Dr. Anat Berko came to speak at Tulane University on October 19th, 2013, a part of her speaking tour across several campuses. Ben Kravis, CAMERA Fellow at Tulane University, explains that the event was targeted towards “Jewish studies students, psychology students, sociology students, homeland security students, [and] students that are already involved in Israel advocacy.” Thirty-seven students attended the event.
Dr. Berko discussed terrorism in the Middle East, through sociological psychological lenses. She focused in particular on the role of women and children in suicide bombing. The event offered an excellent platform for an academic discussion on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Although those interested in homeland security, Jewish studies, and Israel were well represented in the audience, Kravis says that more effective advertising strategies should be used next time to attract more psychology and sociology majors to events such as this one. He also adds that, in retrospect, it would have been a good idea to also attract students from the Gender Studies Department to the event.
Kravis was pleased that “the homeland security students thought the event was particularly interesting and actually asked Dr. Berko to train them later on…because the homeland security students will apply for jobs related to stopping terrorism after graduating, I think they took the event to be more personally relevant.”
A student in the audience raised an interesting point during the Q & A: the fact that it is ironic that Islamic terrorists who become suicide bombers are in essence escaping a restrictive society via martyrdom so as so enter a less restrictive afterlife which resembles the western lifestyle—the very lifestyle they proclaim to be against in the first place.
Other excellent questions were raised by students, including questions regarding the implementation of counter-terrorism policy. Students asked question with genuine curiosity, and listened to Dr. Berko with interest and respect.
Another positive aspect of the event is that the majority of the CAMERA materials displayed on tables during the event were picked up by various students.
Anat Berko Live in Action:
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Lean About Tulane University for Israel