Emmanuel Navon

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Emmanuel Navon speaking on i24News.

Emmanuel Navon (Hebrew: עמנואל נבון‎; born Emmanuel Mréjen January 21, 1971) is a French-born Israeli political scientist and foreign policy expert who teaches at Tel-Aviv University[1] and at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.[2] He is a senior fellow at the Kohelet Policy Forum and a senior analyst for i24news.[3][4]


Early life and education[edit]

Emmanuel Navon was born in Paris, France, as Emmanuel Mréjen. As a child, he attended the international bilingual school (French/English). He graduated from Sciences-Po, majoring in Public Administration. During his studies at Sciences-Po, he interned at the French Foreign Ministry and at the French Ministry of Finance. In 1993, he immigrated to Israel and subsequently hebraized his last name to Navon. In Israel, Navon enrolled in the Israel Defense Forces and pursued his graduate studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, earning a master's degree and a Ph.D. in international relations. During his studies at the Hebrew University, he consulted to the Israeli Foreign Ministry on the reform of the United Nations and joined the Shalem Center as a doctoral fellow.[5]


Navon began his career as consultant for Arttic (a consultancy specialized in R&D funding), helping Israeli companies obtain funding from the European Commission and join European consortia. Between 2003 and 2005, he served as CEO of BNIC, an NGO that trained Israel's business leaders in public diplomacy.[6] Between 2005 and 2010, he was a partner with the Navon-Levy Group, a consultancy that promoted Israeli agricultural projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. Between 2011 and 2016, he served as head of the Political Science and Communication Department at the Jerusalem Haredi College (affiliated with Bar-Ilan University).[7] Navon is a frequent guest speaker in North America and Europe on behalf of Organizations such as the Jewish Federations of North America,[8][9] Hillel International,[10][11] and ELNET[12] where he generally addresses current affairs related to Israel and to the Jewish people.

Academic positions[edit]

Navon has been lecturing at Tel-Aviv University's School of Political Science, Government and International Relations and at the Abba Eban Graduate Program for Diplomacy Studies since 2002.[13] In addition, he has been lecturing since 2012 at the IDC's Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy.[14] He teaches and has taught classes on Israel's foreign policy, on foreign policy decision-making, on the history of diplomacy, on European diplomacy, on globalization, and on the global politics of oil and energy.[15]

In 2013, he joined the Kohelet Policy Forum think tank as a senior fellow,[16] In his 2006 policy paper for the Herzliya Conference, Navon recommended the establishment of a national public diplomacy authority.[17] In July 2007, the Israeli government established an Information Directorate to coordinate information activities among ministries.[18] In his January 2017 policy paper for the Kohelet Policy Forum (co-authored with Abraham Diskin), Navon recommends the adoption of open lists and political alliances in Israel's voting system.[19]

Journalism and commentary[edit]

Emmanuel Navon is engaged by i24News as a senior analyst for international affairs.[20]

Navon has appeared on France 24,[21][22] Voice of America,[23][24] Channel News Asia,[25] and in the Wall Street Journal,[26][27] Bloomberg,[28] The Fiscal Times,[29] The Jerusalem Post,[30][31][32][33] Le Monde,[34] Le Figaro,[35][36] Libération,[37] Le Point,[38] France Culture,[39][40][41][42][43] RFI,[44][45] L'Obs,[46] Causeur,[47] Tribune juive,[48] the Canadian Jewish News,[49] Radio Canada,[50] and La Libre Belgique.[51]

Navon's op-eds have been published in Newsweek,[52] Le Monde,[53] Le Figaro,[54] and The Jerusalem Post.[55]

He regularly publishes editorials in The Times of Israel (in English)[56] and is a former contributor to Mida, an Israeli current affairs and opinion web magazine.[57]

Ideas and controversies[edit]

