Writing Fellows

Burak Bekdil (1966 - 2023)

Charles Wax Writing Fellow

Burak Bekdil was an Ankara-based Turkish columnist for Hurriyet Daily News. He covered Turkey for the U.S. weekly Defense News since 1997. Previously, Bekdil worked as Ankara Bureau Chief for Dow Jones Newswires and CNBC-e television. He was frequently quoted in international media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Economist, Los Angeles Times, and New York Times.

Tarek Fatah (1949 - 2023)

Robert J. and Abby B. Levine Fellow

Tarek S. Fatah was founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, a group committed to fighting Islamism and promoting the separation between religion and state. He was a columnist at the Toronto Sun and host of a Sunday afternoon talk show on Toronto's NewsTalk1010 AM Radio. Fatah was the author of two award-winning books: Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State and The Jew is Not My Enemy: Unveiling the Myths that Fuel Muslim Anti-Semitism.

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

Milstein Writing Fellow

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is an independent Arabic translator, editor, and analyst. A graduate of Brasenose College, Oxford University, he earned his Ph.D. from Swansea University, where he studied the role of historical narratives in Islamic State propaganda. His research focuses primarily on Iraq, Syria, and jihadist groups, especially the Islamic State, on which he maintains an archive of the group's internal documents. He has also published an Arabic translation and study of the Latin work Historia Arabum, the earliest surviving Western book focused on Arab and Islamic history. For his insights, he has been quoted in a wide variety of media outlets, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and AFP.

Amatzia Baram

Milstein Writing Fellow

Amatzia Baram is a professor emeritus of Middle East history at University of Haifa. During his tenure there, he served as chairman of the Department of Middle East History, director of the Jewish-Arab Center and the Institute for Middle East Studies, and founder and head of the Center for Iraq Studies. He advised the U.S. government on Iraq under Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama. Baram has published six books, some 80 articles in academic journals, and numerous articles in newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. Presently, he is a regular contributor to Geopolitical Intelligence Services (GIS), published by Prince Michael of Liechtenstein.

Rafael Bardaji

Rafael Bardaji is executive director of Friends of Israel Initiative. He served in 1996-2004 as Spain's National Security Advisor for Prime Minister Jose' Mari'a Aznar. He is an advisor to the Special Operation Forces HQ at NATO and since 2004 has worked as director of Foreign Policy at the Foundation for Analysis and Social Studies. Mr. Bardaji has provided consultancy work for NATO military commands, the Spanish armed forces, the Spanish intelligence service and defense contractors. A member of the Atlantic Council of the United States Strategic Advisory Group, he is the author of books and articles. Follow Rafael Bardaji on Twitter @@rafael_bardaji

Todd Bensman

Milstein Writing Fellow

Todd Bensman is a Texas-based senior national security fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies. For nearly a decade, he led counterterrorism-related intelligence efforts for the Texas Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division. Previously, Bensman worked on staff for The Dallas Morning News, CBS, and Hearst Newspapers, covering the FBI, federal law enforcement and serving on investigative teams. He reported extensively on national security issues after 9/11 and worked from more than 25 countries in Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.

Bensman holds a master's degree from the Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security. He also holds a master's degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, and an undergraduate degree in journalism from Northern Arizona University.

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Lazar Berman

Milstein Writing Fellow

Lazar Berman is the Diplomatic Correspondent at yhe Times of Israel, where he also covers Christian Affairs. He holds an M.A. in Security Studies from Georgetown University and taught at Salahuddin University in Iraqi Kurdistan. Berman is a reserve captain in the IDF's Commando Brigade and served in a Bedouin unit during his active service.

Abdulrahman Bindamnan

Milstein Writing Fellow

Abdulrahman Bindamnan, a native of Yemen, immigrated to the U.S. in 2016, intending to stay for ‎the period of his education. While he was pursuing his degrees, however, Yemen entered into a civil war, which prevented him from returning home. Specializing in the role of higher education in international development, his research incorporates interdisciplinary scholarship, including educational psychology, religion and modernity, and Middle Eastern history. Bindamnan's articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in newspapers, conventional periodicals, popular magazines, and academic journals, and he has a blog at Psychology Today. He has a B.A. from University of Miami, an MS.Ed. in International Development from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a doctoral student in Comparative and International Development Education at University of Minnesota.

