Israel's Elections Insights | April 1, 2021

Israel's Elections Insights | April 1, 2021

Apr 1, 2021 2:00pm


About the speakers

Michael Koplow is the Policy Director of the Israel Policy Forum. Before coming to Israel Policy Forum, he was the founding Program Director of the Israel Institute. He holds a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University, where he specialized in political development and ideology, and the politics of Middle Eastern states. He writes Israel Policy Forum’s weekly Koplow Column and edits the Israel Policy Exchange, which is a leading source for commentary and analysis on Israel and American Jewry, and his work regularly appears in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Atlantic, and the Forward, among other publications. In addition to his Ph.D., he holds a B.A. from Brandeis University, a J.D. from New York University, and an A.M. in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University. 

Shira Efron is a policy advisor at Israel Policy Forum. In parallel, she is a visiting fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS in Tel Aviv and a Special Advisor on Israel with the RAND Corporation, where in 2017 she founded a unique research program dedicated to Israel, and where she taught a class to PhD fellows. Her research focus is U.S. policy toward the Middle East, including on Israel’s evolving ties with China and the Israeli-Arab conflict. Dr. Efron specializes in policy analysis, research, and planning methods that can be applied in a variety of contexts. Her studies on Israel-China, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and the costs of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were featured in Israeli and international media outlets. Before joining INSS and RAND, Dr. Efron was a Middle East analyst at several think tanks in Washington DC including the Center for American Progress and Middle East Institute. She has a Ph.D. and M.Phil. in policy analysis from RAND’s Graduate School, an M.A. in international relations/international business from New York University (NYU) and a B.Sc. in biology (major) and computer science (minor) from Tel Aviv University. She is a member of the board of directors of Deborah Forum, which promotes women in the security establishment.

Dr. Abu Ras joined the Abraham Initiatives in 2014 as co-Executive Director and has significantly strengthened the organization's partnerships with public and political leaders in Arab society. Dr. Abu Ras had a central role in creating the "Future Visions" documents, which have provided a roadmap for the demands of Israel’s Arab community. Before joining Abraham Initiatives, Dr. Abu Ras directed Adalah's Negev office, was co­-director of “New Horizon” – The Arab­-Jewish Center for Dialogue and a Shared Society, and co­founded the Association of Environmental Justice in Israel. He sits on the general secretariat of "A Land for All", an Israeli-Palestinian peace movement, and has served as board co-chair for Hand In Hand schools in Israel. Dr. Abu Ras obtained his PhD in Regional Development & Middle East Studies from the University of Arizona. He is a political geographer who has taught at Ben-Gurion University and Sapir College. An expert on Arab politics in Israel, and a prominent voice promoting Jewish-Arab political partnership, he continues to publish articles regularly in the Hebrew and Arabic press.