Navon is critical of international relations theory and describes the "great debates" as a sham.[58] His dismissive attitude toward IR theory has been rebuked by international relations scholars Duncan Bell and Brian C. Schmidt.[59][60] Duncan Bell's rebuke of Navon's critical approach to IR theory is often quoted in academic literature.[61][62][63][64][65][66]

Since the breakdown of the Oslo process in the Fall of 2000, Navon has claimed that Israel can neither retain all the territories it conquered in the Six-Day War nor achieve peace with the Palestinians. His readiness to make territorial concessions is motivated solely by the need to preserve Israel's democracy and Jewish majority, and he very much doubts that such concessions would settle the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.[67] Since the Israeli disengagement from Gaza, he has low expectations from unilateral moves and often describes Israel's position vis-à-vis the Palestinians as a "Catch 22" situation.[68] A proponent of Realpolitik, he rejects both the territorial dogmatism of religious Zionism and the dovish beliefs of the Israeli left.[69] He has stated that "there is no credible alternative to a two-state solution, yet this 'solution' keeps working in theory and failing in practice."[70]

A staunch advocate of the Jews' right to national self-determination,[71][72] Navon believes that there was something unrealistic in the full emancipation of the Jews by the French Revolution[73] and that nation-states such as Israel can be fully compatible with democracy and civic equality.[74]

He rejects the stance, typically expressed by European diplomats, that Israel's final eastern border should be identical to the Green Line,[75] and calls upon European leaders to judge Israel by the same standards they apply to their own countries during NATO operations.[76]

In April 2010, Navon publicly criticized the JCall initiative for overlooking the responsibility of the Palestinian leadership in the deadlock of the Israeli–Palestinian peace process.[77]

In March 2011, a lecture Navon delivered at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) was disrupted by pro-Palestinian students, and Navon had to be escorted by security guards.[78] In November 2012, RTBF journalist Eddy Caekelberghs cut short a live interview after Navon accused him of contributing to Hamas' propaganda.[79]

Navon is a defender of free-markets and of globalization.[80] He advocates the use of Israel's technological edge to contribute to energy independence,[81] a position for which he was criticized by Prof. Yehezkel Dror.[82] A supporter of the preservation of NATO and of the EU, Navon is suspicious of Russia and had opposed Brexit.[83] He is critical of Israel's "New Historians."[84]

Navon describes himself as a liberal conservative. He endorsed François Fillon for the first round of the 2017 French presidential elections and Emmanuel Macron for the runoff.[85][86]


In November 2012, Navon ran for Knesset on the Likud ticket[87] but did not gather enough votes in the party's primary elections.[88]

Personal life[edit]

Navon is a practicing Modern Orthodox Jew. He is married to Sima Herzfeld. They have four children. Navon is the brother of French artist Valérie Mréjen and the brother-in-law of US rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld.



  • The Victory of Zionism: Reclaiming the Narrative About Israel's Domestic, Regional, and International Challenges, 2014
  • From Israel With Hope: Why and How Israel Will Continue to Thrive, 2011
  • A Plight Among the Nations: Israel's Foreign Policy Between Nationalism and Realism, 2009

Academic articles[edit]

Policy papers[edit]


