ISU Headlines

ISU to host discussion about the future of the Middle East

Posted March 13, 2009

The Idaho State University Middle East Studies Club and the ISU history department will host a discussion of the current circumstances in the Middle East, focusing on relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors, Tuesday, March 17, from noon to 1 p.m. in the North Fork Room of the Pond Student  Union.

The discussion will examine how present day conflicts may be resolved. A major focus will be on the recent crisis in the Gaza Strip, and prospects for negotiations, both  between rival Palestinian parties, as well as between the Palestinians and Israelis. Consideration will be given to the complex political realities in Israel following recent elections, and to developments in Syria and Egypt.   

A second topic will be the role of Iran, and particularly the controversy over its intentions and abilities in the area of nuclear weapons. This topic will be discussed in light of nuclear weapons programs in other Middle East countries, and particularly Libya, where an end to such a program was negotiated in 2003.

A brief overview of the situation will be presented by Allan Christelow, Ph.D., ISU history professor.  There also will be comments presented by Mohanad Elabed, a Palestinian American student. The discussion will then be opened up to questions and comments from the audience.

It is recognized that conflicts in the Middle East are intense and often lend themselves to strident polemics. The organizers of this discussion welcome comments from a wide range of points of view. The event will also call attention to opportunities for the study of Middle East cultures and politics, and of Middle East languages that are available to ISU students.

For more information, contact Christelow at (208) 232-2542 or chrialla@isu.edu.