Politics and Politicians: 3-Part “Master Zoom Class” with Prof. Paul Liptz

CSP Distance Learning Series

Sunday Apr 12, 2020 12:00 PM PDT – Moshe Dayan
Sunday Apr 19, 2020 12:00 PM PDT – Ariel Sharon
Sunday Apr 26, 2020 12:00 PM PDT – Shimon Peres

This program is funded by a grant from the Jewish Community Foundation Orange County

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Moshe Dayan was sometimes seen as the ultimate sabra, tough, arrogant, committed to his country and its land and the greatest of generals. However, he was, in reality, a complex person who was often in conflict with his peers and family and he was blamed for the failure in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.  However, in 1977 he joined Menachem Begin’s cabinet as Foreign minister and played an important role in the peace talks with Egypt. He is remembered by his comment that he claimed he only knew how to “plow to build the homeland and hold a sword to defend the earth“.


Sharon’s life was all about military conflict, taking risks and being a hero. He was sidelined by senior officers for refusing to accept orders and was told “you’re not a decent human being” and yet he was loved by many Israelis who sang “Arik: King of Israel“. He was considered to be the ultimate right-wing politician until in an amazing change of face, he decided to withdraw from the Gaza Strip based on his comment that “we cannot have a Jewish and democratic state and continue to rule over the whole of Eretz Israel“.


Loved and hated, Shimon Peres did not succeed as a politician but was highly respected as a statesman. He was not the kind of politician who the population could appreciate because he was perceived as being cold, without a military background   and perhaps too intellectual. The session will delve into the controversies surrounding him and analyze his biographer’s comment that in terms of Israel, “no other person has done so much, in so many fields and by such original methods, to strengthen her security, and to bring her peace and to improve her world stature“.

Paul Liptz, a social historian and CSP’s recent 19th Annual One Month Scholar in Residence, was on the Tel Aviv University faculty for 40 years, teaching graduate and undergraduate students in the Department of Middle East and African History and the International School, where he dealt with a wide range of topics. His main interests are History of the Yishuv [Pre-State], the Modern State of Israel and Arab Women and Nationalism in the Middle East. He taught graduate students at the Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem as well as at the Conservative movement seminary for 25 years, dealing with modern Jewish history, Israeli society and the contemporary Middle East. In the Israeli army reserves, he lectured officers and non-commissioned officers on non-military realms. He is still active in Israel and is involved in various academic and educational fields. In the last few decades, he has travelled the world extensively, lecturing and conducting workshops in some twenty countries. He has also been a visiting scholar with many American groups in Central and Eastern Europe. Paul was born in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and came as a volunteer to Israel one day before the Six Day War on June 4, 1967. He decided to stay in Israel, married Brenda and they have 4 children and 11 grandchildren.

Celebrating our 19th year, the mission of the Orange County Jewish Community Scholar Program is to share the joy of Judaism, build community, and celebrate our Jewish heritage with a rich adult education program and unique family experiences.  Whether we are picking apples for Rosh Hashana, celebrating Shabbat while camping, clapping along with Jewish Blues or Rock musicians, hosting a community-wide Shabbat Alive outdoors, learning with internationally-known scholars, making life-long Jewish friends at family and adult retreats, or providing [Social] Distance Learning Programs during a pandemic, CSP has programs to offer for all ages. We ignite passion for Judaism! For more information about CSP, please call us at 949.682.4040 or visit us at www.occsp.org

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