On the Issues Episode 107: Avi Shlaim

Today’s guest is Avi Shlaim, Professor Emeritus of International Relations at St. Antony’s College at the University of Oxford. His most recent book, Three Worlds: Memoirs of an Arab Jew, discusses his childhood in Baghdad and his family’s flight to Israel, interwoven with the history of the Jews in Iraq in the early 20th century. In this episode, we discuss this book, including Arab-Jewish harmony in Iraq until 1948 and both of our personal experiences of childhoods in Baghdad, the relationship between Ashkenazi and Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews in Israel in history until today, and current prospects, if any, for an Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Full bio

Avi Shlaim is an Emeritus Fellow of St Antony’s College and a former Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford. He was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2006.

His main research interest is the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is author of Collusion across the Jordan: King Abdullah, the Zionist Movement, and the Partition of Palestine (1988); The Politics of Partition (1990 and 1998); War and Peace in the Middle East: A Concise History (1995); The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (2000, second edition 2014); Lion of Jordan: King Hussein’s Life in War and Peace (2007); and Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations (2009). He is co-editor of The Cold War and the Middle East (1997); The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948 (2001, second edition 2007); and The 1967 Arab-Israeli War: Origins and Consequences (2012).

Professor Shlaim is a frequent contributor to the newspapers and commentator on radio and television on Middle Eastern affairs.