About – The Regional Thinking Forum

The Regional Thinking Forum was founded in 2014, after three years of activity on the "You Can Think" website, with the aim of bringing about a change in the way the Israeli public perceives the Middle East and Israel's place within it, and to provoke complex discourse about the non-Jewish-focused region.

For this purpose, the research fellows at the forum, most of whom are lecturers and research students at institutions of higher education in Israel, offer in-depth and diverse information and analysis in relation to the prevailing discourse in Israel on the Middle East, and disseminate their products to the public.

The Israeli public and professional discourse on the Middle East is concentrated in Israel (and especially in “What is good for Jews”), and its producers treat the prevailing hostility between Jews and Arabs as an existential situation. Therefore, this discourse is characterized by a security, one-dimensional approach, focused on the risks on the one hand and the interests of countries, institutions and organizations on the other side.

Forum members, on the other hand, seek to understand what is happening in the region through the eyes of the “other,” and reject the perception of hostility between Jews and Arabs as an existential or necessary situation. Therefore the approach of the forum is civic, layered, and also takes into account opportunities, interests of power groups and interests of citizens and residents.

The forum members realize the forum’s vision in a number of ways, depending on their areas of practice, the topics of their research and their personal and professional preferences.

First, we examine from various angles the events in the Middle East that are covered in the Israeli public and professional discourse.

Second, we present information and analysis of events in the Middle East that are not covered in the Israeli public and professional discourse.

Oya creates exposed and bleeding figures, the victims of the national ethos, through well-written texts and a collection of fine and well-known actors. These characters, not only are the accusing finger and sharp criticism directed at them, but they also receive a sympathetic ear and an empathetic look that seeks to contain them.

Third, we take an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to dealing with the contemporary Middle East. In doing so, we are adopting a “new Israeli Orientalism,” which treats Israel as a Middle Eastern country that also has significant similarities between itself and the other countries in the region. This approach also implies an attempt to learn and draw lessons from regimes, processes and other conflict areas in the world.

Fourth, forum researchers are entrusted with a critical scientific approach and context-dependent analysis. However, we believe that criticism of others is not only too common in the Israeli discourse on the Middle East, but that it is “cheap” and easy. Internal criticism, however, though difficult at times, is the real basis for improvement and change. Therefore, our criticism is also directed towards the public and professional discourse on the Middle East in the country and towards its various manufacturers – institutions and individuals.

Fifth, we have a basic empathy for the people of the entire Middle East. We believe that beyond the human and moral aspect, there is also a professional benefit in this, as it allows forum researchers to become better acquainted with the “other” and the way in which he experiences and interprets reality.

We invite researchers, professionals and practitioners with knowledge and interest who identify with the forum’s approach, to send us articles for publication. The articles must be original, with a maximum volume of 750 words, and must not be published on additional platforms. The focus is required to be on the analysis and not on the opinion. References are required, and they will be referred to as hyperlinks in the body of the article. Attachment of images is possible as long as they were taken by the author or are free to use with certainty.



About – The Regional Thinking Forum
About – The Regional Thinking Forum
About – The Regional Thinking Forum