  1. ^ "Dr. Emmanuel Navon | Tel Aviv University". english.tau.ac.il. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  2. ^ "Dr. Emmanuel Navon - IDC Herzliya". portal.idc.ac.il. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  3. ^ "Dr. Emmanuel Navon, Author at Kohelet Forum". Kohelet Forum. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  4. ^ "Emmanuel Navon". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  5. ^ "exclusive interview: Dr. Emmanuel Navon". TLVFaces. 2013-02-22. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  6. ^ Sandy Cash, "Boardroom Diplomacy" The Jerusalem Report, 2 May 2005
  7. ^ "exclusive interview: Dr. Emmanuel Navon - TLVFaces - TLVFaces". www.tlvfaces.com. 2013-02-22. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  8. ^ "Cocktails & Conversation". Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  9. ^ Jewish Tulsa, January 2010
  10. ^ "Israel as a Jewish State: Compatible with Democracy and Human Rights?" Rice University, 8 February 2016
  11. ^ "Houston Hillel hosts scholar in residence" 18 February 2016
  12. ^ http://elnetwork.eu/europe
  13. ^ "Dr. Emmanuel Navon | Tel Aviv University". english.tau.ac.il. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  14. ^ "Dr. Emmanuel Navon - IDC Herzliya". portal.idc.ac.il. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  15. ^ Emmanuel Navon's LinkedIn Profile
  16. ^ Emmanuel Navon's Staff Page at the Kohelet Policy Forum.
  17. ^ Elise Hannaford, "Cautioning Israeli Policy Makers: The Consequences of Failed Negotiations" Palestine-Israel Journal, February 2014
  18. ^ "PM Olmert Appoints Yarden Vatikay to Manage PMO Information Directorate" Prime Minister's Office, 5 February 2008
  19. ^ Abraham Diskin and Emmanuel Navon, "Improving the Accountability and Stability of Israel's Political System: A Detailed Proposal for a Feasible Electoral Reform." Kohelet Policy Paper #30, January 2017
  20. ^ "Emmanuel Navon". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  21. ^ France 24, 8 July 2014
  22. ^ France 24, 3 February 2011
  23. ^ VOA, 27 October 2015
  24. ^ VOA, 22 September 2011
  25. ^ Channel News Asia, 20 December 2014
  26. ^ Nicholas Bariyo and Rory Jones, "Benjamin Netanyahu Seeks Deeper Ties With Africa" The Wall Street Journal 4 July 2016
  27. ^ "Netanyahu to Meet with Trump While Facing Probes at Home" (PDF). Wall Street Journal. 14 February 2017.
  28. ^ "Out of Africa, Netanyahu Says He'll Expedite Business Deals". Bloomberg. 2016-07-10. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  29. ^ Riyadh Mohammed, "Clinton or Trump: Which Candidate Would Israel Choose?" The Fiscal Times 5 May 2016
  30. ^ Benjamin Weinthal, "Experts: Europe will benefit economically from Iran accord" The Jerusalem Post 25 November 2013
  31. ^ The Jerusalem Post, 5 January 2017
  32. ^ The Jerusalem Post, 30 July 2016
  33. ^ The Jerusalem Post, 15 November 2015
  34. ^ Le Monde, 4 August 2015
  35. ^ Le Figaro, 9 August 2015
  36. ^ Le Figaro, 12 August 2015
  37. ^ "Le casse-tête d'Olmert face au Hamas" Libération 26 February 2008
  38. ^ Le Point, 26 September 2011
  39. ^ France Culture, 23 September 2011
  40. ^ France Culture, 24 May 2016
  41. ^ France Culture, 6 April 2016
  42. ^ France Culture, 6 April 2015
  43. ^ France Culture, 15 November 2012
  44. ^ "Politologue à l'université de Tel Aviv". RFI. 13 September 2008.
  45. ^ "Gaza: quel impact pour l'appel au boycott des produits israéliens ?". RFI. 5 August 2014.
  46. ^ "La fuite en avant" (PDF). L'Obs. 16 February 2017.
  47. ^ "Du gaz dans l'eau en Méditerranée" Causeur, 8 September 2015
  48. ^ "La terre d'Israël appartient au peuple juif" Tribune juive, May 2011
  49. ^ Canadian Jewish News, 24 February 2016
  50. ^ Radio Canada, 19 May 2015
  51. ^ La Libre Belgique, 25 November 2014
