Joshua Muravchik

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Joshua Muravchik
Muravchik in 2013
BornSeptember 17, 1947
New York City
OccupationPolitical scholar
OrganizationWorld Affairs Institute

Joshua Muravchik (born September 17, 1947, in New York City) is a neoconservative political scholar. He resides in Washington, DC based World Affairs Institute, he is also an adjunct professor at the DC based Institute of World Politics (since 1992) and a former fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) (2009 – 2014).[1] He was formerly a fellow at the George W. Bush Institute (2012–2013), a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (1987–2008), and a scholar in residence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (1985).[2]

Muravchik was one of the group of writers who moved away from the political left in the 1960s and 1970s and came to be called neoconservatives. In 1986, a Wall Street Journal editor wrote: "Joshua Muravchik may be the most cogent and careful of the neoconservative writers on foreign policy."[3] Muravchik wrote in defense of neoconservative position when it became controversial during the years of George W. Bush’s presidency.[4]

Since his transition to neoconservatism, much of Muravchik's work has focused on defending Israel from critics on the left – he opposes a Palestinian right of return on the grounds that it will upset the Jewish character of Israel's demographics – and advocating for military action against Iran (in 2006, 2011 and 2015 he authored op-eds advocating for a pre-emptive strike against Iran).[5][6][7]

Early life[edit]

Muravchik was born September 17, 1947 in New York City. His father, Emanuel Muravchik, was a leading American Jewish socialist.[8]

Joshua Muravchik initially adopted his father's political leanings– he was National Chairman of the Young People's Socialist League (YPSL) from 1968 to 1973, and executive director of the Coalition for a Democratic Majority from 1977 to 1979. He was also an aide to the late Congressman James G. O'Hara (D-Mich.) in 1975 and to the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) in 1977 and as a campaign aide to the late Senator Henry M. Jackson in his pursuit of the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination.[9]


Muravchik received an undergraduate degree from City College of New York (1970) and a Ph.D in international relations from Georgetown University (1984). He also received an honorary doctorate from the Aurel Vlaicu University of Romania (2004).[10] In 1998, he received a citation from the Polish parliament for his activities on behalf of Solidarity.

Muravchik serves on the board of trustees and the executive committee of Freedom House.[11] In 1995, he became a founding member of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran,[12] [13] a non-profit organization established with grants from the National Endowment for Democracy.[14] [15] In 2006, Muvarchik had an opinion piece published in the Los Angeles Times entitled "Bomb Iran".[16] In it, he argues that the prospect of Iranians overthrowing their government seemed "even more remote today than it did a decade ago", compared the Iranian government to the Bolsheviks and the Nazis, and claimed that Iran was harboring Al Qaeda.

He was a member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion from 2002 to 2009,[17] and a member of the Commission on Broadcasting to the People's Republic of China in 1992. He served on the Maryland State Advisory Committee of the United States Commission on Civil Rights from 1985 to 1997. He is a member of the editorial boards of World Affairs, Journal of Democracy, and The Journal of International Security Affairs, as well as being an Advisory Editor at Fathom.

Muravchik argued in The Washington Post that the United States should attack Iran, stating: "Does this mean that our only option is war? Yes, although an air campaign targeting Iran's nuclear infrastructure would entail less need for boots on the ground than the war Obama is waging against the Islamic State, which poses far smaller a threat than Iran does."[18]


Muravchik is the author of 11 books, of which the most noted have been Making David Into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel (2014), Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism (2002), and Exporting Democracy: Fulfilling America's Destiny (1991). Making David Into Goliath was featured on C-SPAN in July and August 2014.[19] He has also authored hundreds of articles in magazines, journals, and newspapers touching on international politics, U.S. foreign policy, socialism, democracy, political ideology, the UN, and the Arab/Israel conflict.[20]

  • Making David Into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel, Encounter Books, 2014, 281 pages, ISBN 978-1-59403-735-1
  • Liberal Oasis: The Truth About Israel, Encounter Books, 2014, ebook, 66 pages,
  • Trailblazers of the Arab Spring: Voices of Democracy in the Middle East, Encounter Books, 2013, 420 pages, ISBN 978-1-59403-679-8
  • Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism, Encounter Books, 2002, hardcover, 417 pages, ISBN 1-893554-45-7
  • The Imperative of American Leadership, The AEI Press, 1996
  • Exporting Democracy: Fulfilling America's Destiny, The AEI Press, 1991, hardcover, 262 pages, ISBN 0-8447-3733-X


  1. ^ He is introduced as a fellow of the SAIS on this web page in July 2014:, but his information no longer shows up if you search for him on the SAIS website./
  2. ^ Article Title[usurped]; "Joshua Muravchik » Faculty » the Institute of World Politics". Archived from the original on 2014-08-12. Retrieved 2014-08-03.; Robert S. Greenberger, "Roots of Iraq Policy Are Tested; Postwar Difficulties Put Neoconservatism on the Line," Wall Street Journal, Eastern edition, 19 Sep 2003: A.4. (Profile of Muravchik); Dick Kirschten, "A rebel who thinks against the grain," National Journal 27.43 (Oct 28, 1995): 2670. (Profile of Muravchik)
  3. ^ Tim W. Ferguson, "Bookshelf: Throwing Down the Neoconservative Gauntlet," Wall Street Journal, 13 May 1986
  4. ^ "The Neoconservative Cabal," Commentary, September 2003; "The Past, Present, and Future of Neoconservatism," Commentary, October 2007; Can the Neocons Get Their Groove Back?, The Washington Post, November 19, 2006
  5. ^ "Opposing view: No more sanctions on Iran –". USA Today. 2011-11-10. Archived from the original on 2011-11-10. Retrieved 2022-12-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  6. ^ Muravchik, Joshua (2015-03-13). "War with Iran is probably our best option". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2022-12-23.
  7. ^ Muravchik, Joshua (2006-11-19). "Bomb Iran". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2022-12-23.
  8. ^ Holzel, David (2019-04-11). "Scholar Muravchik charts his rightward path". Washington Jewish Week. Retrieved 2022-12-23.
  9. ^ "Comrades," Commentary, January 2006.
  10. ^ "Doctor Honoris Causa - University - "Aurel Vlaicu" University of Arad". Archived from the original on 2010-05-16.
  11. ^ "Our Leadership | Freedom House". Archived from the original on 2012-01-25.
  12. ^ "Opposition Activities".
  13. ^ "Opposition Activities". Archived from the original on 2009-06-12. Retrieved 2022-01-18.
  14. ^ "Opposition Activities".
  15. ^ "Opposition Activities". Archived from the original on 2009-06-12. Retrieved 2022-01-18.
  16. ^ "Bomb Iran". Los Angeles Times. 19 November 2006. Archived from the original on 2009-07-04. Retrieved 2022-01-18.
  17. ^ Joshua Muravchik, [transcript] "President Bush's Global Democracy Efforts," The Washington Post, 21 August 2007
  18. ^ "War with Iran is probably our best option - The Washington Post". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2015-03-14.
  19. ^ "Book Discussion on Making David into Goliath". C-SPAN. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2015. Joshua Muravchik talked about his book, Making David into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel, in which he discusses why the international community's opinion of Israel has declined since the 1967 war. He said that oil and geopolitics were to blame early on, but argued that world opinion is mostly shaped by leftist intellectuals and activists who side with the Palestinians. Mr. Muravchik spoke at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.
  20. ^ "Google Scholar".

External links[edit]