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                             DR. NORTON MEZVINSKY






            International Council for Middle East Studies

     Distinguished Professor of Middle Eastern History
                                        Connecticut State University
                              Co-Author: (With Israel Shahak)
                           "Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel"
                                     Author (forthcoming): Book
                             "Christian Zionism"




                 The program can be viewed in its entirety by clicking the you tube link below:

                 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhfmeoJ5wbg - NORTON MEZVINSKY Ph.D


Background Information for: DR. NORTON MEZVINSKY
small logo

On July 8, 2009, the International Council for Middle East Studies, Inc. (ICMES) was established to engage the study of Middle Eastern affairs and to contribute a unique perspective to discourse on the general subject currently circulating in the Washington, DC area. The officers and directors of ICMES have strong research and leadership backgrounds in their respective fields. Each member brings to the Council knowledge and experience in various aspects of Middle Eastern studies. Please see Board of Directors and Officers for further details about them.

ICMES is located on the premises of the International Law Institute, with office space provided by Professor Don Wallace (Georgetown University), Chair of the ICMES Board of Directors.

ICMES President and CEO, Professor Norton Mezvinsky (Central Connecticut State University) noted in describing the organization's mission, "ICMES is serving in advocacy, education, and conflict resolution roles that would pursue, promote and provide peaceful solutions, resolution, and outcomes of Middle East social, political, economic, cultural, and educational problems and concerns. The values of the organization hold a deep understanding of and respect for the historic, sociological, political underpinnings of the Middle East.”

ICMES's initial activities are described below and in further detail here. The organization's future goals include: panels to be hosted at the World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies in Barcelona, July 2010; a book project on religion and politics in the Middle East; academic exchanges of faculty and students between universities and colleges in the Middle East and the United States; and visits by Middle East studies scholars and political figures to present lectures and discussions.

To further these goals, Mezvinsky and other ICMES directors traveled to Lebanon and Syria in May and June, where they had discussions about the work of ICMES with academic, political and religious leaders, and government officials.


Calendar Year 2010: Recent Activities
Who conducted

Presentation on Religious Fundamentalism

Prof. Norton Mezvinsky
March 5-6
California Sabeel Conference, San Francisco


2 hours
Meetings with Academic, Religious, and Government Leaders
Dr. Mezvinsky, Issam Saliba, Esq. & Fernando Jimenez, Esq.

March 12-20

Opportunities for Cooperation & Academic Exchanges
1 week


 About Us | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©2009 International Council for Middle East Studies, Inc.


CCSU Courier logo

Board of Trustees Names Mezvinsky CSU Professor

Image of CCSU Professor of History Norton MezvinskyCCSU Professor of History Norton Mezvinsky was awarded the title of Connecticut State University professor by the CSU Board of Trustees at a formal presentation held in Torp Theatre.

CCSU President Richard L. Judd made the nomination upon the recommendation of the history department. “Norton Mezvinsky is the epitome of excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship, ever mindful of his responsibilities to contribute to the larger good of his fellow human beings,” noted Judd. “Professor Mezvinsky’s work as a consultant in Arab/Israeli peace negotiations over many years has had a profound effect. The insight of those many years of labor provide his students with ‘living’ history. Professor Mezvinsky is one of those extraordinarily erudite professors who make the profession of teaching the calling that it truly is.”

The title of Connecticut State University professor was established by the four universities of the CSU system—Central, Eastern, Southern, and Western. “It is a signal honor, reserved for faculty members who fulfill the highest ideals of outstanding teaching, scholarly achievement, and public service,” said Lawrence D. McHugh, chair of the CSU Board of Trustees. 

Dr. Mezvinsky said, “To be honored by my peers is a most humbling experience for me. In becoming a CSU Professor I feel a great responsibility to contribute in the future, as I have attempted to do in the past 35 years at CCSU, with my teaching, research, and writing.”

The CSU Board resolution praised Dr. Mezvinsky for “serving CCSU as a professor in the Department of History for over 30 years where he has taught, inspired, and directly influenced countless students while attaining extraordinary levels of achievement in creative activity, teaching, and service. He has coordinated faculty and student exchanges between CCSU and Eastern Mediterranean University in North Cyprus and the Universität der Bundeswehr in Hamburg, Germany. Professor Mezvinsky has lectured extensively to university, college, and high school audiences, as well as governmental, service, religious, and other organizations, and has delivered scholarly papers and lectures at conferences and seminars in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.”

