Book Talk: Friendly Fire: How Israel Became Its Own Worst Enemy
“If Israel becomes an Orwellian dystopia,” writes Ami Ayalon, former Shin Bet Director, “it won’t be thanks to a handful of theologians dragging us into the dark past. The secular majority will lead us there motivated by fear and propelled by silence.”
His recent book chronicles his journey, from kibbutz to decorated commando, naval commander, intelligence chief and cabinet member, and how he came to realize that the sustainable and democratic Jewish homeland for which he repeatedly risked his life, and killed, can only be realized side-by-side with a Palestinian state whose citizens have genuine hope for their own bright future. Hear his story and his solutions for the future.
Admiral (Ret.) Ami Ayalon is a former Flotilla 13 (Israel’s navy SEALs) commando, commander of the navy, director of the Shin Bet security agency, cabinet minister, Knesset member and a recipient of the Medal of Valor, Israel’s highest military decoration. With Sari Nusseibeh, he established the People’s Voice peace initiative in 2002. He is a member of Commanders for Israel’s Security, chairman of the Executive Committee of the Haifa Research Center for Maritime & Strategy and chairman of AKIM Israel (the National Association for children and adults with Intellectual Disabilities). He organized and was featured in the Academy Award-nominated documentary, The Gatekeepers.
Dr. Jeffrey Herbst is the fourth president of American Jewish University. At AJU, he has focused on promoting innovation in the university’s academic programs. He has also supported the growth of the Maas Center for Jewish Journeys, expansion of the B’Yachad/Together digital platform, and capital improvements on the Brandeis-Bardin Campus.
Prior to joining AJU, Dr. Herbst was president and CEO of the Newseum and the Newseum Institute in Washington, DC. From 2010 to 2015, he was president of Colgate University, where among other accomplishments he is credited with helping the university complete its nearly half billion-dollar fundraising campaign, leading the development and initial implementation of a university-wide strategic plan, and increasing the diversity and academic caliber of its educational programming.
Dr. Herbst earned his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Princeton University, and a master’s degree and doctorate in political science from Yale University. He is the author of the award-winning “States and Power in Africa” and, with several co-authors, the just-published “Making Africa Work.”