UCLA experts can provide context and commentary on the current fighting in the Middle East.

Benjamin Radd
Radd is a lecturer of global studies, international and area studies, and political science in the UCLA College. He is an expert on government and politics in the Middle East, particularly Iran, and U.S. foreign policy.

Email: benrad@ucla.edu

“The tragic events of last Saturday underscore several observations: 1. that Israel’s ongoing domestic political drama most likely compromised its national security; 2. that this was as much a failure of imagination as it was a failure of intelligence; and 3. the specter of Iran should no longer be seen as just an inchoate threat.”

James Gelvin
Gelvin is a professor of modern Middle East history at UCLA and an expert on contemporary issues, including U.S. policy in the region, Iran and the Israel-Palestine conflict. A member of the UCLA International Institute, his most recent book is “The New Middle East: What Everyone Needs to Know.”

Email: gelvin@history.ucla.edu

“Palestinian factions have undertaken operations like this to keep the Palestine issue alive and to prevent any backroom deals that they believe will sell them down the river. Hamas believes Saudi-Israeli normalization will put the issue of Palestinian sovereignty permanently on the back burner in return for promises that will not be fulfilled.”

David Myers
Myers, professor of history at UCLA, is an authority on modern Jewish intellectual and cultural history and Jewish historiography, and an expert on Jewish-Arab relations. Myers’ research has touched on a wide variety of topics, among them the Jewish diaspora, Zionism, modern Hasidic Judaism, German-Jewish historicism, European-Jewish intellectual movements and the history of the Jews of Los Angeles.

He is the Director of the Initiative to Study Hate and is also the founding director of the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy.

Email: myers@history.ucla.edu

“Israel is in a state of shock both at the scale and brutality of the massacre and at the colossal intelligence failure. Now people on both sides of the border, Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza, are waiting to see how massive the Israeli retaliation will be. Much stands in the balance — life for Palestinians in Gaza, the fate of Israeli hostages, and the threat of expanded conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran.”

Dov Waxman
Waxman is director of UCLA’s Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies and holds the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair in Israel Studies. His research focuses on the conflict over Israel–Palestine, Israeli politics and foreign policy, U.S.–Israel relations, American Jewry’s relationship with Israel, American Jewish politics and anti-Semitism.

Email: dovwaxman@ucla.edu

“The terrorist attack perpetrated by Hamas on Saturday was unprecedented in many ways. It will undoubtedly have major repercussions in Israel. The war that is now unfolding between Israel and Hamas is also likely to be different from what we’ve seen before. Israel’s formal declaration of war against Hamas signals that its military campaign will be bigger, longer and probably more devastating than any of its previous military operations against Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. There is also a real risk that the war could escalate even further if Hezbollah, Hamas’ ally, becomes increasingly involved. This is a game-changing moment for Israel and for the Palestinians.”

Saree Makdisi
Makdisi is a professor of English and comparative literature and has written extensively on politics in the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is the author of “Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation.”

Email: makdisi@humnet.ucla.edu

“I think the current events unfolding in and around and beyond Gaza need to be seen in the context of 70 years of occupation, ethnic cleansing and apartheid. Everyday life for all Palestinians living under Israeli control takes place under conditions of violence, whether slow and small-scale or large and impressive (as is the case right now). That’s the context for what’s taking place now.”

Steven Spiegel
Spiegel is a professor of political science and director of UCLA’s Center for Middle East Development. He is an expert on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

Email: spiegel@polisci.ucla.edu

Stuart Gabriel
Gabriel is a professor of finance in the Anderson School of Management and ongoing professor at Tel Aviv University. He is an expert on Israeli economy, history and society.

Email: stuart.gabriel@anderson.ucla.edu

Steve Zipperstein
Zipperstein is a lecturer in the global studies program at UCLA and a visiting professor at Tel Aviv University Law School. He is also a distinguished senior fellow of the UCLA Center for Middle East Development.

Email: szipperstein@international.ucla.edu

Haroon Azar
Azar is a senior fellow at the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations and the former program director for the center’s Initiative on Security and Religious Freedom. Previously, Azar was the deputy director for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Email: hazar@international.ucla.edu

Loubna Qutami
Qutami is assistant professor in the department of Asian American Studies at UCLA. Her research examines transnational Palestinian youth movements after the 1993 Oslo Accords through the 2011 Arab Uprisings. Her broader scholarly interests include Palestine, critical refugee studies, the racialization of Arab/Muslim communities in the U.S., settler-colonialism, youth movements, transnationalism and indigenous and Third World Feminism.

Email: loubnaqutami@g.ucla.edu

Judea Pearl
Pearl is Chancellor’s professor of computer science and statistics and director of the UCLA Cognitive System Laboratory. His research focuses on artificial intelligence, human reasoning and the history of ideas. He has written extensively on Jewish identity, Muslim-Jewish interfaith, terrorism, the Arab-Israeli conflict and the history of Israel.

Email: judea@cs.ucla.edu

“The current events unfolding in and around Gaza must be seen in the context of 100 years of a conflict between two equally legitimate and equally indigenous national movements. The current hostilities stem directly from persistent attempts to break this symmetry.”