IDC to offer 'crash course' for foreign diplomats

New program aims to provide a more balanced perspective on Israeli affairs.

IDF North 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
IDF North 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Through a new certificate program aimed at foreign diplomats, the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya hopes to provide a more balanced perspective on Israeli affairs. Offering classes that range from counterterrorism policy, the Arab-Israeli peace process and the movement toward alternative energy, the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy will open its doors in early November for 10-session courses. The courses will be held every other Friday and are set to cost NIS 4,000. "The classes are mainly to speed up the familiarity with Israel," Alex Mintz, dean of the Lauder School and head of the certificate program, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. "When [foreign diplomats] come to Israel, they have knowledge about Israel, but this will give them more than just background," Mintz said. "I see this as an opportunity to enrich the knowledge of senior diplomats and leaders from major organizations." Several countries offered such "crash courses" for senior figures, including France, and it was now time to start in Israel, he said. The teachers will include former Supreme Court president Aharon Barak, former foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami and former education minister Amnon Rubinstein. Having such well-established professors will make the courses both more credible and objective, according to Mintz. Scientist and entrepreneur Dr. Issac Berzin, who is well known for his development of bio-fuel through algae, will lecture on alternative energy solutions developed in Israel. Berzin, who is also head of the Institute of Alternative Energy Policy at the Lauder School, said he hoped to inform the students on Israeli developments in the field and the country's position at the forefront of the "post-oil revolution." "The world is on the edge of a change in terms of energy and the environment," he told the Post. "We are going to cross into the post-oil era and... Israel has the answers for the questions that the world is asking." In addition to the lectures, there was a need for dialogue between the teachers and the foreign leaders, to reach a better understanding of current affairs, Berzin said.