Recently the students of Rambam were treated to an interview between two noted Mid-East experts. The Principal of Rambam, Rabbi Yotav Eliach, who has taught Religious Zionism to thousands of students, has served and continues to serve in the IDF, and is the author of Judaism, Zionism, and the Land of Israel, interviewed Dr. Hillel Fradkin, the Director of the Center on Islam, Democracy, and the Future of the Muslim World at the Hudson Institute.
Dr. Fradkin is founder and co-editor of the Center’s Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, the leading journal on contemporary Islamism, and he is currently getting ready to publish a book on the character and history of the dispute between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Its title is The Best of Communities Created for Man: The Contemporary Sunni-Shiite Conflict in Historical Perspective.
Rabbi Eliach began by asking about the Arab Gulf States’ recent desire for peace. Dr. Fradkin noted that the rise of Iran as a regional and perhaps global power created a sense of fear amongst the states that resulted in their alliance with Israel. Rabbi Eliach then asked about Syria and Lebanon and their relationship to Hezbollah, and Dr. Fradkin proceeded to explore each nation’s current situation and their possible futures. Rabbi Eliach then asked a question submitted by senior Donny Guttman: “If Biden takes office, will the peace in the Middle East started by the Trump administration stop as Biden could revert back to conventional foreign policy doctrine?” Dr. Fradkin expressed some concerns as Biden was a prime backer of the Iranian Nuclear Deal under the Obama administration.
Rabbi Eliach and Dr. Fradkin were clearly speaking the same language, and the students of Rambam were able to gain insights, available nowhere else but at Rambam, into the Middle East and its past, present, and future.