Middle East expert to visit Sydney

August 7, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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One of the world’s leading experts on the turmoil in Egypt and Syria, US foreign policy and the tension between Israel and Iran will address a range of audiences in Sydney this month.

Michael Singh

Michael Singh

Washington Institute for Near East Policy managing director Michael Singh will be brought to Australia by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and will give the keynote address at its annual meeting on August 20.

He will discuss “Israel, the US and Iran’s nuclear program in a changing Middle East”.

While in Sydney, he will address the Sydney Institute, a briefing for NSW MPs hosted by Parliamentary Friends of Israel, university students and law enforcement personnel. He will also be interviewed by media and will conduct media briefings.

In addition, he will be escorted to Canberra by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, where he will brief the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Last year Singh published a controversial paper for The Washington Quarterly titled “To keep the peace with Iran, threaten to strike”, in which he acknowledged that despite unprecedented sanctions against Iran, only a credible military threat would motivate the regime to reverse its drive toward nuclear weapons capability.

“This is an important message for Australians to hear and was a major impetus in our inviting him to Sydney,” Board of Deputies chief executive officer Vic Alhadeff said. “With the upheavals across the Middle East, this will be a rare opportunity to hear insights from a senior member of one of Washington’s most respected think-tanks with first-hand experience working on US policy at the highest levels.

“We urge members of the community to take this opportunity to hear from an authority who specialises in issues of direct concern to our community and to Israel.”

Singh’s mother migrated to the US from England and his father from India. Growing up outside Chicago, he acquired an astrophysics scholarship to Princeton University, where he switched to economics and Middle Eastern studies, which was where his passion lay. He joined the Foreign Service after graduation and spent eight years as a diplomat, including as an assistant at the US Embassy in Israel.

His service culminated in several advisory positions at the White House, including as Special Assistant to US Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell and as Senior Director for Middle East Affairs at the US National Security Council.

From there he moved to Harvard University, where he served as a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, taught economics and acquired an MBA from Harvard Business School. He has served as managing director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy since 2008.

The AGM will be held at NCJW Council House on Tuesday August 20 at 7.30pm. Inquiries: 9360 1600.


One Response to “Middle East expert to visit Sydney”
  1. Paul Winter says:

    The institute’s mission statement says that its aim is to advance the interests of the USA in the Middle East. Seeing how Israel has been treated by various administration, particularly the last and, by any measure, the worst, I really do not see what Singh can tell us.

    Neither the Washington Institute nor any US Jewish organisation has called on the US Pres. to bomb Iran. How allowing Iran to endanger Israel serves US interests I do not know.

    US Jews who think that staying shtum and showing how loyal and patriotic they are after Iran nukes Israel and wipes out half of post-Shoah will earn them security, are wrong. If Israel goes down, so too will the standing and security of all Jews in the Diaspora.

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