
Michael B. Oren (born 1955) is an American-born Israeli historian, author, and the Israeli Ambassador to the United States. He has written books, articles, and essays on Middle Eastern history, and is the author of the New York Times best-selling Power, Faith and Fantasy and Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East, which won the Los Angeles Times History Book of the Year Award and the National Jewish Book Award. Oren has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Yale, and Georgetown universities in the United States and at Tel Aviv and Hebrew universities in Israel. He was a Distinguished Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and a contributing editor to The New Republic. The Forward named Oren one of the five most influential American Jews and The Jerusalem Post listed him as one of the world’s ten most influential Jews.
On July 5, 2013, he announced that he would be vacating his post as Ambassador to the United States in fall 2013.
Oren was born Michael Scott Bornstein in upstate New York, the son of Marilyn (née Goldstein), a marriage and family therapist, and Lester Milton Bornstein, a hospital director. His father was an officer in the U.S. Army who took part in the D-Day invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge in 1944 and participated in the Korean War. Oren grew up in West Orange, New Jersey, in a Conservative Jewish household, where he attended West Orange Mountain High School. As the only Jewish boy in a heavily Catholic neighborhood, he says he experienced antisemitism. In his youth, he was an activist in Zionist and Jewish youth groups such as United Synagogue Youth. A meeting with then-Israeli ambassador to the United States, Yitzhak Rabin, strengthened Oren’s decision to move to Israel. He won two gold medals at the 1977 Maccabiah Games in rowing, a sport in which he is still active. At age 15, he made his first trip to Israel with youth movement Habonim Dror, working on Kibbutz Gan Shmuel. In 1973, Oren won first prize in the PBS National Young Filmmaker’s contest for the film, Comrades in Arms, which he wrote and directed. In the summer of 1976, he worked as gofer for Orson Welles.
In 1977, Oren completed his undergraduate degree from Columbia College. He continued his studies at Columbia, receiving a Masters in International Affairs in 1978 from the School of International and Public Affairs, where he was an International Fellow and a DACOR Fellow. After college, he spent a year as an adviser to the Israeli delegation to the United Nations. In 1979, Oren emigrated to Israel. A few years later, Oren returned to the United States to continue his education, studying at Princeton University. In 1986, he earned an MA and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton.
In 1982, he married Sally Edelstein, who had been born in San Francisco and had immigrated to Israel in 1981. They have three children.
In 1979, Oren began his military service in the Israel Defense Forces. He served as a paratrooper in the 1982 Lebanon War. His unit was caught in a Syrian ambush on the second day of the war. His commander was killed and nearly everyone was wounded. He then joined a unit stationed in Sidon. A day after his wedding, in the summer of 1982, Oren returned to Beirut.
Following his regular military service, Oren volunteered to work with the Zionist underground in the Soviet Union. Sent to make contact with Zionist groups in the Ukraine, he was repeatedly arrested by the KGB.
During the 1991 Gulf War he was Israeli liaison officer to the United States Sixth Fleet. He was called up for reserve duty for the 2005 Gaza disengagement, and participated in the evacuation of settlements. He served as an officer in the IDF Spokesman’s Office during the 2006 Lebanon War. and the 2008-2009 Gaza War.
In February, 2009, he delivered a lecture at Georgetown University on “The Gaza Operation: A Personal and Historical Perspective”. The Today Show broadcast a special segment, “The Oren Family at War.”.
In the 1980s and early 1990s, Oren taught at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University. In 1995, during the government of Yitzhak Rabin, Oren served as an advisor in inter-religious affairs at the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
In 2006, Oren was a visiting professor at both Harvard University and Yale University, returning to Yale in 2007. Beginning in 2008, he became a visiting professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service for the 2008–09 academic year as part of the faculty associated with the Program for Jewish Civilization.
President George W. Bush appointed Oren to serve on the honorary delegation to accompany him to Jerusalem for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel in May 2008.
On May 3, 2009, Oren was appointed as ambassador of Israel to the United States by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, succeeding Sallai Meridor. Ambassador Oren had to give up his United States citizenship in order to assume this post.
Oren strongly condemned the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict report, which determined Israel was guilty of possible war crimes. In an October 2009 op-ed in The New Republic, he stated, “The Goldstone Report goes further than Ahmadinejad and the Holocaust deniers by stripping the Jews not only of the ability and the need but of the right to defend themselves.”
In October 2009, Oren declined an invitation to attend a conference hosted by J Street, an Israel advocacy group, which has been critical of the Israel government’s foreign policy. Oren called J Street “a unique problem” and that “it’s significantly out of the mainstream.” However, the two have since come to a more congenial understanding, with Oren stating that “J Street has now come and supported Congressman [Howard] Berman’s Iran sanction bill; it has condemned the Goldstone Report; it has denounced the British court’s decision to try Tzipi Livni for war crimes, which puts J Street much more into the mainstream.”
Oren has initiated Israel outreach events for Irish Americans, Latino and LGBT leadership, and the Chinese embassy. He hosted the Israeli embassy’s first Iftar dinner.
