“The Politics of Israel, Terrorism, and Pathways to Peace”

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Date(s) - 03/22/2013
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Room 9.64

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Please join us for our next seminar that will be held on Friday, March 22, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm in Room 9.64 of the new building of John Jay College.  You can enter on Tenth Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets and walk through, or on 59th Street halfway between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues.  The ninth floor conference room is at the far west side of the building. 

Our guest is Carlo Strenger, who will present on contemporary Israeli politics, the sources of violence, and the pathways to peace.  Strenger is a protean figure in Israel today and a well-known psychologist, philosopher, existential psychoanalyst and public intellectual. He is Chair of the Clinical Graduate Program at the Department of Psychology of Tel Aviv University.

Strenger has been publicly involved in Israeli politics and culture since the late 1990s.  For years he had a weekly radio talk show, and in the 2003 elections he was on the strategy team of the Labor party. He joined the Permanent Monitoring Panel on Terrorism of the World Federation of Scientists in 2004 and has written academic analyses of the Middle Eastern Conflict from the point of view of Existential Psychology.

The German publisher Suhrkamp has published his psychopolitical analysis of Israeli politics and society, Israel, Einführung in ein schwieriges Land (Israel, Introduction to a difficult Country), and Strenger has extensive interviews on Israeli politics in the German media. Strenger’s central claim is that Israel must be understood as a belated country that is currently in a culture war about its identity, with central issues like the relation of religion and state as yet unsolved. He also analyzes the complex, guilt-ridden relation between Europe and Israel, and claims that the Middle Eastern conflict is, among others, intractable because of the exclusive claim of monotheistic religions to absolute truth. Since 2007 Carlo Strenger has been a regular contributor to Israel’s leading liberal Newspaper Haaretz, on which he also runs his Blog Strenger than Fiction.  He also publishes regularly in Britain’s The Guardian and occasionally in other venues like The New York Times and blogs on the Huffington Post.

He is the author of Between Hermeneutics and Science that argued psychoanalysis had insufficient evidential foundation because of its almost exclusive reliance on clinical data and needed to interact with mainstream science to avoid becoming irrelevant; Individuality, the Impossible Project, that sought to join the psychoanalytic and existentialist projects; The Designed Self that deals with globalization and personal meaning; and The Fear of Insignificance: Searching for Meaning in the Twenty-first Century.