Caravan for Democracy Brings Dr. Ra’anan Gissin to Rutgers University
March 19, 2007 -- New Brunswick, NJ -- Dr. Ra’anan Gissin, former senior advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, will address students, faculty, and members of the community at Rutgers University on Sunday, March 25th at 4:00 p.m. in VanDyke Hall Room 211.
Dr. Gissin will visit the school as a speaker for Caravan for Democracy, an initiative of Jewish National Fund and Media Watch International that drives constructive dialogue on college campuses throughout the United States by bringing different speakers from Israel to discuss the issues affecting Israel, how it is covered in the media, and its unique role as the only democracy in the Middle East.
In particular, Dr. Gissin will address the growing threat posed by Iran to the Middle East and the world. A question-and-answer session will follow the lecture.
"Ra'anan Gissin provides an interesting perspective on the Iranian threat and its implications on a global scale,” said Caravan for Democracy fellow Karin Zahavi, one of two students responsible for coordinating programming at Rutgers. “We are all very pleased and excited that he will be coming to the Rutgers campus."
Added fellow Samantha Hellwege: “I hope that not only the Rutgers community, but the greater New Jersey community as well, takes advantage ofthis wonderful opportunity to hear Dr. Gissin speak.”
Since its inception in 2002, Caravan for Democracy has visited over 70 campuses and communities, sponsored over 180 events, and engaged more than 20,000 participants at its events and lectures.
“It is important for students in the United States to understand that Israel and the United States have a unique bond, based on their shared values of democracy and freedom, and that both countries face the continued threat of terrorism and must be unified in protecting the rights of their citizens,” said JNF President Ronald S. Lauder. “Like the United States, Israel is a democracy, and its citizens enjoy the same rights, protections, and responsibilities as Americans.”
“By providing information and analysis, we are enabling American college students to contextualize and understand Israel from a democratic perspective, and thereby hope to create a movement of support for Israel as a democracy,” added Media Watch International board member Jay Schottenstein.
Dr. Gissin serves as a strategic consultant, commentator and lecturer on a variety of topics related to the Middle East and Israel. Until 2005, he was senior advisor to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. In recent years he has become one of Israel’s leading spokesmen for the foreign press and the international community on security and strategic issues and the peace process.
A fifth generation Israeli born in Kibbutz Hasollelim, Dr. Gissin’s distinguished career with the Israel Defense Forces began in 1979 with his position as a strategic analyst in the planning branch, where he was involved in the planning and implementation of the Sinai withdrawal. During most of the 1980’s, which included the war in Lebanon and the intifada in the territories, he served as an IDF spokesman. In 1991, Dr. Gissin served as special advisor to the Israeli delegation at the Madrid Peace Conference and the subsequent negotiations with Arab and Palestinian delegations in Washington, D.C. After retiring from active duty in 1993, Dr. Gissin initiated and organized the Pension 200 Conference in Israel with senior Israeli economic leaders and top fund executives and investors from the United States. In 1996, he was appointed spokesperson of the newly created Ministry of National Infrastructures headed by Ariel Sharon.
Caravan for Democracy’s programming at Rutgers University is coordinated by the student fellows in cooperation with Rabbi Esther Reed, Associate Director for Jewish Campus Life at Rutgers Hillel. For more information about this and other Caravan for Democracy events, visit http://www.caravanfordemocracy.org/, email email@example.com, or call 800-969-5585 x247.
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