On February 8, 2010, Oren spoke at the University of California, Irvine. During his speech Oren was interrupted by 11 protesters who shouted, “Michael Oren, propagating murder is not an expression of free speech”, and “How many Palestinians did you kill?” The outburst and subsequent arrest of the protesters sparked controversy over whether the protesters were exercising free speech, as they claimed they were, or whether it was a suppression of free speech (i.e., of the right of Oren and his audience to a free exchange of ideas), as university officials claimed. On September 23, 2011, a jury convicted 10 Muslim students, 7 from UC Irvine and 3 from UC Riverside, of disrupting Oren’s February 2010 speech. The students were sentenced to 56 hours of community service and three years of informal probation, which could be lessened to one year if the community service is completed by the end of January 2012.
Oren has continued to lecture at universities across the United States, including Tufts University, George Washington University, Harvard University, Emory University, University of California, Davis, University of Chicago, Northeastern University, Northwestern University, Penn State, Rice University, Dickinson College, Florida International University, Columbia University, University of Maryland, American University, the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California and the United States Naval Academy.
Following the Gaza flotilla raid in May 2010, Oren wrote an op-ed in The New York Times, “An Assault, Cloaked in Peace”, in which he accused the organizers of the flotilla of attempting to “create a provocation” in order to “put international pressure on Israel to drop the Gaza embargo”. He further made the claim that the Mavi Marmara was “a vessel too large to be neutralized by technical means”.
Oren attempted to influence a critical 2012 CBS report by Bob Simon about Palestinian Christians in Israel, with some calling his interference an attempt to silence the American media. Oren responded that at no point had he tried to prevent the 60 Minutes report rather that he offered suggestions for balancing the segment.
On July 5, 2013, he announced that he would be vacating his post as ambassador to the United States in fall 2013. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, insiders say that Oren wanted to keep his job, but was removed because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s senior advisor Ron Dermer wanted the envoy post.
Oren has received four honorary doctorates and has delivered commencement speeches at Brandeis, Monmouth University, and Yeshiva University. In 2011, he received the Outstanding Achievers with Learning Disabilities Award from the Lab School of Washington, D.C. He delivered the keynote address at 2012 Equality Forum on LGBT rights in Israel.
Oren has written many articles commenting on current political issues. Before assuming his diplomatic post, he published frequently in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and The New Republic, where he was a contributing editor. He appeared on the Charlie Rose (talk show), The Daily Show, the Today Show, and he John Batchelor Show. As ambassador, he has published nearly forty op-eds and has given dozens of television interviews, including Bill Maher, Colbert Report, The View, and The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.
His two full-length articles, Israel: The Ultimate Ally and Israel’s Resilient Democracy, were published in Foreign Policy magazine.
Middle East history
Power, Faith and Fantasy, a history of American involvement in the Middle East, was published by Norton and quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Power, Faith and Fantasy earned positive reviews from Newsweek, The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Willamette Week.
Oren’s Six Days of War is an historical account of the events of the Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors. The book was widely praised by critics and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History and the National Jewish Book Award. It spent seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. The New York Times Book Review wrote positively of Six Days of War, as did the Washington Post, which called it “not only the best book so far written on the Six Day War, it is likely to remain the best”. Oren’s Ph.D. thesis, “The Origins of the Second Arab-Israel War: Israel, Egypt, and the Great Powers, 1952-1956,” was published in 1992.
Oren has written two works of fiction. Sand Devil, published in 2000, is a trilogy of novellas set in the Negev desert. Reunion, based on his father’s stories from World War II, appeared in 2004.
Mordechai Kedar (born 1952 in Tel Aviv) is an Israeli scholar of Arabic literature and a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University. He holds the Ph.D. from Bar-Ilan University.
Kedar is an academic expert on the Israeli Arab population. He served for twenty-five years in IDF Military Intelligence, where he specialized in Islamic groups, the political discourse of Arab countries, the Arabic press and mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena.The Los Angeles Times‘ Edmund Sanders described him as “one of the few Arabic-speaking Israeli pundits seen on Arabic satellite channels defending Israel”.
The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow
Raheel Raza is President of The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, author of the book Their Jihad – Not My Jihad, award winning journalist, public speaker, activist for human rights, gender equality and dignity in diversity. She is recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for service to Canada.
Raheel bridges the gap between East and West, promoting cultural and religious diversity for which she has appeared in print and on TV and radio numerous times.
Raheel has been invited to speak locally at places of worship, the private sector, the Justice Department, School Boards and government institutions. Internationally she has addressed audiences at Universities in USA including Harvard & Columbia, in UK at Oxford and Cambridge, other forums across Australia and Europe and the Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem.
In her pursuit for human rights, Raheel is accredited with United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva through The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU). She has received many awards for her work on women’s equality including the City of Toronto’s Constance Hamilton award and the Urban Hero award. She is the first Muslim woman in Canada to lead mixed gender prayers.
Raheel has made a documentary film called “Whose Sharia is it anyway?” dealing with the sharia debate in Ontario, Canada. She runs a Forum for Learning for youth to educate them about the dangers of radicalization and terrorism, and continues to write and speak about the subject.
Raheel is Distinguished Senior Fellow with The Gatestone Institute. She also sits on the Advisory Board of The Mosaic Institute and The ACTV Foundation (The Alliance of Canadian Terror Victims).