Abdullah Bozkurt

Milstein Writing Fellow

Abdullah Bozkurt is a Swedish-based investigative journalist and analyst who runs the Nordic Research and Monitoring Network. He also serves on the advisory board of The Investigative Journal and as chairman of the Stockholm Center for Freedom. Bozkurt is the author of the book Turkey Interrupted: Derailing Democracy (2015). He previously worked as a journalist in New York, Washington, Istanbul and Ankara. He tweets at @abdbozkurt.

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A.J. Caschetta

Campus Watch and Milstein Writing Fellow

A.J. Caschetta is a principal lecturer at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he teaches English and Political Science. He holds a Ph.D. from New York University, where he studied the effects of the French Revolution and Reign of Terror on British society. After 9/11, he began focusing on the rhetoric of radical Islamists and on Western academic narratives explaining Islamist terrorism. He has written frequently for the Middle East Quarterly.

Phyllis Chesler

An analyst of gender issues in the Middle East, a psychotherapist and a feminist, Phyllis Chesler co-founded the Association for Women in Psychology in 1969, the National Women's Health Network in 1975, and is emerita professor of psychology at The City University of New York. She has published 15 books, most recently An American Bride in Kabul (2013) which won the National Jewish Book Award for 2013. Chesler's articles have appeared in numerous publications, including the Middle East Quarterly, Encyclopedia Judaica, International Herald Tribune, National Review, New York Times, Times of London, Washington Post and Weekly Standard. Based on her studies about honor killings among Muslims and Hindus, she has served as an expert courtroom witness for women facing honor-based violence. Her works have been translated into 13 languages. Follow Phyllis Chesler on Twitter @Phyllischesler

Mark Durie

A theologian, human rights activist and Anglican pastor, Rev. Mark Durie has published on linguistics, Christian-Muslim relations, the Qur'an, the Islamic Sharia and religious freedom. He holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the Australian National University and a Th.D. from the Australian College of Theology. Durie, who has addressed the Middle East Forum, has held visiting appointments at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA and Stanford, was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1992, and was awarded an Australian Centennial Medal in 2001. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Arthur Jeffery Centre of the Melbourne School of Theology, and Founding Director of the Institute for Spiritual Awareness. Follow Mark Durie on Twitter @markdurie

Follow Mark Durie on Twitter.

Michel Gurfinkiel

Milstein Writing Fellow

A scholar of European Islamism, Turkey, and the Arab-Israeli conflict, Michel Gurfinkiel is founder and president of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, a Paris-based think tank, and a former editor-in-chief of Valeurs Actuelles, France's foremost conservative weekly magazine. A French national, he studied history and semitics at the Sorbonne and the French National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations. Gurfinkiel is author of eight books and a frequent contributor to American media, including the Middle East Quarterly, Commentary, PJMedia, Wall Street Journal, and Weekly Standard.

Zvi Hauser

Senior Fellow

Zvi Hauser is an Israeli national security expert. A key figure in the Israeli public sector, he is also an an entrepreneur and strategic advisor. Hauser was the sixteenth cabinet secretary of Israel. Formerly deputy speaker of the Knesset, he was chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Hauser is an adjunct professor from Shizenken University, Tokyo, and earned an LL.B. degree from Tel Aviv University.

Joseph M. Humire

Joseph M. Humire is executive director of the Center for a Secure Free Society (SFS), a national security think tank based in Washington, D.C. He provides regular briefings and testimony to the U.S. Congress, Department of Defense, and intelligence community on Islamic terrorism, transnational organized crime, and emerging threats in Latin America. He is the author of Iran's Strategic Penetration of Latin America (2014) and a regular national security commentator for major Spanish-language media, including Univision, Telemundo, and CNN Espanol. Humire was previously the director of institute relations at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. He is a combat veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps with deployments to the Middle East and has a degree in Economics and Global Affairs from George Mason University.

