March 8, 2001

"The Future of Jerusalem" to be topic of roundtable discussion March 22

Palestinian and Israeli experts to participate

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.—A roundtable discussion titled "The Future of Jerusalem" will bring together four experts with differing perspectives on the topic, including the Palestinian and Israeli viewpoints. The event will take place on the Middlebury College campus at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 22, in the Robert A. Jones ’59 House on Hillcrest Road off College Street (Route 125). The event is free and open to the public.

Middlebury Professor of Geography Tamar Mayer, who is organizing the discussion in collaboration with the College’s Center for International Affairs, said, "The event represents a great challenge and accomplishment because it will bring Israelis and Palestinians together in the same room to discuss Jerusalem."

"It is also a tremendous opportunity for our students, faculty, staff and community members to learn firsthand about the current Palestinian-Israeli negotiations regarding Jerusalem in the context of the city’s past, present and future," added Mayer.

The four experts participating in the event include Meron Benvenisti, a writer and columnist for Ha’artz Hebrew Daily and author of "Sacred Landscape: The Buried History of the Holy Land 1948-1998" (University of California Press), who will discuss the Israeli view of the future of Jerusalem based on his academic and political work. Salim Tamari, director of the Institute of Jerusalem Studies in Jerusalem and currently a visiting professor in New York University’s department of Middle Eastern studies, will present the Palestinian outlook on Jerusalem.

"We are honored and thrilled that Meron Benvenisti is traveling all the way from Israel for this discussion at Middlebury," said Mayer.

Another of the experts, Hisham Melhem, Washington, D.C.-based correspondent for the Lebanese daily As-Safir, the Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas and Radio Monte Carlo, will talk about the Arab world’s perspective on the past and future of Jerusalem. Middlebury College alumna Janine Zacharia, Washington correspondent for The Jerusalem Post, will focus on the evolution of Israel’s debate over Jerusalem. Mayer will serve as moderator.

For more information, contact Charlotte Tate of the Center for International Affairs at Middlebury College at 802-443-5795 or

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