Eisenberg to speak about Middle Eastern relations

Visiting associate professor Laurie Eisenberg will give a lecture titled “The Israeli-Palestinian Impasse: A Primer for Beginners” at 7 pm tonight in McConomy Auditorium. As an introductory look at the conflict, this lecture will introduce fundamental vocabulary and diagrams concerning the area’s ongoing troubles so that students can give the situation a more informed look.
Eisenberg, a historian of the modern Middle East, has focused her research on the relationship between Israel and Palestine and is co-authoring a textbook on the Arab-Israeli peace processes.
After receiving her doctorate from the University of Michigan in 1990, she began at Carnegie Mellon University as an adjunct history department member in 1992. She has contributed pieces to many journals
and worked extensively with other historians to understand the complicated circumstances.
In the lecture, Eisenberg will present the conflict’s basic vocabulary and geography. With so much history behind the situation, Eisenberg will discuss salient events that led up to the Israeli-Palestinian impasse to give a picture of its underpinnings.
So many key terms have become very important but not very widely known, and Eisenberg wants to help disseminate them among what she calls the “typical news audience.” Such terms include “intifada,” “Camp David 2,” and “Oslo.”
Employing maps, Eisenberg will also discuss contested areas and visually demonstrate the confrontation’s geographical facets.
The historian doesn’t plan on speaking about current affairs such as Israeli resettlement or ongoing politics, hoping her approach will allow audience members see how current affairs came about. Eisenberg also aims for objectivity in her presentation by not pressing the views of one side or the other. “My point is education, not advocacy,” she said.
Eisenberg noted that while things don’t seem to be untangling, she sees potential for improvement.
She also sees a clear connection between her subject and Carnegie Mellon students. “CMU students are citizens of the world,” she said. “This is a very important conflict, and the media is saturated with it.”