Personal tools
You are here: Home Event Information Aryeh Green: MediaCentral
Document Actions

Aryeh Green: MediaCentral

Gail Rubin describes the work of Aryeh Green at MediaCentral in Jerusalem, a resource for the foreign press covering Israel and the Middle East. In this Davis Enterprise article, Rubin previews his talk in March of 2010 at UC Davis, which focused on human rights in Middle East countries.

Speaker: Human rights are key to Mideast peace
Special to The Enterprise
March 4th, 2010

“Human Rights in the Middle East: A Case for Democracy” is the title of Monday's program sponsored by a coalition of groups supporting peace in the Middle East.

Aryeh Green, director of MediaCentral, a Jerusalem-based nonprofit that provides services for the foreign press, will speak at 7 p.m. Monday in 176 Everson Hall at UC Davis. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

A high-tech business executive and former adviser to Natan Sharansky, former deputy prime minister of Israel, Green has been actively promoting freedom and civil society in the Middle East for more than a decade.

His message is that what is needed to bring peace to the region is an open, democratic, progressive and prosperous Palestinian society, with a democratically elected leadership, living side by side with Israel as the world's only sovereign nation with a Jewish majority.

Green was a policy adviser to Natan Sharansky for more than a decade and served as a senior member of Sharansky's staff, where he was responsible for engaging civil society activists in the Palestinian territories and wider Arab and Muslim world. Green continues to be active in the effort to promote freedom and democracy in the Middle East.

Today, Sharansky is chairman of the Jewish Agency. A former Soviet dissident who spent nine years as a Soviet political prisoner, he immigrated to Israel upon his release and has held numerous positions in the Israeli government.

Green will address the destabilizing factors in the Middle East, which run far deeper than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A widespread lack of basic human rights dominates much of the Middle East, he says: freedom of speech, the right to assemble for a lawful purpose, education and literacy, a free press, the right to vote in free elections, the rights of women to be accorded full civil rights, the right of gays and lesbians to live free of persecution and lynching, the right to freedom of religion, and many more.

This contrasts sharply with Israel as the only truly democratic nation in the region, Green says. Israel grants full civil rights and freedoms to all of its citizens, and recognizes 15 religions, including Islam and the Baha'i and Druze faiths. Israel also has two official languages, Hebrew and Arabic.

The lack of basic human rights elsewhere in the Middle East has created a knowledge deficit, a gender deficit and a freedom deficit, Green says. Unless these fundamentals of a civil society are addressed in a sustained manner, the region will continue to suffer from instability, violence and fundamentalism, irrespective of what happens on the Israeli-Palestinian front, he explains.

Political coercion, intellectual repression and gender discrimination continue to foment a regressive angst that feeds the breeding ground for extremism, Green says.

Democratization is the antidote, he explains: It is good not only for Palestinians, Muslims and Arabs, but it is also good for Israel, as well as for the numerous minorities such as Copts, Baha'is, Christians, Jews, Kurds and others who live in fear under the rule of Middle Eastern dictatorships.

Green is director of Media Central, a Jerusalem project providing services to the foreign media in Israel. Since 1990, Green has worked or served as a business consultant for companies in Israel and abroad. He has lectured at universities and before numerous groups in Israel, North America and Europe.

Originally from Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, he moved to Israel with his wife, Katie, from London, in 1984. He holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from UC Berkeley, and master's degrees in international relations from Hebrew University and business management from Boston/Ben Gurion universities.

Monday's program is sponsored by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, The David Project, Hillel at Davis/Sacramento, Davis College Republicans, Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, Hasbara Fellowships, StandWithUs, Sacramento Jewish Federation and the Davis Interfaith Coalition for Peace and Justice in the Middle East.

For more information, e-mail or

This site provided with the assistance of the Davis Community Network.