Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies

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The Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, part of Tel Aviv University's School of History, is "an interdisciplinary research center devoted to the study of the modern history and contemporary affairs of the Middle East and Africa".

The centre claims that it does not take positions or recommend policies but only "seeks to inform civil society and promote dialogue on the complexities of the ever-changing Middle East" through research, publications and conferences and in this way help to "advance peace through understanding".[1] However, according to the American Friends of Tel Aviv University, the center works "closely with the Israeli government and army".[2]

The centre was ranked in fifteenth place among think tanks in the Middle East and North Africa by the Global Go To Think Tanks Report 2011[3] produced at the University of Pennsylvania.


Research focuses on the Arab world (including North Africa), Turkey, and Iran, with an emphasis on modern history and contemporary affairs.

It hosts an annual 'TAU Workshop on Israel and the Middle East' (formerly held at the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Regional and International Studies) which involves "an intensive 12-day academic workshop and travel program that focuses on the history of the Arab-Israeli Conflict and on contemporary issues related to Israel and the broader Middle East".[4]

The centre's Arabic press archive is "one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of modern and contemporary Arabic-language newspapers in the world".[5]

Recent conferences convened by the centre have focused on topics like the resilience of monarchy in the Middle East, the shifting alignments of Islamic movements, the historic role of Jewish scholars in the study of Islam and the politics of identity among Israel’s Arabs.[6]

Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad delivered the 2011 annual Moshe Dayan memorial lecture.[7]

In March 2012 U.S. ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro visited the center and gave a speech in which he addressed Israel's relationship with the UN, especially its decision to cut ties with the Human Rights Council (HRC). Shapiro said that the Council 'obsessively focuses' on Israel while neglecting more urgent human rights issues.[8]


The Center's origins lie in the Reuven Shiloah Institute, first established in 1959 under the auspices of the Israel Oriental Society and named after Reuven Shiloah, the first director of Mossad, Israel's foreign intelligence agency. In 1965, the Shiloah Institute was incorporated into Tel Aviv University. In 1983, the University established the Moshe Dayan Center[9], named after the former Israeli Defence Minister and IDF Chief of Staff, Moshe Dayan, who once reportedly said that Israel must 'be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.'[10]



Notable current and former staff include:


Uzi Rabi (Director) | Irit Back | Samir Ben-Layashi | Ofra Bengio | Harel Chorev-Halewa Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak | Yitzhak Gal | Rachel Kantz Feder | Ephraim Lavie | Meir Litvak] | Bruce Maddy-Weitzman | Itamar Rabinovich | Paul Rivlin | Yehudit Ronen | Asher Susser | Annie Tracy Samuel | Mira Tzoreff | Esther Webman | Daniel Zisenwine | Eyal Zisser | Gideon Gera[12]


S. Daniel Abraham | Mordechai Ben Porat | Charles Bronfman | Joseph Ciechanover | Lester Crown | Michel Fribourg | Bernard Gitter | Guilford Glazer | Kemal Gürüz | Haim Israeli | Ludwig Jesselson | Elie Kedourie | Senator E. Leo Kolber | Naphtali Lavie | Bernard Lewis | Moshe Many | Herman Merkin | Harvey M. Meyerhof | Itamar Rabinovich | Raphael Recanati | Baron Edmond de Rothschild | Zalman Shoval | Shabtai Teveth | Dan Tolkowsky | Joy Ungerleider-Mayerson | The Hon. Cyrus Vance[13] |

Board of Governers

Joseph Ciechanover (Chair) | Shalom Abarbanel | Uri Bar-Ner | Mordechai Ben Porat | Ronald Cohen | Boleslav Goldman | Joseph Klafter | Martin Kramer | Naphtali Lavie | Itamar Rabinovich | Moshe Raviv | Oudi Recanati | Aharon Shai | Shimon Shamir | Zalman Shoval | Asher Susser | Mordechai Tamarkin | Shabtai Teveth | Dan Tolkowsky | Eyal Zisser

International Board of Overseers

Lester Pollack (Chair) | Joel Mandel (Vice Chair) | Gaby Brill | John Bussel | Alexander Gertner | Ted Ginsberg | Diane Glazer | Guilford Glazer | Stanley Gold | Harvey Rothenberg | Alan Schwartz | Mark Siegel and Christina Siegel | Jacqueline Simkin | Amos Sochaczevski | Michael Sorkin | Alan Topchik | Edwin Wulfsohn |


The Center is funded by Tel Aviv University and by an endowment, research grants, and contributions.[14]

It also receives donations from the United States via the American Friends of Tel Aviv University.

Early funding came from Peter Ungerleider who supported the American Friends of Tel Aviv University through the Dorot Foundation and was 'instrumental' in the establishment of the Moshe Dayan Center.[15]


The centre produces a peer-reviewed academic journal called Sharqiyya which is published semi-annually with the Middle East & Islamic Studies Association of Israel. It also has a bi-monthly online publication called Tel Aviv Notes, a monthly podcast called Diwaniyya, and a cultural blog called Zawiyya. It produces a monthly e-newsletter called Iqtisadi: Middle East Economy containing analysis of Middle Eastern markets and key economic players. It also issues a biannual bulletin on the centre's activities in spring and autumn.

Recent faculty publications include:


The Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
Tel Aviv University
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv 69978 Israel
Phone: +972-3-6409646 or +972-3-6409100



  1. About Us, Moshe Dayan Center, accessed June 26, 2012
  2. Spotlight on...The Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, American Friends of TAU, accessed 2 July 2012
  3. Global Go To Think Tanks Report 2011, University of Pennsylvania, Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, accessed June 26, 2012
  4. Annual TAU Workshop on Israel and the Middle East, Mosshe Dayan Center, accessed June 26, 2012
  5. About:Arabic Press Archives, Moshe Dayan Center, accessed June 26, 2012
  6. Conferences and Lectures, Moshe Dayan Center, accessed June 26, 2012
  7. Bulletin 55, Moshe Dayan Center, accessed June 26, 2012
  8. U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro Speaks at Moshe Dayan Center's International Forum at TAU, American Friends of TAU, 29 March 2012, accessed 2 July 2012
  9. About Us, Moshe Dayan Center, accessed June 26, 2012
  10. The war game, 21 September 2003, The Observer, accessed 2 July 2012
  11. Moshe Dayan Center Abroad, Moshe Dayan Center, accessed June 26, 2012
  12. Staff Members, Moshe Dayan Center, accessed 2 July 2012
  13. Bulletin 55, Moshe Dayan Center, accessed June 26, 2012
  14. About Us, Moshe Dayan Center, accessed June 26, 2012
  15. Paid Notice: Deaths UNGERLEIDER, PETER, New York Times, accessed June 26, 2012