At times of heightened tension in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it’s important to take the time to delve into the context and multiple factors that led to the recent escalations.
Our expert panel will take us through what’s been happening in the region to understand more. We will be joined by Dr Thabet Abu Rass (Abraham Initiatives), Yaakov Katz (Jerusalem Post), Noa Landau (Haaretz) and the panel will be chaired by Ittay Flescher (Plus61J Media).
Dr. Thabet Abu Ras
Dr. Thabet Abu Ras is an expert in Arab politics in Israel, and a prominent voice in promoting the politics of engagement and Jewish-Arab political partnership.
Dr. Abu Ras joined the Abraham Initiatives in 2014 as the co-Executive Director and has significantly strengthened the organization's practical and strategic partnerships with key public and political leaders in Arab society and advocated programs and directives at the highest levels of government. His expert knowledge, strategic positioning and experience in the field have directly impacted on the breadth, programmatic impact and direction of the organization’s work, transforming the landscape of Jewish-Arab relations in Israel. Dr. Abu Ras took a central role in the process of creating the "Future Visions" of Arab citizens of Israel, and co-authored three of the future vision documents which have provided a road map for the status, engagement and demands of Arab society in Israel. Dr. Abu Ras continues to publish articles regularly in the Hebrew and Arabic press.
From 2006 to 2008, Dr. Abu Ras served on Adalah’s Board of Directors, and in 2010 became the director of their Negev office. From 2007 to 2009, he was the codirector of the NGO “New Horizon”
– The ArabJewish Center for Dialogue and a Shared Society; from 2003 to 2005, he served as the director of Shatil’s office in Be'er Sheva, and from 2005 to 2007, he directed a development project for the recently recognized Bedouin villages in the Negev. He is also the co-founder of AEJI, the Association of Environmental Justice in Israel. Dr. Abu Ras sits on the general secretariat of "A Land for All" Israeli-Palestinian peace movement, and has served as co-chair of the board of the Hand In Hand for schools in Israel.
Dr. Abu Ras obtained his PhD in the field of Regional Development & Middle East Studies from the University of Arizona. He is a political geographer and has taught courses at Ben Gurion University and Sapir College on ethnic relations, land, planning and regional development.
He lives in Qalansuwa and is married with two children, and one grandson.
Yaakov Katz is Editor-in-Chief of The Jerusalem Post and author of “Shadow Strike – Inside Israel’s Secret Mission to Eliminate Syrian Nuclear Power.”
He is also the co-author of "Weapon Wizards - How Israel Became a High-Tech Military Superpower” and “Israel vs. Iran: The Shadow War”. “Weapon Wizards” has been published in English, Hebrew, Czech, Polish and Mandarin.
Yaakov served for close to a decade as the paper's military reporter and defense analyst and was a lecturer at Harvard University where he taught an advanced course in journalism. He also served as Israel correspondent for Jane’s Defence Weekly.
Prior to taking up the role of Editor-in-Chief, Yaakov served for two years as a senior policy adviser to Israel’s Minister of Economy and Minister of Diaspora Affairs.
In 2013, Yaakov was one of 12 international fellows to spend a year at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.
Originally from Chicago, Yaakov has a law degree from Bar Ilan University. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and four children.
Noa Landau is a Haaretz journalist and a member of the newspaper’s editorial board. She is the founder of “Haaretz 21,” a new organizational project aimed at amplifying underrepresented voices and stories of Arab communities in Israel. Prior to this she served as a reporter, head of the news department and editor of Haaretz’s English edition. Before joining Haaretz in 2009, Landau worked as a journalist for Galei-Tzahal, Channel 10 and Maariv. She is also an advisory board member and alumni of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford.
Ittay Flescher (Chair)
Ittay Flescher is the Education Director at Kids4Peace Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Correspondent for Plus61J Media from Australia. He regularly lectures at JW3.