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Alan Elsner

Alan Elsner is Executive Director of the Americas for The Israel Project. Prior to joining TIP in August 2010, Elsner had a 33-year career at top levels of journalism and published two novels, a memoir of his father's Holocaust survival and an acclaimed book about the U.S. prison system. Elsner's journalistic career began with The Jerusalem Post. He joined Reuters in Tel Aviv in 1980 and became the news agency's first correspondent in Jerusalem in 1983. Elsner's subsequent career took him back to London and to Stockholm where he headed the agency's four Nordic bureaus. In Washington, Elsner was assigned to the State Department from 1989-94 when he covered the end of the Cold War and the first Gulf War. His sharp questioning at the State Department during the Rwanda genocide in 1994 forced the Clinton administration to change its policy. His role was highlighted in several books about the massacres and his voice was featured in the movie, "Hotel Rwanda." Elsner was Reuters Chief Political Correspondent from 1994-2000 and headed coverage of the 1996 and 2000 presidential campaigns. He was National Correspondent from 2001-2004 and covered the 9/11 attack. In 2006, Elsner won a Knight International Journalism Fellowship and spent nine months in Romania teaching journalism and strengthening free media. His first book, "Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America's Prisons" was hailed by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy as a "wake-up call" and welcomed by the political left and right. Elsner later testified to governmental and independent commissions on prison reform. Elsner's memoir of his father's wartime experiences, "Guarded by Angels," published by Yad Vashem, has been described as a major addition to Holocaust literature. It helped spark a successful campaign to build a new memorial at the site of the Belzec extermination camp in Poland. His novel, "Romance Language" which deals with the Romanian revolution of 1989, will come out in Romania next year. His first novel, "The Nazi Hunter" was described by Publishers' Weekly as "a gripping debut thriller and a compelling tale." Kirkus Reviews said, "The plot twists accelerate nicely. . . . An intriguing protagonist, terrifying historical lessons, and a well-orchestrated, pulse-pounding conclusion." Elsner has lectured and taught widely at universities in the United States and Europe, including Princeton, Dartmouth, American University, George Washington University, Southern Methodist University, the University of Rochester and the University of North Carolina. His op-eds have appeared in The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times and he blogs on The Huffington Post.

Articles by Alan Elsner:

The Hagel Nomination and Monty Python January 16, 2013 12:57 am

The Hagel Nomination and Monty Python

Why I Joined J Street December 13, 2012 3:07 pm

Why I Joined J Street

The IAEA is Powerless Against Iran September 6, 2012 3:55 pm

The IAEA is Powerless Against Iran

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  • Features World Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Tour operators are calling attention to Jamaica’s little-known Jewish heritage by arranging visits to historic Jewish sites on the Caribbean island, including a cemetery where Jewish pirates are buried. A report in Travel and Leisure magazine describes the Hunts Bay Cemetery in Kingston, where there are seven tombstones engraved with Hebrew benedictions and skull and crossbones insignia. According to the report, centuries ago, Jewish pirates sailed the waters of Jamaica and settled in Port Royal. The town, once known as “the wickedest city in the […]

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  • Arts and Culture Blogs Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    JNS.org – Telling Israel’s story. It’s the specific title of a short film that Eyal Resh created last year. It’s also the theme behind the 27-year-old Israeli filmmaker’s broader body of work. The widely viewed “Telling Israel’s Story” film—directed by Resh for a gala event hosted by the Times of Israel online news outlet—seemingly begins as a promotional tourism video, but quickly evolves to offer a multilayered perspective. “I want to tell you a story about a special place for me,” a young woman whispers […]

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  • Blogs Features Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    JNS.org – The entrance to Jerusalem’s Sacher Park was transformed from April 25-27 by a fire-breathing robotic dragon, which flailed its arms and attempted to take flight. The robot, a signature feature at Jerusalem’s first-ever “Geek Picnic,” was one of more than 150 scientific amusements available for the public to experience. This particular dragon was designed by students from Moscow’s Art Industrial Institute in conjunction with the Flacon design factory, said Anatasia Shaminer, a student who helped facilitate the display. Children […]

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  • Book Reviews Opinion The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love. CreateSpace, 2015. The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love, is a very interesting novel. Equally a political and romantic thriller, at times a real page-turner, it gets you intimately involved in the dire situation in today’s Syria, as well as in the romantic entanglements of its mostly New York-based characters — whose entanglements just might determine the fate of that dire situation in Syria. Along the way it introduces a really important idea that somehow […]

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  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

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  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

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  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

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  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

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