Vanderbilt speaker to argue for changes in Israel

Israel should become a secular democracy and better integrate its Arab minority to help secure its future, Israeli political economist Bernard Avishai will argue during a lecture at Vanderbilt University based on his latest book.

Avishai, author of The Hebrew Republic: How Secular Democracy and Global Enterprise Will Bring Israel Peace at Last, will speak at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22 in Room 126 of Wilson Hall on the Vanderbilt campus.

“Israel has proven itself as a champion of economic globalization, and its new entrepreneurial elites are leading their country into a world of integrated markets, federal relations and cosmopolitan values,” Avishai said. “So Israel can be a patently Jewish state in this emerging, democratic world—much the way France maintains itself as a French state—by focusing on preserving the grandeur of its language and culture.”

The lecture, sponsored by The Program in Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt, is free and open to the public. Event parking is available across 21st Avenue in lots 5A and 5B. Audio of the lecture will be recorded for podcast at VUCast, the website of Vanderbilt News Service, at

Avishai, the former technology editor for Harvard Business Review, has written three books about Israel including The Tragedy of Zionism. The New York Times said that The Hebrew Republic is “brilliantly argued” and called Avishai “a Herzl for the modern age.”

For more information on Bernard Avishai, go to

Media contact: Jim Patterson, (615) 322-NEWS