Virginia Tech has several experts available to speak on various topics surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Israeli politics and foreign policy

Joel Peters is a professor of government and international affairs in the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech located in the Washington, D.C., metro area. His research interests and publications cover Israeli politics and foreign policy, the Arab-Israeli peace process, regional cooperation in the Middle East and Europe’s relations in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. He is the author or co-author of five books on Israeli foreign policy and is regularly consulted by the international media on current developments in Israel. Topics he can address include what's at stake in the Israel-Hamas war and what potential for regional escalation exists, how the war might affect the future dynamics of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and what role the United States could play in restoring order.

Social movements, security, and environmental challenges in the Middle East

Ariel Ahram is a professor and chair of the government and international affairs program at the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs located in the Washington, D.C., metro area.  He is the author of War and Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa (Polity, 2020) that explores the causes and consequences of wars and conflicts in this troubled region, including in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Israel/Palestine, and Lebanon. His specialties include analysis of social movements, security and energy and environmental challenges in the Middle East.

Legal rights and treatment of Palestinian refugee groups

Jordanian King Abdullah II has expressed fears that the accelerating conflict in the occupied West Bank will lead to even more Palestinian refugees fleeing to Jordan and other countries. Virginia Tech political expert Lillian Frost, a specialist in Middle East politics, has done extensive research into the legal rights and treatment of Palestinian refugee groups in Jordan, using interviews, archival files, and fieldwork. She also studies citizenship and nationality policies toward women in the region, and she previously worked as a consultant for the World Bank focusing on social protection in the Middle East, with projects based in and field visits to the Palestinian Territories and Kuwait. She can speak about the colonial and postcolonial historic context of current events in the Levant region, humanitarian context in the West Bank and Gaza, and potential effects of sustained conflict in the region.

Jerusalem, religion, and culture

Jerusalem long has been one of the most contested cities on Earth. The Hamas attack on Israel thrusts tensions over the city’s status into the spotlight. Palestine wants control of Jerusalem as its capital because it contains historical sites that are sacred to Muslims, Jews, and Christians, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque, considered Islam’s third holiest site in the world. But Israel claims Jerusalem as its capital. Brian Britt, professor of religion and culture at Virginia Tech, can discuss the volatile history of Jerusalem as one of the factors at the heart of the conflict. 

Schedule Interview

To schedule an interview, contact Margaret Ashburn at 540-529-0814 or Shannon Andrea at; 703-399-9494 in the media relations office at Virginia Tech.