Faculty of Humanities / Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
Prof. Elie Podeh פרופ' אלי פודה
Prof. Elie Podeh  פרופ' אלי פודה
List of Publications


Elie Podeh - General Information



Prof. Elie Podeh completed his Ph.D. in Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University, under the supervision of Prof. Itamar Rabinovich and Prof. Shimon Shamir, in 1991. He spent the following year undertaking post-doctorate studies at Cornell University. In 1995, he joined the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as a faculty member in the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies in. He became a Senior Lecturer in 1999 and in 2005 Associate Professor; since 2004 he has served as department Chair. In addition, Prof. Podeh is a Research Fellow at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, as well as is a member of the academic committees of the Davis Institute for International Relations and the Levzion Center for Islamic Studies. From 1999 to 2007 Prof. Podeh (together with Prof. Haim Gerber) served as the editor of Hamizrah Hehadash (The New East) – the Hebrew journal of the Israeli Oriental Society (recently renamed the Middle East and Islamic Studies Association of Israel).


In his research and teaching, Prof. Podeh deals with the modern history of the Arab Middle East since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 20th century. More specifically, his main areas of interest are inter-Arab relations, Arab-Israeli relations, Egypt, culture and education in the Arab world.


In the field of inter-Arab relations he published a book (in Hebrew and English) on the struggle in the Arab world over the Baghdad Pact – a Western-led defense organization – in the 1950s (The Quest for Hegemony in the Arab World: The Struggle over the Baghdad Pact). Another book focuses on the union between Egypt and Syria between the years 1958-61, analyzing the reasons for the formation of the union and its collapse only three and a half years later (The Decline of Arab Unity: The Rise and Fall of the United Arab Republic). Some of his articles in this field analyze the current situation in the Arab system, following the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003.


In the field of Arab-Israeli relations, Prof. Podeh published a book (in English and Arabic), which examined how Israeli history school textbooks have depicted the Arabs and the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1948. The book maps the changes in the Israeli historical narrative, as reflected in the textbooks (The Arab-Israeli Conflict in Israeli History Textbooks, 1948-2000). A limited survey then analyzed the way Egyptian and Palestinian textbooks portray Israel and the conflict. He also co-edited (with Dr. Asher Kaufman) a book on Israeli-Arab relations, published in honor of Prof. Moshe Ma‘oz, on the occasion of his retirement from the Hebrew University. Prof. Podeh has published several articles on the Arab Peace Plan (or the Saudi Initiative), its historical antecedents and political implications for Israel and the Arab world. He is further engaged, in his writings and teaching, with the question of Israel’s place in the Middle East; this focus stems from the conviction that Israel studies should be considered part of Middle Eastern studies – in contrast to the situation in Israeli academia to date.


In the field of Egypt, Prof. Podeh co-edited (with Prof. Onn Winckler) a collection of articles on Egypt during the Nasserite period (1952-70). In contrast to other interpretations of Nasserism, this book analyzes, theoretically and empirically, this phenomenon as a populist movement. Prof. Podeh and Prof. Winckler also collaborated on a monograph on the Arab boycott on Egypt between 1979-1989, following the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. In addition, Prof. Podeh published articles on the reasons for the "cold" peace between Israel and Egypt, the memory of the 1956 Suez War, and other Egyptian foreign issues.


In the field of cultural studies, Prof. Podeh has recently completed a book that deals with state celebrations and commemorations in the Arab world. His study focuses on the national calendar and attempts to assess the importance of holidays devised by the state (Independence Day, Memorial Day, etc.) on the evolution of the national identity and state-building processes. The research focuses on six case studies: Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.


Prof. Podeh’s upcoming research will concentrate on missed opportunities in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The study will explore several peace plans and peace negotiations from a variety of angles, reviewing their outcomes and the implications of those outcomes.