May 20, 2019
“Jerusalem and Washington:
A Life in Politics and Diplomacy”
with Ambassador Zalman Shoval"
Zalman Shoval is an Israeli politician and diplomat who was a 4-term member of the Knesset, first representing David Ben-Gurion's Rafi-State List and then the Likud and who served as Israel’s ambassador to the United States during the George H. W. Bush presidency and, later during the Clinton administration. He resides in Tel Aviv and regularly visits the United States.
Professor Don Wallace, Jr., Chairman, International Law Institute
Professor Yonah Alexander, Director, Inter-University Center for Terrorism
Studies, and Senior Fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
Ambassador (Ret.) Zalman Shoval
A politician and a two-time ambassador to the United States, Shoval has navigated the complicated relationships among Israel’s various ministers and political parties. But none was more fraught than Jerusalem and Washington’s in the 1990s, in connection with the financial problems related to Israel's absorption of the million immigrants from the former Soviet Union which ignited tensions that threatened Shoval’s diplomatic expulsion.
Since Israel’s founding seventy years ago, Shoval has championed its independence, survival, and global reputation. His public life began as a child relocated from 1930s Europe, throwing rocks at Palestine’s British occupiers and living alongside Arabs and Jews whose backgrounds differed greatly from his own. As a college student in the U.S. and Switzerland, an intelligence officer in the Israeli Defense Force, a member of Israel’s governing majority in Jerusalem, and Israel’s ambassador in Washington, D.C., Shoval’s cosmopolitan background has influenced his hopes for Israel and his ability to negotiate with others.
Ambassador Shoval will discuss his recently published new book Jerusalem and Washington: A Life in Politics and Diplomacy (Roman & Littlefield, 2018) that provides “beyond the closed doors” accounts of these two capitals in the rooms where prime ministers and presidents made decisions about the first Gulf War, the fate of Jonathan Polard, the role of the PLO, and Israel’s responses to international criticisms and hostilities.