The Insights of an Israeli-Australian peace negotiator

December 11, 2019 by Sharyn Mittelman
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Israeli-Australian peace negotiator Dr Tal Becker was recently back in Australia as a guest of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC).

Dr Tal Becker

During his visit, Dr Becker met with Australian politicians, senior public officials, journalists and the Jewish community, while also making time to visit his old school Leibler Yavneh College.

While Dr Becker grew up in Australia, since moving to Israel, he has had a formidable career –  including as senior policy advisor to Israel’s then Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni during peace negotiations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem where he leads educational initiatives on Israel and the Jewish world and is on leave as Legal Adviser to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Dr Becker has also served as Counsel to Israel’s UN Mission in New York and a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and is the winner of the Rabin Peace Prize and the 2007 Guggenheim Prize for best international law book for his book, Terrorism and the State.

In the various events, Becker drew from his extensive experiences as a negotiator and as a Jewish educator, to discuss the different narratives at play across the Middle East, in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and within Israeli society. Rather than engaging in a standard foreign policy analysis, Becker offered a psychological perspective of the dynamics in the Middle East and the way in which identity narratives, and the cultural and religious traditions of each society, shape their outlook and their reactions to events in the region. In particular, Becker discussed the way in which Israeli Jewish society understands itself and educates itself, the meaning it attributes to Jewish sovereignty, and the way historical, cultural and theological Jewish perspectives impact upon the way Israelis interpret their reality, and the challenges and opportunities Israel faces.

Comments

One Response to “The Insights of an Israeli-Australian peace negotiator”
  1. David Schulberg says:

    Real shame how AIJAC have not provided any coverage of what Dr Tal Becker had to say on his visit to Australia and didn’t provide me as the presenter of ‘The Israel Connexion’ program on J-AIR with the opportunity to interview him.
    Why does AIJAC have to operate in this uncollaborative fashion?

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