Dialogue Syllabus Speakers Suggested Readings
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The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

4 Credit Class Winter Quarter 2004  

Course Description
Students in this course will participate in a joint college/community lecture series focused on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. We will address controversial issues related to history, human rights, religion, US foreign policy, and international and local movements for peace and justice. We will also examine communication dimensions of the conflict including the difficult dialogues that emerge, even in our own community, when peoples' perceptions of the conflict differ.   The course will introduce intercultural communication and conflict resolution skills that may help individuals in their efforts toward peace.

Course objectives: Examine the Palestinian-Israeli conflict from multiple perspectives; understand the primary issues of the conflict; evaluate the context of various messages; practice listening and speaking skills that promote intercultural understanding; introduce conflict resolution skills.   

Credits:   History and Politics of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict (2) and Intercultural Communication (2).


Lori Blewett, Ph.D,   blewettl@evergreen.edu


•  One Land, Two People by Deborah Gerner

•  A reading packet of articles and book chapters

Meeting times/places

The class will run from 6-10 p.m. on Thursdays . On evenings when there is no community speaker, students will meet on the Evergreen campus in Library 2220.   When there are featured speakers, students will meet at the lecture/forum site in downtown Olympia (First Church of Christ Scientist on 8 th and Washington). Students will meet from 6-7 p.m. and attend lectures on the main floor from 7-9 p.m.   We will participate in community dialogue groups from 9-10 p.m.


•  Typed questions/comments on reading assignments (brought to class weekly).

•  Short (1-2 page) reflections on at least two of the lecture/dialogue events in relation to the course readings. Both speaker and reading must be cited in the papers. These reflections will be shared with a small group of students via e-mail and potentially used as the basis for on-going group e-mail discussions.

•  An 8-10 page dialogue/research paper which presents opposing views on a particular event or issue in the conflict.   This paper will reflect significant research beyond the course readings. Papers will be written as a scripted dialogue between two or more people, with source material footnoted throughout the text.   Emphasis will be placed on showing the experiential/ideological frameworks in which each perspective "makes sense." Papers must have a minimum of five sources, only one of which can be a Web site. The remaining sources must include a mix of books, articles, academic journals, government documents, etc. Papers also need to include quantitative reasoning as a means of illustrating a specific point or example.



January 8   Lecture on Difficult Dialogues: Mohammed Abu-Nimer (American University) & Rabbi Seth Goldstein (Temple Beth Hatfiloh, Olympia)

Require reading:

•  Pioneers in Dialogue: Jews Building Bridges (Reena Bernards, 191-198)

•  Dialogue, Conflict, Resolution, and Change: Arab-Jewish Encounters in Israel . Mohammed Abu-Nimer (1999).   (Chapter 10, pp. 149-167).

January 15   (On campus, L2220)

Intercultural Communication and Conflic t (presentation/workshop)


Required reading:

•  Ethical Issues in Intercultural Communication (Judith Martin, Lisa Flores, Thomas Nakayama, 1998, pp. 455-463)

•  Processes that Produce Escalation (Dean Pruitt & Jeffrey Rubin, 1986, pp. 88-110)

•  The Basic Principles of Dialogue in the Israeli-Palestine Conflict: Respect, Honesty, Sincerity, Humility. (Naim Stifan Ateek, 1991, pp59-73)


•  A Face-Driven Account of Identity Exchange in Israeli-Palestinian "Dialogue" Events (Yael-Janette Zupnik, 2001)

January 22   (Downtown)

Lecture on the History of Palestine/Israel : Ellis Goldberg and Farhat Ziadeh (University of Washington)


Required reading

•  Selections from One Land Two People (Deborah Gerner , pp.1-55; 103-131         

Essays on Zionism:      

•  A History of Zionism   (Walter Laquer)

•  Zionism from the Standpoint of its Victims (Edward Said)


•  Zionism Comes to the Land (Michael Lerner)

•  MERIP Primer on the Conflict


January 29 (On campus, L2220)

