UMass Lowell Launches New Middle East Center

Opening Event Features Expert on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict UMass Lowell officially launched its new Center for Middle East Peace, Development and Culture with a special event featuring Professor Yoram Meital of Ben-Gurion University in Israel. 

Meital, chairman of the Chaim Herzog Center for Middle East Studies and Diplomacy at Ben-Gurion University, presented a lecture on “Peace in Tatters: Vision and Reality in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.” He explored the major obstacles and challenges to the peace process and the options for moving forward. 

Meital identified four components that are necessary for all successful nonviolent movements for change: Commitment to a vision that peace can indeed be won; Trust that a genuine partner can be found in the “enemy camp”; Effective leadership that comes from below and rises to the top and a public shift from finger pointing towards collaboration. The conflict continues, Meital suggested, because these components are lacking on both sides. 

Meital is an expert on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the politics of Arab states and nationalism in the Middle East, and he provides news analysis for media around the world. 

Meital’s talk with faculty and graduate students is the first of what will be a wide range of activities – including guest speakers, seminars and cultural events – for the University community and the public presented by the center to shed light on the major issues in the Middle East and its significance in the global arena.