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News Source on Middle East, Terrorism and the Israeli-Lebanon Conflict: Professor William B. Helmreich


Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services

(718) 997-5597

Maria Matteo
News Assistant
(718) 997-5593

News Source on Middle East, Terrorism and the Israel-Lebanon Conflict:
Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Queens College

Perspective: Peace in the Middle East Will be a Long Time Coming

According to Professor William Helmreich, a former Woodrow Wilson Fellow and an expert on conflict resolution, there are five reasons why a peaceful solution to the Mid East crisis is far off:

Israel has not yet achieved any significant goals such as the release of prisoners or the removal of missiles aimed at its cities. The war in Lebanon has reinforced the terrorists’ perception of Israel as a weak adversary, which Israel wants to dispel.
Hezbollah’s mission is to destroy Israel. As its reputation increases, so too does its desire for more victories.
Hezbollah, who cannot be negotiated with, will not be willing to meet.
With much to gain from continued instability in the Mid East, Iran and Syria will expend more capital and energy to insure the status quo.
Hamas has not demonstrated it can rule responsibly, nor is it ready to recognize Israel, honor past agreements or stop the violence.

“There’s a difference between political and religious terrorists: The former can be negotiated with, the latter cannot,” says Helmreich. “At the same time, both sides must continue talking to each other. These discussions can only succeed if they are focused on presenting Muslims around the world with ideas and a coherent belief system that persuades them that the actions of terrorists are morally incorrect. Peace will come only when each side understands it cannot destroy the other. The only uncertainties are how long that will take and how many lives will be lost in the process.”

Credentials/Media Experience:

In addition to directing the Center for Jewish Studies Center at Queens College, Helmreich is professor of Sociology and Judaic Studies at the City University Graduate Center and City College. He also serves as director of the City College Conflict Resolution Center. A visiting professor at Hebrew University, Helmreich has also taught at Yale and written 11 books and numerous articles about the Mid East conflict for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and many scholarly journals. He is a frequent radio commentator and has appeared on CNN, CBS Morning News and NBC-TV (where he recently guest-anchored), as well as TV talk shows such as “Oprah” and “Larry King Live.” As a senior consultant for Blood and Tears, a soon-to-be-released documentary about the region, he has met with such well known leaders as Benjamin Netanyahu, Mohammed Dahlan, Shimon Peres and Dr. Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi, head of Hamas before his assassination.


 Office Information

Deputy Director of News Services
(Position vacant)

(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Queens Hall, Room 270B
(718) 997-5593

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