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Raphael Israeli

Prof. Israeli Points Out
What’s Good for the Goose

Story and Photo by Tim Boxer

ENVY the Hebrew University students at Raphael Israeli’s classes in Islamic, Middle Eastern and Chinese history. He intersperses his lectures with humorous anecdotes to carry across a point –just for fun.

I attended his lecture on Islamic fundamentalism at the Annual Leadership Educational Forum (ALEF) held by American Friends of the Hebrew University at the Marriott Marquis.

The ringing of someone’s cell phone reminded the professor of the definition of paradise: When you have a telephone, that’s useful. Two phones, that’s luxury. Three phones, that’s extravagance. No phones – that is paradise.

Israeli, who coined the term “Islamikaze” to describe Arab suicide bombers, said Jews should seek reciprocity in the peace process.

The mistake Israelis made at Oslo, he said, was that “our negotiators were amateurish – they forgot to insist on mutual recognition.”

The Arabs recognized the existence of the state of Israel but not Zionism, which they labeled “racism.”

“If we recognize the PLO and acknowledge their right to self-determination,” Israeli said, “then they should recognize Israel and the Jewish right to self-determination, which is Zionism.”

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