Dr. David Tal

Dr. David Tal is the Kahanoff Chair in Israeli Studies at the University of Calgary in Canada, and currently a Research Fellow at the S. Daniel Abraham Center for International and Regional Studies at Tel Aviv University. Dr. Tal received a BA, MA, and PhD in History from Tel Aviv University. His research specialties include Israeli security issues and diplomatic history, and U.S. disarmament policy.

In 2005 and again in the 2008-2009 academic year, Dr. Tal taught the following courses at Emory as a visiting Israeli scholar in the Emory University History Department:

The History of Israeli Foreign Policy (Spring 2009)

This course will concentrate on Israel's diplomatic history. It will discuss Israel international orientation in the 1950s', the role of the diplomats in the pursuit of security alliance with a great power, first with France and later with the United States; the search for peace and the diplomats role in the preparation to war, before and after the 1956, 1967 and 1973 wars; and the role of diplomacy throughout the Israeli- Palestinian rapprochement and conflict.

The Great Powers in the Middle East, 1914- Present (Spring 2009)

This course will deal with the creation of the Middle East in its present form, with the entry of the Great Powers to the region after the First World War. It will discuss the rise of the British influence in the region and its decline in the aftermath of the second world war, the rise of Arab nationalism, as a counter force and the growing role and influence of the United States in the area, the turning of the Middle East into a great powers' Cold War battle field, and the role of the decolonization movement in the changing face of the Middle East.The Making of the U.S.-Israeli Relationship

The Making of the U.S.-Israeli Relationship (Fall 2008)

The course will deal with the buildup and development of the Israeli-American relationship from the 1940s to the present. The course will describe the historical roots of the American support to the Zionist idea in the 19th century, the transfer of the Jewish diplomatic center from Britain to the US, the ideological roots of the US support of Israel and its extent, beyond the security dimension and the mutuality of those relationship, that is, the Israeli input in the creation of the
Israeli-American special relations.

Issues in Israeli National Security (Fall 2008)

National security is a prime issue in Israel, and it was so since its existence. Being established in war, leaving in hostile environment, Israel had to deal with issues pertaining to its national security with the highest priority. The course will focus on several issues pertaining to Israels national security, bringing together military, diplomatic and social issues. We'll study the ideas that provided the basis for the development of Israels national security policy, build up of the IDF and the development of military strategy that were aimed to accomplish the goals of Israel's national security policy; the role of diplomacy in the shaping and conduct of Israel's national security policy; the pursuit of peace and the conduct of wars; military-civic relations in Israel; Israel and the non-conventional threats, nuclear and low-intensity conflicts.

History of Modern Israel (Fall 2005)

This survey discussed thematically issues pertaining to the history of Israel from 1948: David Ben Gurion, the father of the nation; security problems and the Arab-Israeli conflict; Israel political system from Labor dominancy to the Likud Governments; the ethnic tensions (Sepharadim and Ashkenazim); the transition from socialist to free market economy; the ghosts of the Holocaust; the limits of the nation-state; Israel and its Arab citizens; Israel and the Religious and non-Religious identity; Israel and the Palestinian problem; and Israel in the aftermath of the 1967 War.

History & Politics of Nuclear Disarmament, 1945-Present (Fall 2005)

This course dealt with the negotiations on nuclear disarmament, explained why a disarmament agreement per se was never achieved, what was achieved, after all, and why. It described the influence of international diplomacy as well as domestic politics on the progress of the negotiations, and it described the conceptual change that took place in the United States position following the launching of the Soviet Sputnik that led first to a conceptual transition from the concept of Disarmament to the concept of Arms Control, a change that eventually allowed the signing of agreements like the Partial Nuclear Test Ban, the Non Proliferation Treaty, the SALT agreement, and so on.