The Middle East Institute (MEI) hosted veteran author and journalist Milton Viorst for a discussion of his latest book, Zionism: The Birth and Transformation of an Ideal (Dunn, 2016).
From Herzl to Netanyahu, Viorst's book follows the development of Zionism through the lives and ideas of its dominant leaders who all held one tenet in common: the Jewish people must determine their own destiny. He argues that while Israel has emerged as an economically prosperous and geopolitically powerful Jewish homeland, Zionism has increasingly been defined through military strength. Viorst asks how Zionism evolved from an ideal of Jewish refuge to a rationalization of occupation? Has this development altered the international community's perception of Zionism as Israel's founding doctrine?
Matthew Duss (President, The Foundation for Middle East Peace) moderated the event.
About the Author:
Milton Viorst has covered the Middle East as a journalist and scholar since the 1960s. He was the Middle East correspondent for The New Yorker, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Haaretz, and The Wall Street Journal. He has written six books on the Middle East, including In the Shadow of the Prophet and What Shall I do with This People? Viorst studied history at Rutgers University, and journalism at Harvard and Columbia universities.
Matthew Duss is the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace. Previously, he was a policy analyst at the Center for American Progress, where his work focused on the Middle East and U.S. national security, and director of the Center’s Middle East Progress program. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Nation, Foreign Policy, Politico, the American Prospect, and Democracy. He appears regularly as a commentator on radio and television. He received an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies, and a B.A. in political science from the University of Washington.