Dr. Itamar Radai

Discipline: History

Expert in: Israel studies, Israeli-Arab conflict, Palestinian history

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Key words: Israeli, Palestinian, Arab, conflict 

What are you currently researching?
I am finishing a book on the theme of 1948 and before, showing how the Zionist Jewish pre-state leadership in Palestine had envisioned the Arabs as a minority in the future Jewish state.      

How did you become involved in your research field?
As a student of history, I became aware of the abundance of material in Israeli (and British) archives on the Israeli-Arab conflict, including many documents in Arabic, and this has engaged my imagination and has enabled me to conduct a historical study.     

What inspired you to become a researcher?
To learn about the past; its volatile course and its implications on people; its repercussions and reverberations on the present, and on the future.   

Which of your research findings would you like to highlight?
The complexities of the conflict; the multiple views expressed by people at various points, such as the gradual change in Zionist attitudes towards the Arabs from the 1920s to the 1930s and 40s. In short, it is complicated.

How does your research link to todays' challenges?
I research "contemporary history," therefore making it a laboratory of knowledge for todays' challenges. The notion that history is not predetermined, but rather may change due to actions chosen by people, is the main lesson.
What excites you regarding your research field?
The ability to reconstruct the past, starting from everyday life to ideological and policy attitudes, while observing striking similarities to the present, and possible visions of the future.