Israeli professor discusses Middle East tensions in Palm Beach County lectures


Professor Eytan Gilboa of Bar-Ilan University in Israel discussed the many political alliances and tensions that exist in the Middle East in a series of recent lectures given in Palm Beach County.

The Palm Beach County talks were organized by the non-profit Israel Public Diplomacy Forum.

Gilboa’s appearances were highlighted by his Oct. 21 talk on “Where is the Middle East Heading?”at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, discussing the many alliances and groups in the Middle East that lead to political instability and tensions in the region.

“The many alliances and tensions that exist between Israel and the other Middle East nations are always changing, volatile, resulting in uncertainty for peace in the Middle East,” said Gilboa in his talk.

Gilboa illustrated the changing alliances and dynamics in a map of the Middle East region, drawing hundreds of lines to indicate the many alliances that have emerged and changed.

“There are many players in the Middle East and the multiple alliances created complicated messy political alliances.”

Central to Gilboa’s talk at FAU was a focus on the destruction of Syria and the continued warfare among the Druze, Kurds, Sunni Muslims, among other groups in Syria vying for political power.

“There are 13 million refugees in Syria and the hatred between all the groups for centuries has led to a complete destruction of Syria,” said Gilboa.

Gilboa also discussed the role of ISIS, the Iran nuclear deal and the emergence of Russia as a strong influence in the Middle East at his FAU talk.

“Russia wants to diminish the role of the United States in the region and is seeking to influence the Middle East in order to gain political concessions in the Ukraine.”

“ISIS brings a sense of unity to all the groups in Syria by their recruitment of followers in a mission of creating an Islamic empire to dominate the world,” said Gilboa.

Among the topics in Gilboa’s lectures were “Challenges to Israeli-Palestinian Peace” for the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County in West Palm Beach, “Effects of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis on Israel and the Middle East” for the Adult Jewish Learning Collaboration in Boynton Beach and “From Obama to Trump: U.S.-Israel Relations” for the World Affairs Council in Palm Beach.

“You learn so much more listening to Professor Gilboa discuss the Middle East in one hour than what you hear on multiple radio and television new shows for years,” said Lisa Cohen of Boca Raton, who attended Gilboa’s FAU talk.

Ido Sivan-Sevilla, an Israeli expert on cyber-security, also spoke in the Palm Beach County IPDF talks on topics such as “Need to Know: Privacy Vs. Surveillance” at Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce in Palm Beach Gardens and “Staying Safe: Increasing Cyber-Security” for the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County in West Palm Beach.

The Israel Public Diplomacy Forum was founded in 2014 by Gilboa and Director Sharon Evans to address gaps in public knowledge about the Middle East, as indicated in the organization’s website ipdforum.org.

To learn more about the Israel Public Diplomacy Forum, located in Petah Tikva, Israel, go to www.ipdforum.org.

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