The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Spring 2003, 16 Credits

Housed within the three-quarter program:

Seeking Justice:
Reclamation, Equality, And Restitution

(see the program home page)





First class is Tuesday, April 1 at 10:00a.m. LAB 1, Rm. 1040



Steve Niva (International Politics)
Lab I 1005 | Ext.5612
Steve's personal web page


To sign up, you must register for the "Seeking Justice" Program. Current students are already registered. On the first day of class we will assess the total numbers who are registered for the program and who can enter the program, which will be capped at 25 students.

Priority will be given to those previously enrolled in "Seeking Justice" program, then by faculty discretion. If you are not currently in Seeking Justice, please contact me if you are interested.



This program will provide a thorough overview of the multiple dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In particular, it will focus on the contending narratives--stories, myths, facts and attitudes--that shape each side in the conflict, as well as the diversity of views within each side. We will examine the key historical aspects of the conflict (including how each side sees them in a different light), the composition of each society and their different religions, parties and ideologies, and prospects for peace between them. We will also critically examine US foreign policy and its relation to the conflict.

We will read several books and many supplementary articles. We will also watch a number of films and documentaries and have guest speakers.

There will be a mid-quarter historical examination, an essay and a research project, as well as many in-class exercises and some role-plays.


The following books have been ordered and the tentative order of topics for Spring quarter are as follows:

Literary Responses to the Conflict

Jon Papernick, The Ascent of Eli Israel
Ghassan Kanafani, Men in the Sun.

Historical Overview

Ian Bickerton and Carla Klausner, A Concise History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 4th Edition

Biblical Narratives and the Zionist Dream of Return

Bruce Feiler, Walking the Bible: A Journey by land through the five books of Moses

Zionist/Israeli Narratives

Benjamin Netanyahu, A Durable Peace: Israel and Its Place Among the Nations

Palestinian Narratives

Edward Said, The Question of Palestine

The Intifada and Palestinian Society

Michael Gorkin and Rafiqa Othman, Three Mothers, Three Daughters: Palestinian Women's Stories

Activism, Gender and the Occupation

Simona Sharoni, Gender and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: The Politics of Women's Resistance

U.S. Foreign Policy and the Conflict

Stephen Zunes, Tinderbox: US Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism



Spring Class Schedule:

Tues. 10:00-12:00
Wed. 10:00-1:00
Friday 10:00-12:00
Tues. 1:00-3:00 p.m. seminar
Friday 1:00-3:00 seminar
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