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Decision Points is a Washington Institute podcast on key moments in Israel's history and present. The first season focused on the history of U.S. Israel relations and the second season focused on key Israeli and Arab leaders. The third season focuses on Israel's toughest contemporary policy dilemmas. The host, David Makovsky is the Ziegler Distinguished Fellow in The Washington Institute's Irwin Levy Family Program on the U.S.-Israel Strategic Relationship and director of the Koret Project o ...
 
chicago born and raised, roy kinsey is a bit of an anomaly when it comes to tradition in his respective industries. where being a black, queer-identified, rapper, and librarian may be an intimidating choice for some, roy kinsey’s non-conformist ideology has informed his 4th album, and self proclaimed, “best work yet,” blackie: a story by roy kinsey. featured in and on major local, national, and international publications like Billboard, NPR, WBEZ’s Vocalo, the Chicago Tribune, WGCI and the R ...
 
Mission: The mission of Discovery Institute is to advance a culture of purpose, creativity and innovation. Program: Discovery Institute is an inter-disciplinary community of scholars and policy advocates dedicated to the reinvigoration of traditional Western principles and institutions and the worldview from which they issued. Discovery Institute has a special concern for the role that science and technology play in our culture and how they can advance free markets, illuminate public policy ...
 
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show series
 
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s visit to the White House this week is a timely reminder of potentially new political dynamics in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israeli has just exited the whirlwind of four elections in two years, replacing long-serving Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu with an extraordinarily diverse coalition. Meanwhile, the…
 
August 13 marked the first anniversary of the breakthrough normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates—a deal followed shortly by accords with Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco. In addition to strong U.S. mediation, several broader forces brought these countries together, including mutual concerns about Iran, Arab recognition of h…
 
In recent years, public support for the two-state solution has continued to erode on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide. Each party suspects that the other has completely given up on the idea, further weakening the political will and public trust needed to preserve it. Can leaders lead the public on this issue, or does the public lead the…
 
Over the past two decades, China has increasingly challenged America’s economic and political influence in the Middle East, including in Israel. At the same time, Washington remains Jerusalem’s strongest ally and patron, which raises questions about how the U.S. relationship affects Israel’s policies toward Beijing. On one hand, Chinese investment …
 
After decades of energy dependence, Israel discovered offshore natural gas reserves that have fundamentally changed its energy dynamics and led it to deepen ties across the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The country is suddenly a net energy exporter to Jordan, Egypt, and the Palestinians, while Gulf states have shown preliminary indications tha…
 
Since the 2006 Lebanon war, Israel and Hezbollah have not engaged in major hostilities. Yet while mutual deterrence has averted all-out war, this uneasy truce is weakening. At home in Lebanon, Hezbollah is facing a dire economic and political crisis. Moreover, the group still seeks to convert some of its estimated 140,000 rockets into precision-gui…
 
For decades, Israel and Russia stood on opposite ends of an ideological divide. During the Soviet era, Moscow not only supported Israel’s enemies economically and militarily, but also sought to stamp out any connection between Russian citizens and Israel, refusing millions the right to emigrate. Since the Soviet collapse in 1991, however, relations…
 
Since 2015, Iranian forces have increasingly entrenched themselves in Syria as part of a broader effort to bolster the rule of Bashar al-Assad. As this effort began to unfold, Israel feared reenacting the cautionary tale of Hezbollah in Lebanon, where indecision over rooting out the Tehran-backed terrorist group proved to be a decision in itself. T…
 
In May, after tensions escalated in Jerusalem, Hamas and Israel broke a two-year ceasefire and were drawn into war. The crisis reminded the world that the ideological differences between the sides are vast. Are Israel and Hamas doomed to face each other every few years? How much of a game-changer was this round of fighting for them, the UN, and key…
 
World attention has focused on the prospects of the United States and Iran finding terms that enable them to return to their 2015 nuclear deal. Yet what does this mean for all the unanswered challenges that President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken say are essential to address in a “longer and stronger” follow-on agreement? How will the United…
 
This season of Decision Points features episodes on Israel's toughest contemporary policy dilemmas requiring courageous leadership and creative thinking. Topics range from the aftermath of the Gaza conflict to the Israeli-Russian relationship. Each episode will explore a thorny policy issue as well as its context, trajectory, and Israel's options. …
 
An interesting look at a moment in January 2020 BC (Before Corona) where I'd invite some artistic, creative, thoughtful, influential friends over to listen to Kinsey: A Memoir for the first time. We had no idea what was to come in the coming months, and this was truly one of the last gatherings we'd hosted at the House Of Marcell (HOM). On the anni…
 
For the final episode of the season, the podcast focuses on a very significant step for Israel: the recent normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Unlike with past peace partners Egypt and Jordan, Israel never fought either Gulf country on the battlefield. However, converging regional thinking, economic incentives, and s…
 
Israel’s Ariel Sharon gained early renown for his battlefield courage and notoriety for his strident opposition to Palestinian statehood. But Sharon, who served as prime minister from 2001 to 2006, was not an ideologue. When he saw pragmatic opportunities to advance Israel’s long-term interests, he pursued them, explaining his leading role in the 2…
 
For the past decade, Syria has been a killing field on which the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has been a ruthless perpetrator. As a result, international players now view the Syrian leader as a pariah. Under the rule of Bashar’s father, Hafiz al-Assad, Syria employed harsh tactics and embodied rejection of Israel, but the former president al…
 
