Itamar Rabinovich, who served as Israel’s ambassador to the United States from 1993 to 1996, will deliver “Israel and the New, New Middle East,” on Tues., April 1, 8 p.m. at New York University (19 West 4th Street, Room 101 [at Mercer Street]). The lecture, sponsored by NYU’s Taub Center for Israel Studies and NYU’s Vice Provost for Globalization and Multicultural Affairs, is free and open to the public. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 212.998.8981. Subways: 6 (Astor Place); A, B, C, D, E, F, V (West 4th Street); R (8th Street).
Reporters interested in attending the event should contact James Devitt, NYU’s Office of Public Affairs, at 212.998.6808 or email@example.com.
The notion of a “new” Middle East, which came to fruition in the 1990s, signified a vision or expectation of a positive transformation in the region. The optimism was generated by the end of the Cold War and America’s triumph in the first Gulf War. But this perspective has since been replaced by the gloomy mood of the current decade. Profound changes—the rise of Iranian power, the return of an Islamist Turkey to an active role in the Middle East, the fundamentalist challenge, the decline of U.S. prestige and influence, and the Arab-Israeli stalemate—are shaping a “new, new” Middle East. Observers contend developments call for fresh Israeli thinking about Israel’s place and role in the region and in the international arena. The impending end of the Bush presidency and the U.S. presidential elections give these developments a particular edge. Rabinovich, chief negotiator with Syria under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, will address these and other matters in his April 1 lecture.
Rabinovich served as the president of Tel Aviv University from 1999 to 2007. He is the author of several books, including Syria Under the Ba’ath; The War for Lebanon; The Road Not Taken: Early Arab-Israeli Negotiations; The Brink of Peace: Israel and Syria; and Waging Peace: Israel and the Arabs at the End of the Century. Rabinovich is currently a Global Distinguished Professor at NYU’s Taub Center for Israel Studies.