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Isarel on the Road to Peace

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Ziva Bakman-Flamhaft

Meet the Author

I thought I would be an artist. For years my paintings had adorned the walls of my own home, not to mention the homes of my extended family. Two of my paintings were chosen for an important exhibit of amateur artists in Tel Aviv, where I was born and raised; and my renowned teacher, Arieh Margoshilsky, promised me a great future as an artist if I only devoted eight hours each day to paint. I even sold a few paintings, and in 1969 I was to have my own art exhibit in Ramat Gan, Israel, in honor of my fallen young husband, who died in the 1967 Six Day War. But life had different plans for me.

JaffaIn 1968 as a young childless war widow, I tried in vain to mobilize other widows to demand the continuation of pension rights the government was planning to eliminate. The unintended result was my transformation into a sole activist and a mentor to young widows who sought my help. But as I became increasingly involved with the bereaved, and when my activism got the attention of the press and some members of the Israeli Parliament, I opted to accept a sudden offer by the Israeli Defense Ministry, against whom I was directing my activism but with whom I also had a working relationship, to relocate to New York for a two-year period. Hence, on October 1st 1969, I arrived in New York and began to rebuild my personal and professional life. I started working immediately, and I soon enrolled in the School of Visual Arts to continue my studies. My two year commitment lingered.

From 1969 until 1973, I worked for the Israeli government in New York, retiring when my daughter was born. I had remarried in 1971. In 1977 I returned to school to study Art history, but I found myself drawn to Political Science. In 1980 I obtained a BA degree in that filed, and in 1992 I obtained my Doctorate from the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York.

first paintingSince 1986 I have taught a wide variety of courses in Political Science at Queens College. Throughout my academic career I have been actively participating in numerous conferences and I have been an invited guest speaker to many lectures.

In 1995-1996, as a Fulbright scholar, I went to Israel and the Palestinian Authority for my post-Doctorate project, interviewing Israeli and Palestinian women affected by conflict and war. I presented my finding both in writing and lectures.

In 1996 my book Israel on the Road to Peace: Accepting the Unacceptable was published (Westvew Press), as were my book reviews, book-chapters, and articles. In 2011 I joined the editorial board of Women’s Studies Quarterly (WSQ). Currently I am writing a women’s fiction.

I live with my husband in New York City, and I intend to return to my painting sometime in the future.