Alfred G. Gerteiny
“The Terrorist Conjunction: The United States, Israeli-Palestine Conflict, and al-Qa’ida”
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In front of a crowd or in a workshop, Alfred Gerteiny does exactly in person what Jean Ziegler, Special UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Professor of Sociology at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and author of L’Empire de la Honte (editions Fayard, Paris 2006), says Professor Gerteiny does in his book. “The Terrorist Conjunction: The United States, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, and al-Qā’ida is a brilliant analysis, innovative and profoundly original, of one of the most frightful yet evasive phenomena of our time: the devastating acts of armed terrorists. How is it possible to analyze in rational terms a political, military and ideological poisoning whose roots are buried in the darkest irrationality? Professor Gerteiny has done so admirably.”
Missing from many contemporary analyses of the causes of terrorism is any mention of the role of U.S. foreign policy, an examination of which is seen by some critics as inherently unpatriotic. Even less attention is paid to the role of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Alfred G. Gerteiny, who was born in Heliopolis and who has studied the Middle East for more than four decades, does not shy away from such controversies. In The Terrorist Conjunction, he discusses the seminal causes of contemporary transnational terrorism, and, particularly the grievances inherent in the persistent Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A professor whose academic career spans four decades, Professor Gerteiny examines state and anti-state forms of terrorism and carefully distinguishes between terrorism carried out in pursuit of national liberation by the Palestinians and the theologically driven jihadism that feeds on it.
He considers anti-Western Islämism as being reactive to a U.S. Middle East policy inordinately influenced by the Zionist lobby. He reflects on Muslim and Islāmist worldviews and assesses the U.S. reaction to terrorism after 9/11, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In Gerteiny's view, Israel's unchecked expansionism at the expense of Palestine and its suffocating grip over its population, carried out under the cover of U.S. protection, constitute ethnic cleansing. He believes most Muslims perceive as harbingers of an ongoing new "crusade” the above described Israeli policy; the United States’ ill-conceived strategies in the Gulf region, Afghanistan and Iraq; and the lack of communications with Syria and Iran. They constitute the main pernicious elements upon which the wider-reaching, vengeful islāmist "theopolitical" jihadism thrives. And, ultimately they threaten the spread of democracy, the survival of Israel in the Middle East, and peaceful coexistence with the Muslim world.
Alfred G. Gerteiny received a solid education at the French Jesuit College in Cairo before pursuing graduate studies in Europe and the United States. At the Institut d’Études Des Relations Internationales in Paris he received a Diplôme d’Études Supérieures for his thesis “L’Évolution de l’Opinion Publique des E-U. d’Amėrique, Face à La Guerre Froide en Turquie” and at the Hague a certificate from the Academy of International Law. With specialized coursework at The Near and Middle East Institute, Columbia University, he was awarded a Ph.D. from St. John’s University for his dissertation “The Concept of Positive Neutralism in Egypt.”
Dr. Gerteiny began his academic career as an instructor at St. John’s University. Subsequently he was for twenty-six years a professor and sometimes chair of the Department of History at the University of Bridgeport. For the past decade he has been an adjunct professor of history at UCONN, Stamford. His fields of specialization have been the Middle East, Islam and Francophone Africa; European diplomatic history and culture; and U. S. Military history. His special research areas and competencies include Arab Culture and History; Arab Nationalism; Palestinian-Israeli Conflict; Terrorism; Islamic Republic of Mauritania and adjacent Sudanic states; and Islam in West Africa. A 1965 fellow of both the Middle East Studies Association and the African Studies Association, Dr. Gerteiny received a senior research Fulbright fellowship to study the determinants of foreign policy in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. Other grants have been from the state of New York to study Islamic Arts, from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study diplomatic history, and from the U.S. Defense Department to study Military History at West Point in order to teach ROTC college level classes for which he received a certificate. He also was awarded a Dana Research Grant to further his understanding of terrorism.
Fluent in Arabic and possessing an excellent command of French and English, Professor Gerteiny has participated in panels, seminars and lectures at academic institutions including NYU, Yale, Columbia, UCLA, Sarah Lawrence College, the University of Cairo, McGill University, Institut d’Études Des Relations Internationales, Institute d’Études Juridiques, Économiques et Sociales, Université de Tunis, Université de Rabat, Northwest Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, and the Georgetown University Center for Strategic Studies. He has been a political commentator on Africa and the Mid-East for CBC and CBC-TV (Canada) and a member of the national screening committee (Mid-East and North Africa) for Fulbright grants. Dr. Gerteiny has been president since 1992 of Cross-Cultural Consultants LTD of Bridgeport, CT.
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