Journalist Ari Shavit to speak about bestselling book on Israel
This article was originally published on 2/12/2014 in the UCLA Daily Bruin.
Published: Thursday, February 13, 2014
Israeli journalist Ari Shavit will speak at UCLA on Wednesday about his bestselling book, “My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel,” which addresses conflicts in Israel.
More than 500 people are expected to attend the event organized by the UCLA International Institute.
“The event fits right in with our mission of education about Israel,” said Maura Resnick, the deputy director of the UCLA Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. “Part of our mission is to provide a well-balanced look of Israel and promote the study as one might study any country.”
The International Institute is not promoting Shavit’s views, but Resnick said they hope students will attend his discussion to learn about Israel and are encouraged to read his book so that they may pursue further studies on the subject.
Shavit is a writer for Haaretz, one of the oldest and largest newspapers in Israel. In November, he published his book, which tells the history of Israel from 1897 to 2013 through the life stories of various individuals.
The book highlights the past and present pressures Israel is facing and what this may mean for the future of the country. Shavit’s book supports the ideas of Zionism, the national movement for Jews to return to their homeland, Israel.
The Israel Institute, an organization that promotes Israel studies, contacted the UCLA International Institute in August to ask if UCLA would host Shavit as a speaker on campus, Resnick said.
The New York Times Book Review and The Economist named “My Promised Land” one of the best books of 2013. It also won the Natan Book Award and is a New York Timesbestseller.
Shavit’s discussion could help people become more media literate and knowledgeable of world events, said Yael Warshel, a visiting scholar in communication studies.
This event is open to the general public. Although it has already reached its maximum capacity, standby tickets may be available for students, Resnick said.
Students can also check the Nazarian Center website Wednesday afternoon to see if it will be live streamed. A video of the event will be posted on the website within the next few weeks, Resnick said.
Compiled by Laura Boranian, Bruin contributor.