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Studying Zionism and Israel in the PLO

October 24, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

In this lecture, Professor Jonathan Gribetz will introduce us to the PLO Research Center, upon which he is currently completing a new book, and discuss the importance of this group of activist researchers and intellectuals on the history of the PLO.

The Palestine Liberation Organization, founded in 1964, became famous, or infamous, over the decades primarily for its militants and its politicians. There was another group in the organization, however, that was less well known but no less important: PLO researchers. In 1965, the PLO established a Research Center in Beirut dedicated to carefully analyzing what it referred to as “the Palestine Problem,” a crucial element of which was “knowing the enemy.” This meant researching the Jews, Judaism, Zionism, and Israel.

Dr. Gribetz's first book, Defining Neighbors: Religion, Race, and the Early Zionist-Arab Encounter (Princeton University Press, 2014), investigated the mutual perceptions of Zionists and Arabs in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, showing the prominent place of religious and racial categories in the ways in which these communities imagined and related to one another. Defining Neighbors was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title in 2015. For the new book, tentatively titled Reading Herzl in Beirut: The PLO’s Research on Judaism and Israel (under contract with Princeton University Press), Gribetz has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Dr. Jonathan Gribetz is an Associate Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University and teaches about the history of Zionism, Palestine, Israel, Jerusalem, and nationalism in the modern Middle East. s.


October 24, 2022
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Wagner Union


Holocaust Center