Articles by David Harris

Iran Nuclear Talks: 2021 Is Not 2015
Resuming contacts with Iran has become an early foreign policy priority for the Biden administration. American Jewish Committee (AJC) CEO David Harris, a long-time observer of the Iran issue, offers six recommendations to the Biden Administration for any future negotiations with the Iranian regime.

“If Only Israel Syndrome”
“If Only Israel (IOI) syndrome,” a term I began using several years ago, is the misguided notion, peddled in the name of Israel's “best interests” by some in the diplomatic, academic, and media worlds, that if only Israel did this or that, peace with the Palestinians would be at hand.
Poland and Jews: Coauthors of History?
I am not naive about the complex history of Polish-Jewish relations, or the accusations emanating from both sides. Yet I believe, as the son of parents who suffered at the hands of both Berlin and Moscow, that what we share in common far exceeds what divides us. And those commonalities are profoundly important in our contemporary world.
Combating Antisemitism: We Need Swivel-Headed Jews
Those who genuinely care about antisemitism must open their eyes wide and be swivel-headed – and not allow partisan political thinking to narrow the field of vision and sense of outrage.
Israel, Palestinians, And COVID Vaccines: A Reality Check
It seemed too good to be true. Finally, here was a story about Israel —the world leader in vaccinating its entire population, in all its rich diversity, against COVID — that the media might present in positive terms.
High Time to Stop Treating Israel Differently
The recent spate of annual anti-Israel resolutions at the UN is a telling reminder that Israel is treated according to a totally different standard than all other countries in the international system. Of course, Israel deserves attention and scrutiny, as does every other nation. But it also merits equal treatment – nothing more, nothing less.
“Shwaya, Shwaya” — Slowly, Slowly
Whatever one’s view on the Trump era, his administration made notable headway in the Middle East, writes AJC CEO David Harris in his new Times of Israel blog.

Facilitating historic agreements between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco, taking a tougher approach regarding Iran and its malign behavior, moving the U.S. Embassy to its rightful place in Jerusalem, and messaging the Palestinians that time is not necessarily on their side if they continue to reject two-state deals, are significant developments that the incoming Biden administration should consider in thinking about the region as it is today.
Europe Can’t Fight Antisemitism While Ignoring Threats To Israel
I write as a friend, who has said more than once that the EU is the single most ambitious and successful peace project in modern history. But if the EU is serious about tackling antisemitism and preserving historical memory of the Holocaust, it cannot neglect, minimize or wish away threats to the existence of Israel, the world’s lone Jewish-majority country and home to nearly 7 million Jews.
The Trump Years Changed International Lines Of Conflict
The next four years will be informed by the pre-Trump era, but no, not entirely, as the world does not stand still. What is certain is that the rhetoric will change and Washington’s first instinct will be to seek European partners.
An Open Letter to Christiane Amanpour
In his open, must-read letter to CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour, published by The Times of Israel, AJC CEO David Harris urges her to apologize for analogizing a deadly Holocaust-era tragedy, Kristallnacht, to the current Trump Administration. “You were weaponizing Kristallnacht, instrumentalizing the Holocaust to make your point,” writes Harris, the child of two Holocaust survivors, who asks Amanpour to “do the right thing, apologize for your comment, and issue a clarification.”
Europe Must Unconditionally Defend Its Values
Die Welt, one of Germany’s most influential national newspapers, asked AJC CEO David Harris to write a piece about the latest deadly Islamist terror attacks in Paris, Nice, and Vienna. Harris assesses the challenges facing France and Austria, and other European countries, and offers ten policy recommendations for what governments should do to counter the jihadist threat and address integration challenges.
An Israeli Success Story
In the past decade, a number of pundits talked about Israel’s growing isolation under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. To the contrary, I have repeatedly said that Israel’s diplomatic position globally has been on the upswing.
The Abuse of History
Whatever one’s thoughts about politics today, America is not lurching towards Nazism or Bolshevism. To suggest otherwise is to misunderstand, at a fundamental level, the nature of these totalitarian ideologies and their legacies.
Europe Must Put Aside Its Outdated Thinking
Europe has much to offer, most especially its remarkable experience of postwar peace-building and integration that today is the EU. It could perhaps one day serve as a model for other regions with a long history of conflict and animosity. But that won’t happen unless Europe sheds some of its archaic thinking about the Middle East, acknowledges and embraces the new dynamics at work as reflected in the UAE-Israel deal (and others to follow?), takes a fresh look at its own complex relationship with Israel, and ends its “low expectations” policy towards the Palestinians.
A Friendship Against All Odds
In the wake of the unprecedented tragedy of the Holocaust, it was anything but obvious that a Jewish group would seek to engage postwar Germany. But that’s exactly what American Jewish Committee (AJC), alone among global Jewish organizations, did.
Why History Still Matters: The 1967 Six-Day War
Without an understanding of what happened in the past, it’s impossible to grasp where we are today — and where we are has profound relevance for the region and the world. Fifty-three years ago this week, the Six-Day War broke out.
A Leader’s Leader In A Time of Crisis: Winston Churchill
In these times of profound uncertainty, triggered by the war against the pandemic, one comment keeps coming up in my world: “Where’s Winston Churchill now that we need him?”
Dishonoring World War II Memory
As the world commemorates the Allied victory and recalls the war’s horrors, some are invoking the language of the Nazi era in response to COVID-19 restrictions. How appallingly inappropriate and insensitive!
COVID-19, Conspiracy Theories and Antisemitism
It is a story that dates back centuries: A crisis occurs and conspiracy theories emerge to offer one-size-fits-all explanations. More often than not, Jews are implicated. So, too, has it been during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Crises and Conspiracies
It is as predictable as day follows night. A crisis erupts — pandemic, financial, security — and the conspiracy theorists come out of the woodwork. Today, with the Coronavirus pandemic, is no different. It is equally foreseeable that, sooner or later, the Jews will be among those blamed. Isn’t the heart of antisemitism, past and present, the assignment to Jews of evil powers and demonic aims?