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Yisrael Ne’eman

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Environmental and Sustainability Issues, Inside Israel and US Government


Yisrael Ne’eman is an historian. He received a BA in history from Rutgers University and completed an MA in Modern Jewish History at the University of Haifa. His areas of specialization include the Middle East Conflict, modern Jewish History and Israel.

While a lecturer at the University of Haifa International School since 1991, he received his national tour guide license a year later. Yisrael teaches Contemporary Israel: History and Society during the year and leads a field study program Israel: A Mosaic during the summer. He teaches Jewish History, Ancient History/Archeology and The Development of Middle East Nationalism at the Technion and engages students with similar topics at the Givat Haviva Jewish-Arab Peace Center.

Over the years Yisrael has lectured and led tours for various educational organizations throughout Israel, often building full courses and academic touring experiences, at times for university credit.

Yisrael moved to Israel (made aliyah) from New Jersey in 1977 and served in the IDF as a combat medic from 1978 to 1980. As a reservist he saw six tours of duty in the First Lebanon War in the 1980s where he was the senior NCO of a battalion aid/evacuation station. Afterwards he spent his reserve service doing border patrol along the Lebanese and Golan frontiers. He ceased being on active reserve in 2001.

In civilian life he worked at Kibbutz Elrom in the Golan Heights until he was drafted. After his military discharge he began raising a family in Jerusalem and following in the path of the early Labor ideologues, joined the ‘working class’ learning a trade as a stainless steel craftsman. By late 1984 the family moved to the Galilean town of Ma’alot seeking out the pioneering challenge of developing the barren hilltops of northern Israel. While in Ma’alot he taught newly arrived Ethiopian teenagers metal work and English as a second language.

In 1985 he obtained his local tour guide license for Tzfat and its environs and in 1992 he completed the National Tour Guide course. From 1989-2012 he partnered with Elliot Chodoff in Hamartzim Educational Services as a lecturer and guide. Together they operated the Mideast on Target website of Israel and Middle East commentary. Archives are available into 2015. Nowadays he works with his son Alon guiding tours throughout the country.

Yisrael and his family joined the Eshchar community village in the Lower Galilee in early 1988 where the mixed religious/secular ideology of multi-faceted Jewish understandings and culture dominates daily life. Taking this as a major ideological challenge, Yisrael served on the local council for twelve years, ten of them as chairman. He helped facilitate the arrival and absorption of another 100 families into the town. Furthermore he worked with the Bedouin community of Arab Al-Na'im to establish municipal borders, cross-community cooperation, planning and future development for both communities sharing this Galilee hilltop. Together the communities have agreed upon a policy of 'good neighborly relations.'

Yisrael continues to lead tours at home and lectures both in Israel and abroad. Presently he is completing a book entitled Hamas Jihad: Antisemitism and Islamic World Conquest in the Pretense of Palestinian Nationalism to be released in the summer of 2016. Yisrael and his wife Susan have four children.

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