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Eran Tzidkiyahu (PhD) - geopolitical guide

Jewish-Arab relations in the Holy Land, religious nationalism and holy places in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Tours and lectures, consulting, research and project support.

Vision

I specialize in geopolitical study tours and field briefings throughout the country (Israel-Palestine) with an emphasis on the ethnic, national and religious encounter. My tours combine historical, cultural, religious and national narratives with a direct encounter with the Israelis and Palestinians themselves, and their stories, in the physical space where they take place.

My vision is to help people experience the added value of studying about the conflict directly in the field.  This enables a direct encounter with the various issues and problems on the ground, where they actually occur. This approach allows my clients to understand the reality and form their insights first hand.

I also provide lectures online or face to face on various issues concerning Jewish-Arab relations, religion and nationalism, and the geopolitical history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (introduction to the conflict, East Jerusalem and the Holy Places etc.). The topic of our encounter can be tailor-made and customized to your group’s needs and interests.

Customized tours for the client: My tours are tailored to the client’s needs and goals. Here are some sample tours and ideas:

The Geopolitics of East Jerusalem - A Core Issue

An introductory / in-depth tour on the geopolitics of East Jerusalem. The tour focuses on different aspects of the “Jerusalem issue” as a core issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the attempts to settle it.
East Jerusalem is a designated area with Palestinian and Jewish neighborhoods and Jewish settlements in the heart of the Arab areas. It is an area with various urban, ethnic and geopolitical cleavages in and around the city. The historical basin in East Jerusalem contain the Holy Land’s most important holy places. East Jerusalem is separated from the West Bank with the separation barrier. A tour or a lecture on East Jerusalem can cover various issues such as zoning and planning, legal-status, infrastructure and possible geopolitical resolution and barriers to their implementation.

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Holy Places in Conflict

Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade – the Temple Mount / Al-Aqsa Mosque (Al-Haram al-Sharif), the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and Jerusalem’s Old City altogether; Hebron’s Haram al-Ibrahimi / Cave of the Patriarchs, Bethlehem’s Nativity Church, Rachel’s tomb, Josephe’s Tomb, the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth and more.


Can holy sites be divided between national-religious groups? What is the status quo in holy places in the Holy Land? How do “secular” states and politics control and manage “divine” holy places? How to de-escalate conflicts in shared and contested holy places and what are the ways to to reach political solutions in and around them?

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West Bank

I offer various geopolitical tours between Palestinian villages and towns and Israeli settlements all over the West Bank (Judea and Samaria in Israel’s terminology) in areas A, B and C, and in area H1/H2 in Hebron. From the south Hebron hills, through Gush Etzion, Bethlehem area, the “Jerusalem envelope” and all the way up to Nablus and Jenin area (northern Samaria); from the Jordan Valley in the east to the Green line in the west. Tours in the West Bank are key for those seeking to better understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Minorities In Israel

Meet the unique challenges of the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel in the ethnically mixed/shared cities, the Arab-Jewish encounter in the Galilee and the Negev (the diaspora and the unrecognized Bedouin villages) and of areas such as the “triangle”, Wadi Ara and more.

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My Clients

My tours and lectures are suitable for anyone who wants to deeply understand the various issues that make up the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. My clientele is quite diverse and consists of different audiences, including prominent local, regional and international institutions and organizations: universities and research institutes, civil society organizations, religious leaders, politicians and the various authorities as well as Israeli, Palestinian and international diplomats. In addition I work with educational programs for young people and adults as well as with complex, interfaith and multicultural groups.

A Short Biography

My name is Eran Tzidkiyahu, I am a scholar studying Jewish-Arab relations and a geopolitical guide of the Holy Land.
I trained as a historical-political sociologist, specializing in the interface between religious and national movements. I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation in the Paris Institute of Political Sciences (Sciences Po), under the title: “From the Margins to the Center: Religious-Nationalism in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict – A Comparative Approach”. I am also an alumni of the Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

On 2023-2024, As a post-doctoral fellow at the Hebrew University, I study the Jewish-Muslim struggle over the Temple Mount/al-Aqsa Mosque. I also teach a course on the Holy Esplanade “Between Heaven and Earth” in the department of Political Science at the Hebrew University. As a Research Fellow at the Forum for Regional Thinking, I write on religious-nationalism in the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Jewish-Arab relations in Israel and the occupied territories with an emphasis on East Jerusalem and the city’s holy sites. I host the Hebrew language podcast on Middle East affairs in partnership with the Van Leer Institute, the Forum for Regional Thinking and the Middle East & Islamic Studies Association of Israel (MEISAI).

I have been working as a tour guide since 2005. I started guiding in the Israeli education system through the Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi school of Jerusalem studies. In 2008 I began guiding geopolitical tours and introductory lectures on East Jerusalem (first through Ir Amim). In 2009, I worked as an intern at the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research (as a Legacy Heritage Fellow), where I first learned to bridge between academic knowledge and policy making. In 2013-2016, based both in Jerusalem and Strasbourg, I worked as an advisor to the secretariat of the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land (CRIHL), consulting the chief official religious authorities in Israel and the Palestinian Authority – Israel’s Chief Rabbinate, The PA’s Ministry of Waqf and Religious Affairs and the Head of Churches – on how to involve religious leaders in the process of negotiations around USA Secretary of States John Kerry’s attempts to renew the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. In 2014-2015 I worked as a program director at Search for Common Ground (SFCG, the world’s largest international NGO working to end violent conflicts), leading the Jerusalem desk of the Holy Land Pilot of the Universal Code of Conduct on Holy Sites.

Since 2016 I work mainly as an independent geopolitical guide, lecturer and consultant. Among my clients are senior politicians, policy makers, diplomats, academic and research institutes, civil society organizations, NGOs and journalists dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Jewish-Arab relations. I guide all over the country (Israel-Palestine) and also, at times, in other conflict areas around the world.

I am currently on the managing boards of several civil society initiatives and organizations in Jerusalem, Israel and Palestine. I am fluent in Hebrew, Arabic, English and French. I live in Jerusalem with my wife, where we raise together three boys and two cats.

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Recommendations

Contact

Interested in lectures, tutorials or geopolitical tours about Jerusalem and the Holy Land? Contact me and we’ll talk

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