Emanuele Ottolenghi

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Emanuele Ottolenghi is a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a regular contributor with Commentary Magazine, and the executive director of The Transatlantic Institute, 'an American Jewish Committee initiative of international diplomacy' (appointed 28 August 2006).[1][2] He has written op-eds for the National Review, New York Sun, Jerusalem Post (regular contributor), the Guardian, among others, most of which are focused exclusively on Israel, often brandishing the 'anti-Semitism' charge to fend off criticism of Israel. Ottolenghi is a leading voice in the neoconservative campaign against Iran.

Basic biography

Emanuele Ottolenghi was born in 1969 in Bologna, Italy, and he speaks English, French, Hebrew and Italian. He graduated from the University of Bologna with a degree in Political Science. He lived for five years in Israel, where he worked for the Israel Democracy Institute, and obtained a PhD in Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Around 2003, he taught Israeli politics at Oxford University where he was the Leone Ginzburg Fellow in Israel Studies at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and the Middle East Centre at St Antony's College, Oxford. He was also a columnist for Il Foglio. He has held positions at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., as well as the University of New South Wales, in Australia.


From the Magna Carta Foundation website (where Italian neocons meet the American neocons):

He works as a freelance consultant on Israeli politics and Middle East issues; he regularly contributes Op-Eds to Israel’s English daily The Jerusalem Post, the Italian Daily Il Foglio and occasionally to the Italian daily syndicate Il Quotidiano Nazionale (a conglomerate of Il Giorno, Il Resto del Carlino, and La Nazione); Fragments of Zion, his monthly column in Rome’s Jewish magazine Shalom, is dedicated to Zionist thinkers and the relevance of their work to present day Israel. He has published Op-Eds in several newspapers on Israel and the Middle East topics (The Guardian, The Jerusalem Report, The Australian Financial Review and Newsday among others) and regularly appears on news radio and TV programs.

Target Iran

Over the past five years Ottolenghi has tried to establish himself as an expert on Iran, with a view to encouraging a more belligerent policy toward the Islamic Republic. Ottolenghi is now a member of The Iran Energy Project, an initiative of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He has argued for the economic strangulation of Iran, and in a recent article in Foreign Affairs, he makes the case that the bar of evidence must be set lower to blacklist companies suspected of doing business with Iran's Revolutionary Guards. He writes:

If a business thought to be IRGC-related is publicly identified, government agencies can better investigate its identity and operations. This may then lead to a designation by one or more Western governments. Even if a business is not designated as IRGC-affiliated, however, the mere act of identification is useful.[3]



  • Executive Director, Transatlantic Institute
  • Phone: +32 2 500 72 80
  • E-mail: ottolenghie@transatlanticinstitute.org

Until 2006 Ottolenghi maintained his own website www.emanueleottolenghi.com, but since he became director of the TransAtlantic institute it has been removed. The last version of it is available in the Internet Archive of 24 August 2006.[8]


  • Electoral Reform in Israel, Palgrave, due 2006.
  • Anatol Lieven, right or wrong?, OpenDemocracy, 20 October 2004. (In this article, Ottolenghi provides a very good summary of his views -- and positions him firmly in the neocon or ziocon corner).
  • FFD profile and list of articles, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, accessed 23 October 2010.


  • PIWP listing of articles by or about Ottolenghi can be found here (click on button).
  • Rightweb Emanuele Ottolenghi
  • FORA TV, a video of Ottolenghi talking about his book "Under a Mushroom Cloud: Europe, Iran and the Bomb" Under a Mushroom Cloud, Accessed 14-July-2009


  1. Emanuele Ottolenghi, Giving Iran Nothing to Worry About, Commentary Magazine, Accessed 03-June-2009
  2. American Jewish Committee, Press Release: Transatlantic Institute Names Emanuele Ottolenghi as New Director, 28 August 2006.
  3. Eli Clifton, Ottolenghi: Lower Burden of Proof Needed For Designating Companies “IRGC Shells", Lobelog.com, 23 October 2010
  4. American Jewish Committee, Press Release: Transatlantic Institute Names Emanuele Ottolenghi as New Director, 28 August 2006.
  5. Iran Energy Project, "About", Iran Energy Project website, accessed on 8 November 2010
  6. Clive Davis, Michael & Him, 11 August 2006
  7. Advisory Council:Policy Council members, HJS website, undated, accessed 5 November 2014
  8. See http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.emanueleottolenghi.com