When King Hussein ascended to the throne at the age of sixteen, he dedicated his life to building a peaceful and prosperous Jordan. His reign was far from simple, however—he faced multiple wars abroad, a civil war at home, assassination attempts, and diplomatic crises. Throughout this tumultuous period, he maintained one secret connection that woul…
 
More than anyone else, Yasser Arafat relished the role of embodying the Palestinian national struggle—even his keffiyeh was shaped to resemble historical Palestine. Some depicted him as a defiant freedom fighter, but he would become reviled by many, especially in the United States and Israel, as an arch-terrorist. His sudden appearance on the inter…
 
Yitzhak Rabin was Israel’s first native-born prime minister, and he personified the national ethos throughout his life. At once pragmatic and patriotic, he fought for Israel’s security, survival, and prosperity in both the military and politics. All of his efforts culminated with the Oslo Accords. In this episode, David Makovsky hosts three people …
 
On November 19th, 1977, Anwar Sadat, the President of Egypt and arguably the leader of the Arab world, stepped off a plane at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. This was the first time an Arab leader set foot in the Jewish state. He was going to go his own way for the restoration of Egyptian land and the cause of peace. Join Abdel Monem Said Aly, CEO …
 
Throughout his life, Menachem Begin held many titles: leader of the Irgun, an underground revisionist-Zionist militia; leader of the opposition; and prime minister. One value motivated everything he did: the protection of the Jewish people and prevention of a second Holocaust. One of the clearest examples of this principle was Operation Opera, the …
 
Raised in America before emigrating to Israel, Golda Meir was the country’s first and only female prime minister, and one of only two women to sign its declaration of independence. A study in contrasts, she was tough on terrorism but also a key player in securing the release of 200,000 Jews from the Soviet Union in the 1970s, sparking a wave of Rus…
 
Shimon Peres’s contributions spanned the first seven decades of Israeli history, making his life inseparable from that of the country itself. Often remembered as a leading statesman, not a soldier, he is nevertheless credited with establishing the Israeli defense industry and making the controversial decision to pursue a nuclear program—a move pred…
 
On May 14, 1948, the British were scheduled to bring an end to the British Mandate in Palestine. The question on the table for the Jewish community in Palestine was existential: to immediately declare a state and risk invasion by better-armed Arab states or accept an international ceasefire? Join leading Israeli historian Anita Shapira to discuss t…
 
This season of Decision Points features episodes on key leaders on the Israeli and Arab sides, focusing on an intersection between their biographies and a key moment that exemplifies their decision-making, from the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre to Anwar Sadat’s historic trip to Jerusalem. Each episode will tell the story of an important leader, hig…
 
This episode discusses the growth of Israel’s hi-tech sector and its impact on relations with the United States. Much of the state’s technological innovation has stemmed from its unique history, geography, and culture, proving that necessity truly is the mother of invention. Today, technology plays a key role in the bilateral relationship, includin…
 
This episode focuses on the growing threat of a nuclear Iran and U.S.-Israeli efforts to contain it over the years. The two allies have long considered various diplomatic and military options for addressing their shared concerns, though there have been points of disagreement, particularly over the “sunset” limitations put forth in the 2015 nuclear …
 
This episode focuses on one of the toughest issues in the world, namely efforts by the US to reconcile the Zionist national movement, or Israel, and the Palestinian national movement. The interviews focus on two key moments in recent decades that aimed to bring Israel and the Palestinians closer to peace: the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 2005 disengag…
 
This episode focuses on the immigration of Soviet, Ethiopian, and Syrian Jewry to Israel, the impact of which has been massive. Over a million Jews moved to Israel at the end of the Cold War alone, greatly increasing its small population and bringing professional backgrounds that helped trigger a high-tech boom. The United States played a key role …
 
This episode focuses on the first Arab-Israeli peace breakthrough, the Camp David Accords of 1978. Camp David resulted from Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s electrifying visit to Jerusalem. It also required political courage from the other two leaders involved—President Jimmy Carter and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, who each took risks tha…
 
This episode focuses on the 1973 war between Israel and a coalition of Arab states, a surprise conflict that broke out in an era of detente between the United States and the Soviet Union. One key moment came two weeks into the war, when Washington decided to provide $2.2 billion in strategic air resupply to Israel. This military aid helped turn the…
 
This episode discusses the Johnson administration’s policy in the weeks leading up to the 1967 Six Day War. As that conflict drew near, two Israeli missions to the United States, led by Abba Eban and Meir Amit, encountered the same official focus on Vietnam, yet produced different results by asking different questions. In that sense, 1967 was a maj…
 
This episode focuses on one of the lowest points in the U.S.-Israel relationship: the 1956 Suez Crisis. At the time, President Eisenhower felt betrayed by Israel, France, and Britain for initiating war after Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal. The episode highlights ties with allies alongside his desire to win support for Arab nationalist champion G…
 
This episode will focus on the moment when Britain was about to depart Mandatory Palestine and there was heightened uncertainty about whether the State of Israel would be formed. The episode highlights the battle between the personalities and policy differences of President Harry Truman and his advisors, and chronicles America’s dramatic path to re…
 
In this episode, we will discuss the United States’ little-known role in the Balfour Declaration, and the influence and prominence starting as early as America's founding fathers of the idea of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Host David Makovsky will be in conversation with Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the United States and a form…
 
We cannot fully appreciate the special bond between the U.S. and Israel without first understanding the highs and lows of this relationship over the past 70 years—how Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion believed it was possible that there would be a U.S. military strike against Israel; how the U.S. came to occupy such a central role in t…
 
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