Dartmouth Experts Discuss Israel-Hamas War

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Faculty from Middle Eastern and Jewish Studies extend forums beyond campus.

Susannah Heschel and Tarek El-Ariss
Jewish Studies Chair Susannah Heschel and Middle Eastern Studies Chair Tarek El-Ariss are participating in forums reaching beyond the Dartmouth campus. (Photos by Eli Burakian ’00)

Two upcoming events will give members of the public the opportunity to learn about the war between Israel and Hamas from Dartmouth experts from Jewish Studies and the Middle Eastern Studies Program—part of an ongoing effort by faculty experts to foster understanding about the conflict.

On Tuesday, Nov. 28, Tarek El-Ariss, chair of Middle Eastern Studies, and Susannah Heschel, chair of Jewish Studies, will participate in a Syracuse University-sponsored event on Navigating Civil Dialogue in the Context of the War in the Middle East. The Zoom event begins at 10:30 a.m. and is open to the Syracuse community.

At 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, El-Ariss will lead an online discussion via Zoom on the historical and political context driving the conflict. Registration is required to participate in the event, which is part of the New Hampshire Humanities Humanities@Home program.

Faculty efforts to provide context and understanding of the war in the Middle East began almost immediately in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas-led terrorist attacks in Israel and the subsequent Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip.

On Oct. 10 and 12, program faculty led two joint forums on the conflict, featuring Senior Lecturer Ezzedine Fishere, an Egyptian author and academic who has written extensively on the region; HeschelJonathan Smolin, a Middle Eastern Studies professor; and Visiting Professor Bernard Avishai. El-Ariss helped organize the events and participated in the livestreams.

The forums—and the way in which the faculty from both programs have modeled collaborative dialogue on challenging issues—have drawn national attention, including, recently, from National Public Radio.

Earlier this month, Avishai and Fishere participated in an online discussion sponsored by the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace at the University of Maryland on how campus communities can better respond to global conflicts within the context of their academic missions.

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