Raymond Ibrahim

Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow

Raymond Ibrahim, a specialist in Islamic history and doctrine, is the author of Defenders of the West: The Christian Heroes Who Stood Against Islam (2022); Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West (2018); Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians (2013); and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). He has appeared on C-SPAN, Al-Jazeera, CNN, NPR, and PBS and has been published by the New York Times Syndicate, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the Weekly Standard, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Jane's Islamic Affairs Analyst. Formerly an Arabic linguist at the Library of Congress, Ibrahim guest lectures at universities, briefs governmental agencies, and testifies before Congress. He has been a visiting fellow/scholar at a variety of Institutes—from the Hoover Institution to the National Intelligence University—and is the Judith Friedman Rosen Fellow at the Middle East Forum and the Distinguished Senior Shillman Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.

Sirwan Kajjo

Milstein Writing Fellow

Sirwan Kajjo is a Washington-based journalist and researcher. Since 2012 he has worked at Voice of America as an international broadcaster at the Kurdish service, where he focuses on Islamic militancy, Kurdish affairs, and conflict in the Middle East. Kajjo has written two book chapters on Syria and the Kurds, published by Indiana University Press and Cambridge University Press. He is also the author of Nothing But Soot, a novel set in Syria.

Efraim Karsh

Efraim Karsh is an emeritus professor of Middle East and Mediterranean studies at King's College London. Mr. Karsh held academic posts at Harvard, Columbia, and Bar-Ilan universities, the Sorbonne, the London School of Economics, Helsinki University, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies in Washington, D.C., and the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. He is the author of sixteen books and over 100 scholarly articles and has appeared frequently as a commentator on British and American television networks.

Soeren Kern

Soeren Kern is a Spain-based analyst of European politics and transatlantic defense and security-related issues, particularly the rise of Islam in the West. He is a regular commentator about European affairs for newspapers and radio programs on both sides of the Atlantic.

Kern, who has worked for think tanks in Madrid, New York City and Washington, D.C., served in the U.S. Air Force (stationed in Germany) during the last decade of the Cold War. He has visited more than one hundred countries, including most of those in Europe and the Middle East.

A dual citizen of the United States and Germany, Kern graduated with a degree in diplomacy and international security from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and also studied Middle Eastern history and geopolitics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Naser Khader

Naser Khader is a Danish politician, academic, author, defender of free speech, and opponent of Islamism. Of Syrian-Palestinian origins, he has been a member of the Danish parliament since 2001-2022 (with a break in the years 2011-2015). He has a B.A. in Middle East studies from the University of Southern Denmark; an M.A. in economics and political science from Copenhagen University; and an M.A. in Christian theology from Copenhagen University. A senior fellow at the Hudson Institute from 2011-15, he chaired the Danish parliament's Defence Committee from 2016-21. Khader has published nine books and hundreds of articles in Danish, English, and Arabic.

Hussein Aboubakr Mansour

Milstein Writing Fellow

Hussein Aboubakr Mansour is an Egyptian-American analyst who focuses on such topics as Muslim antisemitism, Islamist ideology, and American universities. He grew up in his native Cairo, Egypt, where he was attracted to Salafist mosques at an early age and fascinated by antisemitic conspiracy theories in Egyptian popular culture. After a transformative educational journey, he pushed back against antisemitism, which got him into trouble with the Egyptian authorities. Mansour has been published in Commentary, Tablet, The Hill, Mosaic, and elsewhere, and has published an autobiography, Minority of One: The Unchaining of an Arab Mind. Today he writes often at his Substack, The Abrahamic Critique and Digest. He received political asylum in the United States in 2012 and worked as an assistant professor of Hebrew language at the Defense Language Institute. He holds an MA in International Affairs from George Washington University.

