In late 2011, somewhere in a haze of applications to graduate schools, I was struck by an image of a network of young writers, passionate about the Near East yet balanced in their analyses, working and writing together on the issues concerning the lands of the Levant and greater region. I was overtaken by this image; a cadre of young professionals and post-grads elevating the collective discourse in a fair and robust manner with new thoughts unburdened by outmoded perspectives. It was with this image in mind that we built the Jerusalem Review, and it is with that image in mind that we will endeavor to create a balanced, methodical, and multifaceted review of Near East affairs.
I chose Jerusalem as the focal point less for what it is or has been, but more for what it could be. Jerusalem, to me, is the crux of regional security and prosperity. Not only is the city a fulcrum for the region for pragmatic reasons — the stagnant peace process, the territorial confrontations, the ever persistent question of its status as a capitol — but also on a more esoteric level. As the author David Shipler wrote: “Jerusalem is a festival and a lamentation. Its song is a sigh across the ages, a delicate, robust, mournful psalm at the great junction of spiritual cultures.”
It is our hope that the Jerusalem Review becomes a resource for students, academics, and policymakers of the Near East. This goal of a fair and robust discourse on the region is our guiding principle, our mission statement, and our reason to write.