SIGNAL Fellows
Dr. Cui Shoujun

Dr. Cui Shoujun is Associate Professor and Assistant Dean at the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China (RUC), where he also heads the Center for Middle East and African Studies (CMEAS) established by SIGNAL.  He graduated from China Foreign Affairs University in 2006 where he received his PhD degree, and then joined the faculty of the Foreign Affairs Department at Renmin University’s School of International Studies. His research focuses on energy studies, China’s foreign policy, geopolitics, and developing countries (Middle East, Africa and Latin America). Dr. Cui was a EU Marie Curie scholar to several European Universities and a visiting scholar with the “International Visitor Leadership Program” (IVLP) to the U.S. Department of the State. He has published several books, numerous academic articles, and op-ed articles in both Chinese and English.

Dr. Li Wei

Dr. Li Wei (PhD) is a researcher and lecturer at the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies (IMES) of Northwest University, China. He is the Executive Editor for the Chinese Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (CJMES). Previously, he spent seven years in South Korea for graduate studies, under the supervision of Professor Kim Sunghan who served as the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Affairs in Lee Myungbak’s government. Dr. Li participated in many professional and academic activities in areas of DPRK Nuclear Crisis and East Asia Security in his early career. In May 2014, he joined IMES and expanded his research field to MENA studies. He conducted two academic visits to Israel and published the book Israel and BRI: Role and Prospects (In Chinese) in spring 2018. He is also the Chair of China’s National Social Fund Project: Israel and BRI: Keys and Difficulties since 2018.

His area of expertise are: East Asia Security, North Korea Nuclear Issues, East Asia and Middle East Relations, China-Israel Relations, MENA Regional Security and Counter Terrorism.

Prof. Liang Pingan

Senior Research Fellow

Senior Research fellow at Shanghai International Studies University, China. MA on Jewish and Israeli Studies, majoring at the Four Jewish Diasporas to China. Serving as Third Secretary in the Chinese Embassy in Kuwait(1991-1995), Second Secretary in the Chinese Embassy in Slovenia(1997-1999). M.A. candidate on Jewish Civilization History of Rothberg International School of Hebrew University in 1999, Visiting Scholar at the Center of Jewish & Israeli Studies of Social Sciences Academy of Shanghai(2001-2004), Exchange scholar at Far-Eastern Department of Tel Aviv University sponsored by the Kofflers(2004), Trainee at Shusterman Israel Studies Institute of Brandeis University and Israel(2013). Voluntary Academic Liaison of SIGNAL(Sino-Israel Global Network Academic Leadership) in China and co-founder of Israel Study Programs in 14 top Chinese universities. Mandarin Chief of MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) in China.

Prof. Meron Medzini

Distinguished SIGNAL Fellow

Prof. Meron Medzini is an Adjunct Associate Professor in Political Science at the Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is also an Associate Fellow at the Truman Peace Institute of the Hebrew University specializing in Israel’s relations with the nations of East Asia. Born in Jerusalem, after his military service in the Israeli Army, he was educated in the United States and received his BA degree from City College of New York, MA from Georgetown university and PH.D from Harvard University where he majored in the history of modern Japan and modern China. He began his teaching career in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1965 and also taught for many years at Tel Aviv University courses on modern Asia. He is the author of six books and some sixty of articles in academic publications in Israel and overseas. His book – Golda, A Political Biography, won the Israel Prime Minister Prize in 2010. Between 1962 and 1978 he was the director of the Israel Government Press Office and in that capacity was spokesman for Prime Ministers Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir and Yitzhak Rabin. He also lectured at the Israel Army National Defense College and Staff and Command College. Since 2012 he has lectured at many universities in China on Israeli foreign policy, the modern Middle East and China’s presence and policies in the Middle East.

Dr. Idan Avinoam

Senior Fellow

Dr. Idan is a political geographer. He teaches at the University of Haifa, Israel, and is a Senior Fellow with the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC. Prior to his academic work, he served for over thirty years in the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel, including seven years in the Israeli embassy in Moscow during the break-up of the Soviet Union. During this period, Dr. Idan was involved in the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the states of Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Dr. Harold Rhode

Senior Fellow

Dr. Harold Rhode is a expert in Israel studies, Iran and Islamic culture from and Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute. He served as the Turkish Desk Officer at the US Department of Defense, as Advisor on Islamic Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon. He delivered a month-long series of lectures at SIGNAL’s ISPs.

Ceng Sagnic

Ceng Sagnic is coordinator of the Kurdish Studies Program and co-editor of Turkeyscope: Insights on Turkish Affairs at the Tel Aviv-based Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies (MDC). His research areas include the current militant trends in Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Yemen; and Kurdish nationalist movements across the Middle East. He is a member of the Islamic State (IS) and Iraq Forum; and the Forum on Kurdish Society, History and Politics at the MDC. Sagnic is a regular commentator for major regional and international media outlets. He speaks two dialects of Kurdish, Turkish, English, Arabic and Persian. He completed his B.A. in Iraqi Kurdistan, holds an M.A. degree from Ben- Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. Sagnic is currently writing his PhD dissertation on the emergence of modern Kurdish nationalist movements in Iran at Tel Aviv University.

Dr. Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak


Dr. Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak (Phd) is a researcher at the Moshe Dayan Center (MDC). He is the co-editor of Turkeyscope Insights on Turkish Affairs and serves as the Turkey analyst of MDC’s social media watch bulletin “Bee Hive”. In May 2015, he was awarded the Dan David Prize Scholarship in the category of “Past: Retrieving the past, historians and their sources.”

His areas of expertise are: contemporary Turkish politics, Turkish Foreign policy, Turkish national security policy, Turkish social media, Turkish education system, Turkish-Israeli relations and Kurds in Turkey.

Yaakov Kirschen

Yaakov Kirschen is an acclaimed cartoonist and SIGNAL Senior Fellow. He is best known for the award-winning cartoon strip Dry Bones, which has been published in the Jerusalem Post since 1973.

Jonathan Spyer

Jonathan Spyer is a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Herzliya, Israel, and a columnist a t the Jerusalem Post newspaper. He is the author of The Transforming Fire: The Rise of Israel-Islamist Conflict. He holds a PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics.