Dr. Yitzhak Reiter


Dr. Yitzhak Reiter is Professor of Middle East, Israel and Islamic Studies atn Ashkelon Academic College in Israel where he also chairs the Department of Land-of-Israel Studies. Dr. Reiter received his BA, MA, and Doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In Fall 2018, Dr. Reiter taught the following courses as a visiting Israeli scholar at the Emory University History Department:

Jerusalem in Regional Politics

Jerusalem is a city holy to the world’s three monotheistic religions and a rallying point for contesting groups in the Middle East. The course is aimed at engaging students in critical and creative discussions about the various aspects of Jerusalem regarding the following topics: the city's historical and emotional identity in, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, boundaries and territory; the demographic challenge; the national and religious character of the city; the local, regional and international realms for those beyond the Middle East; the Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa controversy, the security barrier; the struggle for sovereignty and negotiating the Jerusalem issue in the peace process. The course is designed to accommodate students who have not taken any previous courses in religion or Middle East Studies.

Contesting Holy Places in Israel and Palestine

The course will focus on the contested holy places in Israel and historical Palestine as national and political symbols for consolidating internal and external legitimacy for parties in the Middle East conflict. The major questions to be discussed are: Why does violence break out? How is violence used to cement national (political) and religious identities? And what are conflict resolution and conflict management measures used to prevent or reduce violence? Topics include: the Status Quo system and its violations; reviving traditions, "conversion," or "museumising" sacred sites for political ends. Case studies include the Cave of the Patriarchs/Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron; the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa, the Western Wall, the Nachmanides Cave, the Mamilla Cemetery and Samuel's Tomb in Jerusalem; a strife over an Islamic tomb near the Church of Annunciation in Nazareth and controversies involving mosques in Jaffa and Beersheva.