— Keith Marjani



CCSU Courier



Stylus Publishing, LLC   




Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel

Israel Shahak, Norton Mezvinsky

Could Jewish fundamentalism derail the peace process, plunging Israel into civil war? In this controversial book, acclaimed Israeli writer Israel Shahak and American scholar Norton Mezvinsky explore the consequences of the fundamentalist belief that people of Jewish faith are special before God, a belief the fundamentalists passionately defend.

The authors consider the consequences of this belief in the light of the considerable political influence and power of Jewish Fundamentalism. They make a clear distinction between the fundamentalist ideology of Israel’s Ashkenazi Jews and that of the Sephardic Jews. The growing impact of these two movements on Israel, at both the political and grassroots levels, is also examined.

Shahak and Mezvinsky argue that Israeli Jewish fundamentalism is closely associated with a new form of national religious messianism. Rising from the 1967 settling of the conquered territories, this growing trend vehemently opposes the peace process.

The authors conclude by analyzing the possibilities for civil war in Israel between religious fundamentalists and secularists.


Israel Shahak was a resident of the Warsaw Ghetto and a survivor of Bergen-Belsen. He arrived in Palestine in 1945 and lived there until his death in 2001. He was an outspoken critic of the state of Israel and a renowned human rights activist. He authored the highly acclaimed "Jewish History, Jewish Religion" (Pluto Press 1994) and "Open Secrets: Israeli Nuclear and Foreign Policies" (Pluto Press 1997).
Norton Mezvinsky is Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University.

"Shahak is an outstanding scholar, with remarkable insight and depth of knowledge. His work is informed and penetrating, a contribution of great value." -- Noam Chomsky

"The voice of reason is alive and well, and in Israel, of all places. Shahak is the latest -- if not the last -- of the great prophets." -- Gore Vidal

" In this deeply disturbing book Shahak and Mezvinsky highlight the dangers that Jewish fundamentalism poses to democracy in Israel. Using Hebrew sources previously untapped by Western researchers, the authors elucidate the religious philosophy that underpins the politics of Shas, the National Religious Party and like-minded settler parties.......The picture they paint is a shocking one. Pulling no punches they liken the 'intolerance' and 'hatred' of Jewish fundamentalist thought to Nazism (p65) and contend that both the Israeli public and their politicians have been too indulgent of the religious parties.......Illuminative, insightful and accessible, this is an important book that deserves as wide a readership as possible". Gordon Peake, St. Anthony's College, Oxford.

" The fact that Jewish fundamentalists in Israel glorify murderers, undermine the peace process, and practice the most vicious forms of sexism is rarely even acknowledged. Many are afraid to mention this problem for fear of encouraging the anti-Semitism that is endemic in all western societies.....Israel Shahak, an Israeli human rights activist resident in Jerusalem for more than 40 years, and Norton Mezvinsky, an American history professor with great experience in Judaism, have bravely decided to break the silence about the fundamentalist danger. They report that the problem has been glossed over by those reporting on Israeli society much in the way that the crimes of Stalinism were glossed over by some leftists in discussions about the late USSR......The authors conclude that if fundamentalists ever get into power, they will treat non-Jews in Israel very badly, and treat Jews they consider heretics - the vast majority of the Israeli population - even worse. Perhaps more frightening is that they would stop female education and force women to withdraw from public life. The authors ....are right to warn us of the danger, especially the danger of failing to give these people the attention they deserve and judge them as we would other groups. The first thing for Americans to do is brave the wrath of those who don't allow Israel to be criticized and demand a stop to US aid to a system which helps groups that are dangerous to women, democracy and world peace." -- The Socialist

" ... The dominant North American public intellectual culture 'disappears' the Shahaks and Mezvinsky's with their upsetting challenges to prevailing dogma. (Their) explicit objective is to rouse the reader, particularly the North American reader, into an acknowledgment that Jewish fundamentalism is as "pernicious" as other fundamentalisms. This requires us to approach the Jewish past not as a folk-tale but as history.....some readers...could be shocked, even affronted by the evidence presented. How influential is Jewish fundamentalism?.. The authors contend it is enormous, particularly on the Likud.....Jewish fundamentalism seeks a return to ignorance, ritually prescribed behavior, and authoritarianism inseparable from inhumane viciousness; in short, the recreation of the internal conditions of pre-modern Jewry".-

- The Outlook on Books, Canada's Progressive Jewish Magazine



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