Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Analyst to Present President’s Lecture at UM

February 10, 2015

MISSOULA – A commentator on the struggle between Islam and the West will deliver the next installment of the 2014-15 President’s Lecture Series at the University of Montana.

Avishai Margalit, a Stanford University visiting professor of law and philosophy, will present the Henry Bugbee Annual Lecture on Philosophy, “The Arab Spring and the Israeli Spring,” at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, in the University Center Ballroom.

Margalit also will lead a seminar earlier that day, titled “Betrayal: Political and Personal,” from 3:10 to 4:30 p.m. in Gallagher Business Building Room 123. The lecture and seminar are free and open to the public.

Margalit received his doctorate degree from Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1970 before teaching there for more than three decades. He also served as the Rockefeller Fellow at the Princeton University Center for Human Values from 1995 to 1996, the Bertelsman Professor at Oxford University from 2001 to 2002 and the Tanner Lecturer at Stanford University in 2005. Margalit also held the George F. Kennan professorship at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, from 2006 to 2011.

He retired from Hebrew University in 2006, but continues to teach and lecture. Margalit’s seminar at Stanford, “Betrayal and Loyalty, Treason and Trust,” draws on a variety of philosophical, historical and literary works.

In addition to Margalit’s work as a philosophy teacher, he provides analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the broader struggle between Islam and the West, for “The New York Review of Books” and other publications. He has written several books on the topic.

Margalit’s awards include the Spinoza Lens Award, given by the International Spinoza Foundation in Amsterdam in 2001; the EMET Prize for civic education, awarded by the Israeli prime minister in 2007; and the Israel Prize in Philosophy, the State of Israel’s highest honor, awarded in 2010. The Israel Prize committee described Margalit as “one of the most important philosophers in the State of Israel and one of the most valued in the world today.” 

The President’s Lecture Series at UM consists of 10 talks on vital topics by distinguished guest speakers throughout the academic year. For more information on the series, visit or call UM history Professor Richard Drake at 406-243-2981.

Contact: Richard Drake, UM history professor and lecture series organizer, 406-243-2981,