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February 3, 2021 OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE 
 
Torn from the Headlines—Check out our February Topic!

OLLI Torn from the Headlines series presents its February topic and speaker! This monthly series goes behind the headlines with a two-part program each month.  Hear first from an expert on the topic with an opportunity for an extended Q and A.  On the day following the session, join a continued facilitated discussion in the Commons.  Registration now open--$55 for the series (monthly January-June) or $10 per individual session.  Future topics and speakers to be announced based on current happenings.

February 8 & 9, 2021: New Muslim Alliances with Israel and their Impact on the Middle East

Why has the Trump Administration vigorously pursued normalized relations between Israel and Muslim states - that long have been aligned with the cause of the Palestinians – in recent months?  In December, Morocco joined Bahrain, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates in the Abraham Accords: agreements to set aside generations of hostilities toward Israel over the Palestinian conflict as part of a campaign to stabilize the Middle East and North Africa.  What are the key goals for Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu, and what are the implications for the U.S.’s foreign policy in the Biden Administration? What other countries could suffer adverse consequences?  What is the likelihood that Saudi Arabia or other countries will enter such agreements, and under what conditions? How does this relate to other ongoing issues in the region? 

February 8, 2021 4-5 pm -- Extended Q & A with Professor Mark Tessler

February 9, 2021 2-3 pm -- Facilitated discussion with Karen Bantel, Ph.D., OLLI member and instructor; former U-M Professor of Entrepreneurship and Business Strategy

Mark Tessler is Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor of Political Science. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University, his B.A. from Case Western Reserve University, and has studied at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and The University of Tunis where he received a Certificate of North African Sociology.  He specializes in Comparative Politics and Middle East Studies. He has studied and/or conducted field research in Tunisia, Israel, Morocco, Egypt, and Palestine (West Bank and Gaza). He is one of the very few American scholars to have attended university and lived for extended periods in both the Arab world and Israel. He has also spent several years teaching and consulting in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Many of Professor Tessler’s scholarly publications examine the nature, determinants, and political implications of attitudes and values held by ordinary citizens in the Middle East. Among his fifteen books are Public Opinion in the Middle East: Survey Research and the Political Orientations of Ordinary Citizens (2011); Islam, Democracy and the State in Algeria: Lessons for the Western Mediterranean and Beyond (2005); and Area Studies and Social Science: Strategies for Understanding Middle East Politics (1999).  His most recent book, supported by an award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, is Islam and Politics in the Middle East: Explaining the Views of Ordinary Citizens (2015). Based on 42 nationally representative surveys carried out in 15 countries between 1988 and 2011, this work investigates popular perceptions and preferences relating to the role that Islam should play in government and political affairs.

Professor Tessler also co-directs the Arab Barometer Survey project. The first wave of Arab Barometer surveys, carried out in eight Arab countries and completed in 2009, was named the best new data set in comparative politics by the American Political Science Association in 2010. The second wave of Arab Barometer surveys was carried out in twelve countries during 2010-2011, and the third wave was carried out in ten countries from late 2012 to early 2014. These data are available through the Arab Barometer website.

Professor Tessler has also conducted research and written extensively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His publications on the subject include A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, which won national honors and was named a “Notable Book of 1994” by The New York Times. An updated and expanded edition of this book was published in 2009.
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