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David Harris
David Harris has led the American Jewish Committee (AJC) since 1990. AJC has been described by the New York Times as “the dean of American Jewish organizations.” Harris has been honored by the governments of Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Spain and Ukraine for his work on transatlantic relations, human rights, historical memory and intergroup understanding. He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and London School of Economics. He was a Junior Associate at Oxford University’s St. Antony’s College (1977-78), a Visiting Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (2000-02), and a Senior Associate at St. Antony’s College (2009-11). Since 2001, he has broadcast a weekly commentary on the CBS Radio network, and since 2007, he has had a blog on international affairs at the Jerusalem Post.

Entries by David Harris

November 29: A Significant Date in Arab-Israeli History

(0) Comments | Posted November 28, 2015 | 10:00 AM

November 29 is a noteworthy date for all those interested in Israel and the Middle East.

Sixty-eight years ago, following the recommendation of a decisive majority of the 11-member United Nations Special Committee on Palestine, the UN General Assembly met to consider Resolution 181. The measure called for the creation...

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As Islamist Terrorism Increases, Some Respond...By Assailing Israel

(0) Comments | Posted November 21, 2015 | 5:38 PM

It would be the stuff of comedy if it weren't so devastatingly tragic.

France is targeted by radical Islamic forces. The death toll is over 130 people, with hundreds more wounded. This is the second major wave of attacks in the country within the past year. And the threat is...

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Five Lessons from the Paris Tragedy

(19) Comments | Posted November 14, 2015 | 4:23 PM

Once again, terrorists have struck, this time in Paris again and with devastating results.

The scenes were heartbreaking, as France faced its most deadly assault since the Second World War, and only ten months after three terrorist attacks in the French capital took the lives of 17 people.

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Attacks Against Israelis: The World's Silence Is Deafening

(162) Comments | Posted October 11, 2015 | 11:21 AM

For days now, I have been watching in dismay as Israeli citizens face random attacks, some deadly, by Palestinian assailants on the streets of their cities and towns. Children have been orphaned, parents have lost children, and some survivors are doubtless scarred for life.

I have been waiting to see...

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The Iran Deal: Winners and Losers?

(7) Comments | Posted September 11, 2015 | 4:15 PM

Now that a Senate minority has blocked the bipartisan majority from an up-or-down vote on arguably the most significant foreign policy measure in a generation, some in the media are rushing to judgment about winners and losers.

The White House is cast as the big winner, of course.


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15 Ways Being Jewish Is Meaningful

(59) Comments | Posted August 25, 2015 | 10:21 AM

Surveys reveal a disturbingly large number of American Jews who feel disconnected from their Jewish identity. How painfully sad! In response, and with the High Holy Days just around the corner, let me share what being Jewish means to me.

  1. It means championing what is arguably the single most revolutionary...
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10 New Reasons to Worry About the Iran Deal

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2015 | 10:15 PM

Since the P5+1 deal with Iran--the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)--was announced on July 14, there has been much discussion and debate about it, with lots more undoubtedly to come.

No less important, however, are a number of revealing developments that give a glimpse of what may well...

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On Iran, Let's Get Serious

(9) Comments | Posted August 16, 2015 | 9:49 AM

The Iran deal is perhaps the most consequential foreign policy issue in a generation. Yet the debate over it has too often fallen short of what's needed.

Rather than focus on possible strengths and shortcomings, some have resorted to sweeping generalizations, partisan attacks, personal insults and hysterical hyperbole. None...

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The Iran Nuclear Deal

(2) Comments | Posted August 5, 2015 | 12:25 PM

When the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was announced in Vienna on July 14, AJC issued a press release indicating that we would first study the full text and its implications, and then take a position on the deal, as the U.S. Congress launched into its 60-day review period.

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Dear U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond

(11) Comments | Posted July 19, 2015 | 4:42 PM

Speaking in Parliament last week on the eve of your visit to Israel, you said the following:

"The question you have to ask yourself is what kind of a deal would have been welcomed in Tel Aviv. The answer of course is that Israel doesn't want any deal with Iran....

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BBC Anchor Trivializes Iran Threat to Israel

(25) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 6:17 PM

Dear Razia Iqbal,

I was in my car this morning and listening to BBC Newshour, carried by our local National Public Radio station in New York.

You were the host of the hour-long program, and the principal subject was the major deal announced, after years of negotiations, between the...

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UN Human Rights Council? UN Human Wrongs Council!

(0) Comments | Posted July 3, 2015 | 4:36 PM

The 47-member UN Human Rights Council in Geneva just voted to assail Israel because of the Hamas-triggered war in the summer of 2014.

That's right, assail Israel, not Hamas.

There will be those silver-tongued diplomats from Europe and elsewhere who will try to explain that the text could have been...

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'Middle East Peace Process?' High Time for a New Name

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2015 | 8:14 PM

There are those in the international community who have long claimed that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the root cause of the Middle East's problems.

Among the more prominent voices articulating this notion has been Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He has asserted that the absence of a Palestinian state...

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Ten Ways Israel Is Treated Differently

(654) Comments | Posted June 14, 2015 | 10:18 AM

It's appalling to see how Israel is treated by a totally different standard than other countries in the international system. Of course, Israel deserves scrutiny, as does every other nation. But it also merits equal treatment -- nothing more, nothing less.

First, Israel is the only UN member state whose...

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Why History Matters: The 1967 Six-Day War

(68) Comments | Posted June 5, 2015 | 7:38 PM

Mention the word "history" and it can trigger a roll of the eyes.

Add "Middle East" to the equation and folks might start running for the hills, unwilling to get caught up in the seemingly bottomless pit of details and disputes.

But without an understanding of what happened, it's...

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Eight Words From President Obama

(27) Comments | Posted May 24, 2015 | 4:27 PM

President Barack Obama delivered a compelling and heartfelt speech on May 22 at a Washington synagogue.

He spoke directly to the concerns and aspirations of the Jewish people, identifying himself squarely with Jewish ethical values and the Jewish historical journey as a metaphor for the universal quest for peace...

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After Copenhagen, What Next for Europe?

(0) Comments | Posted February 15, 2015 | 2:33 PM

Once again, the jihadists have attacked, this time in Copenhagen.

Once again, they have killed innocent people.

Once again, they have targeted both democratic values -- freedom of speech and the press -- and a minority community - the Jews.

And once again, Europe has been reminded that it is...

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After the Attacks in France, What Next?

(3) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 6:12 PM

The terrorist attacks that killed 17 innocent people in France last week have provoked widespread revulsion and condemnation.

All people of good will stand as one with France. Its citizens were attacked, and so were its laudable values, which have inspired the democratic spirit worldwide for well over two...

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Dear UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 7:14 PM

You have one of the toughest jobs in the world.

It can't be easy to balance all the competing interests and pressures that come with being the head of a complex global body with 193 member states. You are constantly walking on a tightrope.

Moreover, too often observers fail...

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If Not Us, Who?

(3) Comments | Posted September 14, 2014 | 5:12 PM

Forty years ago this month, my life took a new path. Forty years later, I'm still on that path.

The year was 1974. U.S. President Richard Nixon and Soviet Chairman Leonid Brezhnev had introduced the word "détente" into the Cold War vocabulary. One of the outcomes was a series...

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