Henry Siegman

Henry Siegman is president of the U.S./Middle East Project (USMEP) which was part of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) from 1994 until 2006, at which time it was established as an independent policy institute.

Mr. Siegman is also a research professor at the Sir Joseph Hotung Middle East Program of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

In the more than thirty years of his involvement in the Middle East peace process, Mr. Siegman has published extensively on the subject and has been consulted by governments, international agencies, and non-governmental organizations involved in the peace process.

Mr. Siegman has authored several hundred articles and op-ed pieces that have appeared in editorial pages in the United States and throughout the world, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune, Al Ahram, Al Hayat, Le Monde and the Financial Times. His articles have also appeared in the New York Review of Books, Foreign Affairs, Middle East Journal, Commentary, Current Affairs, Le Monde Diplomatique, The Nation, and the London Review of Books.

Major studies directed by Mr. Siegman at the CFR, where he served as a Senior Fellow on the Middle East for fourteen years, included “Harnessing Trade for Development and Growth in the Middle East” (2002); “Strengthening Palestinian Public Institutions,” (1999) conducted on behalf of the European Commission and the government of Norway, and a CFR Independent Task Force report “U.S. Middle East Policy and the Peace Process.” In 2002, he directed a study commissioned by the U.S. Department of State and the National Intelligence Council on the implications of “viability” for Palestinian statehood.

Prior to 1993, Mr. Siegman served as Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress for 16 years, and as general secretary of the American Association of Middle East Studies and editor of its quarterly Middle East Studies. He was a Resident Scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center in Bellagio, Italy.

Mr. Siegman served as a commissioned officer in the US Army during the Korean War and was awarded the Bronze Star medal for service in Korea.

Mr. Siegman’s areas of specialization include Arab-Israel relations, the Middle East peace process, U.S. Middle East policy, interreligious relations, and the American Jewish community.



General Brent Scowcroft, Eric Melby and Henry Siegman

General Brent Scowcroft, Eric Melby and Henry Siegman

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Does America really ‘share values’ with today’s Israel?

In the late sixties or early seventies, when I served as the executive head of the Synagogue Council of America, the coordinating body for certain social action and interreligious activities of the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform national rabbinical and congregational organizations in the United States, I had a private conversation—one of many—with Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, who was considered the leader of modern Orthodoxy in the United States, if not the world.

Rabbi Soloveitchik had just completed a high-level seminar attended by a select group of rabbis and Christian ministers. I asked him if he would agree to lead another such a seminar on the Jewish attachment to the Land of Israel and the concept of “kedushat haaretz” (the holiness of the land), and how these are to be differentiated from concepts such as “blut und boden” (blood and land) at the heart of German fascism and other totalitarian regimes.

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