#FCBBCA: Israel and the Arab spring

Talk October 18, 2011 7:00 PM




With leaders toppled in Tunisia and Egypt, continuing uprisings in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, the Arab world has seen tumultuous change in recent months. Where does all this upheaval leave Israel? We will be focusing on the response of Israel to the revolutions sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa.

With a panel of Israeli experts and journalists we will explore how Israel and its people view the demands for democracy which are ousting friends in the region such as President Hosni Mubarak.

What happens to the peace process now? We will be discussing Israel’s position on Gaza and the West Bank in the light of changes taking place in the Arab world and of recent events.

Chaired by Samir Farah, one of BBC Arabic’s leading presenters and interviewers. He is the lead presenter of Nuqtat Hewar, BBC Arabic television’s flagship interactive programme and one of the most important interactive programmes in Arabic media. He has led a pioneering series of live interactive interviews with leading personalities across the Arab world, putting politicians and decision-makers directly before a live audience to answer questions and defend their policies. He is also the Deputy Head of Programmes for BBC Arabic TV. Twitter: @Samir_Farah


Ambassador Yitzhak Lior joined Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1964. In 1967 he was a member of Israel’s Delegation to the Middle-East Peace Conference in Geneva. From 1968 – 81 he did four tours of duty in the U.S: Chicago, New York, Houston and Washington. In Beirut from 1982 – 84 he was head of Israel’s mission to Lebanon  (peace negotiations). In 1987 he was appointed deputy director general of the Foreign Ministry for Middle East Affairs. He served as the ambassador to the UN in Geneva from 1990 – 95 and the ambassador to Tokyo from 2000 – 04.

Daphna Baram worked in Jerusalem as a human rights lawyer, and later as a reporter, news editor and deputy editor in chief of the Jerusalem Based weekly Kol Hair. During fellowships with the Reuters Foundation and a period as a senior associate member at St Antony College, Oxford, she had written her book Disenchantment: The Guardian and Israel (published 2004). Her articles on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were published by the Guardian, the Independent and the New Statesman, among others. She provided commentary for Al Jazeera, the BBC and other news outlets. She works for GRNlive in London as an editor. Twitter: @DaphnaBaram

Eldad Beck, the Berlin-based Europe Correspondent for Israel’s most widely circulated newspaper Yedioth Ahronot.  He is a former foreign affairs editor for Israel’s Haaretz newspaper.  He has also worked as a Vienna based Correspondent for Israel’s Maariv newspaper.  He has served as a Paris-based Correspondent for Israel’s Channel 2 Television station, The Jerusalem Post, Globes; Hadashot and The Jerusalem Report. In Paris, he worked as the Editor and Moderator at Radio Shalom and a Journalist at „L´Arche“. Beck studied at the Sorbonne University, majoring in Arabic and Islamic studies.  During the Oslo process, he served as a correspondent for Arabic affairs on Gali-Zahl Radio Station in Israel. Most recently, Beck has published a book entitled Behind the Border documenting his visits to places such as Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Miri Weingarten, a Jewish Israeli, has worked for Israeli human rights group Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel) since 1999. Based in London since 2009, she currently conducts advocacy/lobby for a coalition of three Israel-based human rights groups – PHR-Israel, Adalah and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, in the EU (Brussels) and the UN (Geneva). She also directs a British media initiative called JNews, which aims to provide alternative Jewish perspectives on Israel and Palestine to British media and the public.