Barak Mendelsohn

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Barak Mendelsohn, is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Haverford College, has written on the politics of the Palestinian Authority, including on Hamas for the Council on Foreign Relations.[1] He is a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

He has written about al-Qaeda's difficulty in expanding into Palestine. "al-Qaeda has issued increasing numbers of statements dedicated to the Palestinian issue, in which it expresses support for the Palestinians, identifies with their plight, and accuses Arab regimes of abandoning their Palestinian brethren for cooperation with Israel. Many statements also attack Hamas’s positions and ask Palestinians to prepare for the arrival of their jihadi brothers. The increased attention is not coincidental. In distress, al-Qaeda is seeking to use the Palestinian question to improve its image by presenting itself as the true defender of the Palestinian people."[2]

At Haverford, he teaches International Politics, War on Terrorism, The Evolution of the Jihadi Movement, Politics in the State System, International Relations Theory: Conflict and the Middle East, Introduction to Terrorism Studies). At the Hebrew University (Jerusalem), he taught Strategy in the Middle East.

He spent five years in the Israeli Defense Forces, rising to the rank of captain, and serving as an analyst and then branch chief of international affairs and strategy.

Education and honors

  • B.A. in Middle East Studies, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem
  • M.A. in Security Studies, Tel Aviv University
  • M.A. and Ph.D. in Government, Cornell University
  • 2006-2007 Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Department of Political Science, Tel Aviv University.
  • 2000 Tzechick award for the best study on Israeli Security. Awarded by the JCSS (Jaffa Center for Strategic Studies) for the MA thesis, "Israeli Deterrence in the Gulf War", Tel Aviv University, Israel.
  • 1997 Excellence scholarship, the Security Studies Program, Tel Aviv University, Israel.