Presented by the Center for Jewish Studies
Some remember the PLO, in its founding years in the mid-1960s through the early-1980s, as a heroic group of freedom fighters; others recall a merciless group of terrorists. Largely unnoticed in the West at the time, and almost entirely forgotten today, is the fact that the PLO in those same years was also the home of a think tank run by PhDs from Georgetown and Cambridge dedicated to studying Judaism, Jewish history, Zionism, and Israel. In this lecture, Professor Jonathan Gribetz will speak about his current book project called Reading Herzl in Beirut that tells the fascinating story of this think tank, the PLO Research Center.
Jonathan Marc Gribetz is an assistant professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies and in the Program in Judaic Studies at Princeton University. He teaches about the history of Zionism, Palestine, Israel, Jerusalem, and nationalism in the modern Middle East. His first book, Defining Neighbors: Religion, Race, and the Early Zionist-Arab Encounter (Princeton University Press, 2014), investigated the mutual perceptions of Zionists and Arabs in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, showing the prominent place of religious and racial categories in the ways in which these communities imagined and related to one another.