  52. ^ Emmanuel Navon, "The Academics Boycotting Israel are Misguided" Newsweek 28 October 2015
  53. ^ Emmanuel Navon, "La vraie signification du vote onusien" Le Monde 20 septembre 2011
  54. ^ Emmanuel Navon, "L'Europe a-t-elle peur de la démocratie?" Le Figaro 7 août 2002
  55. ^ Emmanuel Navon, "The EU Is an Obstacle to Peace in the Middle East" The Jerusalem Post 1 February 2012
  56. ^ "Emmanuel Navon | The Blogs". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  57. ^ "Archived articles for Emmanuel Navon". Mida (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  58. ^ Chris Brown and Kirsten Ainley (eds.)., Understanding International Relations (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), p. 63
  59. ^ Bell, Duncan S. A. (2003-01-01). "Political Theory and the Functions of Intellectual History: A Response to Emmanuel Navon". Review of International Studies. 29 (1): 151–160. JSTOR 20097840.
  60. ^ Schmidt, Brian (2013-08-15). International Relations and the First Great Debate. Routledge. ISBN 9781136319112.
  61. ^ Alex Prichard, Justice, Order and Anarchy: The International Political Theory of Joseph-Pierre Proudhon (Routledge, 2013).
  62. ^ Oliver Jütersonke, Morgenthau, Law and Realism (Cambridge University Press, 2010), p. 7
  63. ^ Walter Carlsnaes, Thomas Risse, Beth A. Simmons (eds.), Handbook of International Relations (Sage, 2012)
  64. ^ Chris Clarke, Ethics and Economic Governance: Using Adam Smith to Understand the Global Financial Crisis (Routledge, 2016), p. 148
  65. ^ Knud Erik Jorgensen, Tonny Brems Knudsen (eds.), International Relations in Europe: Traditions, Perspectives, and Destinations (Routledge, 2006), p. 248
  66. ^ John Buke, Realpolitik: A History (Oxford University Press, 2016), p. 316
  67. ^ Nathalie Blau, "Odysee parlementaire" Jerusalem Post (French edition), 10 August 2010
  68. ^ Olivier Danino, Le Hamas et l'édification de l'État palestinen (Éditions Karthala, 2009), p. 55
  69. ^ Emmanuel Faux, Le Nouvel Israël: Un pays en quête de repères (Éditions du Seuil, 2008), p. 241
  70. ^ "Emmanuel Navon, "Where Do We Stand? Perspectives On Obstacles to Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict."".
  71. ^ Israel Studies Forum: An Interdisciplinary Journal (Volumes 20-21), pp. 64-65
  72. ^ La Libre Belgique, 25 November 2014
  73. ^ Haim Ben-Asher, The Zionist Illusion (Troubador Publishing, 2010), p. 209
  74. ^ Grégory Piet , Sophie Wintgens, and David Stans, La guerre a Gaza, de l'analyse du discours médiatique à l'analyse politologique (Peter Lang Publishing, 2010), pp. 137–139
  75. ^ Sharon Pardo, Normative Power Europe Meets Israel (Lexington Books, 2015), p. 70
  76. ^ Paul Giniewski, La guerre des hommes-bombes (Éditions Cheminements, 2006), p. 355
  77. ^ Andrew Rettman, "Jewish luminaries petition EU parliament over settlements" EU Observer 3 May 2010
  78. ^ Ouellette, David (2011-03-31). "Intimidation à l'UQAM". Le blogue de David Ouellette. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  79. ^ RTBF, 15 November 2015
  80. ^ "Globalisation: Mythes et Réalités" Akadem, May 2012
  81. ^ "Israël et la géopolitique du pétrole" Akadem, March 2011
  82. ^ "Strategists: Primum Non Nocere". Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. 2010-11-18. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  83. ^ I24News Interview, 23 June 2016
  84. ^ "Les nouveaux historiens israéliens" Akadem, November 2005
  85. ^ I24News Interview, 24 November 2016
  86. ^ "Le Ptit Hebdo, 29 April 2017". 2017-04-29.
  87. ^ Gil Hoffman, "Self-described 'Franglo' running for Likud List" The Jerusalem Post, 24 August 2012.
  88. ^ "exclusive interview: Dr. Emmanuel Navon - TLVFaces - TLVFaces". www.tlvfaces.com. 2013-02-22. Retrieved 2017-01-29.

External links[edit]