The US, Europe and the Middle East

KAS-BESA Conference


Most security challenges to the West – the US and Europe – emanate from the Middle East. This region has seen the rise of strategic issues such as nuclear proliferation, energy security, radical Islam, terrorism, and failed states. While problems stem primarily from domestic and regional dynamics, Western interactions with the region could positively or negatively impact developments. The Middle East continues to constitute a region of paramount importance for the West.

The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University has decided to organize an international workshop and conference to address the question of how the West has dealt with these challenges and what is needed to improve the Western response. This policy-oriented, intellectual exercise will convene American, European and Israeli scholars to discuss the West’s strategic agenda for the Middle East.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Place: Konrad Adenauer Conference Center

Mishkenot Sha’ananim, Jerusalem

(closed session, researchers only)

10.00–11.15Session 1

American, European and Israeli Perspectives

on theMiddle East (emphasis on Turkey and Afghanistan)

11.45–13.00Session 2

American, European and Israeli Perspectives on the Gulf Arena

13.00 Lunch

14.00 Session 3

American, European and Israeli Perspectives on the Arab-Israel Arena

16.00Session 4

What Can Outsiders Do?


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Place: Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan

(open to the public)

09.30 Greetings

Dr. Lars Hänsel, KAS

Representative BESA

09.30 Session 1

Transatlantic Relations and the Middle East

Chair: Dr. Lars Hänsel, KAS

Prof. Robert Lieber, Georgetown University: Obama, the Middle East and Europe: Obama, the Middle East and Europe

Prof. Eytan Gilboa, BESA Center: American vs. European Public Attitudes towards Israel: American vs. European Public Attitudes towards Israel

Dr. Patrick Keller, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Germany: Transatlantic Relations and the Middle East: A German Perspective

Dr. Florence Gaub, NATO Defense College: An indeterminate Equation: The Role of NATO in the Middle East

11.45 Session 2

Western Policies toward the Gulf Arena

Chair: Prof. Shmuel Sandler, BESA Center

Prof. Efraim Inbar, BESA Center: The Iranian Nuclear Challenge

Dr. Guido Steinberg, SWP – German Institute for International and Security Affairs: Germany’s Middle East Policies

Prof. Hillel Frisch, BESA Center, The West: Iran and the Muslim Cold War

13:15 – Lunch Break

14:30 Session 3

Western Policies toward the Arab-Israeli Arena

Chair: Dr. Shlomo Shpiro, BESA Center

Dr. Tsilla Hershco, BESA Center: French Middle East Role in the Sarkozy Era

Dr. Jonathan Rynhold, BESA Center: The Cultural Construction of Attitudes in the West to the Arab-Israeli Conflict – The Transatlantic Divide

Dr. Thomas Rid, University of Constance

Amb. Dr. Meir Rosenne, Former Israeli Ambassador to the US and France: Washington, Paris and Jerusalem

16.30 Session 4

Human Rights, International Law and Politics

Chair: Gen. (res.) Yaacov Amidror, Vice President, Lander Institute

Prof. Gerald Steinberg, Bar Ilan U. and NGO Monitor: European-Funded Human Rights NGOs and Political Warfare

Prof. Lorenzo Zambernardi, University of Bologna: The Changing Meaning of Death in the West and the Nature of War

Dr. Amichai Magen, Director, Institute for Democracy, Law and Diplomacy; Associate Fellow, Shalem Center: Hybrid War and the Gulliverization of the West

Dr. Ed Rettig, Acting Director, American Jewish Committee – Jerusalem: Moral Dimensions and Complexities

18.00 Session 5

Round Table of Western Ambassadors and Israeli Diplomats

Chair: Efraim Inbar, BESA Center

Amb. Efraim Halevy, Head of the Shasha Institute for Strategic Research, Hebrew University, and Former Mossad Chief

Amb. Tomáš Pojar, Czech Ambassador to Israel

Amb. Naor Gilon, Deputy Dir. Gen. for Europe, Israeli Foreign Ministry

Amb. Bénédicte Frankinet, Belgian Ambassador to Israel

Add to the calendar


Jerusalem, Tel Aviv


Dr. Lars Hänsel


Head of the Department Europe and North America +49 30 26996-3526 +49 30 26996-53526