Giulio Meotti

Giulio Meotti is a Rome-based journalist for Il Foglio national newspaper. He is the author of twenty books, including A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism, The Last Western Pope (translated into Spanish and Polish), The End of Europe (Prize Capri San Michele), and The Sweet Conquest (with a preface by Algerian novelist Boualem Sansal) about the creeping Islamization of Europe. He writes a weekly column for Arutz Sheva and has contributed to the Wall Street Journal, the Jerusalem Post, Gatestone Institute, and Die Weltwoche.

Asaf Romirowsky

Asaf Romirowsky is the executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) and an affiliate professor at the University of Haifa. Trained as a historian, he holds a Ph.D. in Middle East and Mediterranean Studies from King's College London and has published widely on various aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict and American foreign policy in the Middle East, as well as on Israeli and Zionist history.

Philip Carl Salzman

Philip Carl Salzman is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at McGill University and past president of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. He is the author of Culture and Conflict in the Middle East (2008), a book that Stanley Kurtz called "the most penetrating, reliable, systematic, and theoretically sophisticated effort yet made to understand the Islamist challenge the United States is facing in cultural terms." His other works on the Middle East include Black Tents of Baluchistan (2000), Pastoralists: Equality, Hierarchy, and the State (2004), and Postcolonial Theory and the Arab-Israel Conflict (edited with D. R. Divine, 2008). He is a member of the Academic Board of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, as well as a member of the editorial boards of six academic journals about the Middle East and Central Asia.

Joseph Morrison Skelly

Joseph Morrison Skelly specializes in international terrorism, diplomatic history, military affairs, and the contemporary Middle East. His books include Ideas Matter: Essays in Honour of Conor Cruise O'Brien (1998), Political Islam from Muhammad to Ahmadinejad: Defenders, Detractors, and Definitions (2010). Skelly is an officer in the United States Army Reserve, where he served a tour of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He currently serves as the Executive Officer of the 405th Field Hospital, a unit of more than 400 soldiers prepared to respond to military contingencies worldwide. He is a 2015 recipient of the United States Army's General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award. Skelly is a professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at the College of Mount Saint Vincent and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Jonathan Spyer

Milstein Writing Fellow

Jonathan Spyer is director of research at the Middle East Forum. A journalist, he co-founded the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis, reports for Janes Intelligence Review, writes a column for the Jerusalem Post, and is a contributor to the Wall Street Journal and The Australian. He frequently reports from Syria and Iraq. He has a B.A. from the London School of Economics, an M.A. from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. He is the author of two books: The Transforming Fire: The Rise of the Israel-Islamist Conflict (2010) and Days of the Fall: A Reporter's Journey in the Syria and Iraq Wars (2017).

Raymond Stock

An expert on Middle Eastern cultural and political affairs, Raymond Stock lived in Cairo for 20 years (1990-2010). He has translated seven books by Egyptian Nobel laureate in literature Naguib Mahfouz, whose biography he is presently writing for Farrar, Straus & Giroux. He was denied re-entry and deported from Egypt by the Mubarak regime in December 2010 due to his Foreign Policy magazine article criticizing the bid by the explicitly anti-Semitic culture minister Farouk Hosni to head UNESCO. A former Guggenheim Fellow, with a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (including ancient through modern studies) from the University of Pennsylvania, he has taught Arabic and Middle East Studies as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Drew University. A frequent commentator in the media, his articles and translations of Arabic fiction have appeared in the Middle East Quarterly, Bookforum, The Financial Times, Foxnews.com, Foreign Policy Research Institute E-Notes, Harper's Magazine, International Herald Tribune, London Magazine, PJMedia and many other venues.

Benjamin Weinthal

Milstein Writing Fellow

Benjamin Weinthal is an investigative journalist and a Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum. He is based in Jerusalem and reports on the Middle East for Fox News Digital and the Jerusalem Post. He earned his B.A. from New York University and holds a M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge. Weinthal's commentary has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Haaretz, the Guardian, Politico, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, Ynet and many additional North American and European outlets. His 2011 Guardian article on the Arab revolt in Egypt, co-authored with Eric Lee, was published in the book The Arab Spring (2012).