Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Science, Faith, and Survival: Conversation with Natan Sharanksy, Minister in the Israeli Government, April 16, 2004 by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. book coverbook coverOur distinguished guest today is Natan Sharansky, who is Minster of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs in the Israeli government. He is head of Yisrael b'Aliyah political party. During the Cold War, Mr. Sharansky worked with Andre Sakharov, and was one of the most prominent Jewish dissidents in the Soviet Union. He was a founding member and spokesman of the Helsinki Monitoring Group, reporting on Soviet compliance with international agreements. His courageous fight for freedom during nine years of imprisonment by the Soviet police state was a milestone in the global struggle for human rights. This struggle, in turn, played an important role in contributing to the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War and laying the foundation for the enhanced prominence of human rights and global affairs. Mr. Sharansky's remarkable memoir of one man's triumph over a police state is called Fear No Evil. He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by the United States Congress.

  1. Background ... influence of parents ... importance of a profession ... discrimination ... Jews singled out ... Sakharov
  2. Jewish Identity ... Sinai victory ... finding freedom ... dissident scientist ... refusenik
  3. Imprisonment in the Gulag ... survival ... science and faith ... book of psalms ... literature ... confronting evil ... humor ... back in time
  4. Aliyah to Israel ... being a political leader ... a strategy for peace ... human rights in the Middle East ... criticism of Israel

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