Competing Narratives: Histories, Ideologies, and Experiences (presentation/discussion)


Required Reading:

•  Selections from One Land Two People (Deborah Gerner , pp. 55-102)

•  Intercultural Histories and Mass-Mediated Identities: The Re-Imagining of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (Marouf Hasin, 1998, pp. 97-104)

•  Palestinians Should Not Have Their Own Nation (Benjamin Netanyahu, pp147-153)

•  Israeli Historians Ask: What Really Happened Fifty Years Ago? (Ilan Pappe, 1998)


•  "In the Beginning" Israeli Jews and Arabs Construct Intifadas and Selves (Rivka Ribak,   2001)

** Optional Saturday Class. Jan 31, 9:30-1 p.m .   Conflict resolution simulation with the Strategy Group.   This will be a "real time" experiential lab for learning collaboration skill necessary for reaching agreements in multi-party conflicts.   Students from the Evening/ Weekend Studies Conflict Resolution course will also be participating.  

February 5   (On campus, L2220)

Anti-Jewish and Anti-Arab/Muslim Oppression   (discussion, intervention workshop)

Required Reading:

•  No Longer Invisible: Arab and Muslim Exclusion after Sept. 11 (Louise Cainkar, MERIP Fall 2002)

•  Finding Someone to Blame: The Anatomy of Anti-Semitism (Leon Jick, 2000, pp. 60-66)

•  The New Anti-Semitism ( Miriam Greenspan , Tikkun Magazine Nov/Dec 2003)  

•  'Anti-Semitism,' Israel and the Left.   (Phillip Green, The Nation Magazine, May 5, 2003)


•  Graffitti on History's Walls (Mortimer B. Zuckerman U.S. News and World Report, Nov. 3, 2003)

•  The Forgotten "-ism:" An Arab American Women's Perspective on Zionism, Racism and Sexism   (Nadine Naber, Eman Desouky, Lina Baroudi, 2001)

•  The Role of   Jewish Oppression in Society (co-counseling group)

•  Coming Home: Meaning of Homeland for the Jewish People (Amos Oz) http://www.wzo.org.il/en/resources/expand_author.asp?lastname=Oz&firstname=Amos.

February 12   (Downtown)

Lecture on Religious Dimensions : Marc Ellis (Baylor University) & Lance Laird (TESC)

Required Reading:

•  Ellis, Marc (2002) Israel and Palestine Out of the Ashes . London: Pluto. (Excerpt from chapter on Innocence, Settlers, and State Policy, pp. 53-69).

•  Meeting Jesus Again in the First Place: Palestinian Christians and the Bible (Lance Laird, 2001)

•  Divine Promises: The Disputing Inheritors, (Delip Hiro, 1996, pp. 280-285)


•  Jew vs. Jew: On the Jewish Civil War and the New Prophetic (Marc Ellis)

•  Israel Should Control all of Jerusalem (Ehud Olmert and Bernard I. Lindner, 1993 pp, 174-179)

•  Israel Should Share Control of Jerusalem (Abnan Abu Odeh,1992, pp168-173)

•  Reading on Islam and the conflict (to be announced).

Recommended Web sources:

•  The Hagshama Department of the World Zionist Organization ( www.hagshama.org.il) Search "Religious Zionism"

•  Islamic Supreme Council of America   ( www.islamicsupremecouncil.org )

•  A Historical Look at Religious Zionism (by Dan Michman) http://www.biu.ac.il/Spokesman/Tolerance/michman.htm

•  Zionism: A Call to Awe and Compassion (By Rabbi Justin David) http://socialaction.com/11-2001/torah_Chayyei_Sarah.phtml

February 19 (Downtown)

Lecture on U.S. Foreign Policy : Naseer Aruri (University of Massachusetts) and Steven Zunes (University of San Francisco)


Required Reading:

•  Selections from One Land Two People (Deborah Gerner , pp131-163)

•  Tinderbox (Stephen Zunes pp. 119-128; pp. 147-170)

•  The Road Map: A Peace Plan or Another Palliative? (Nasseer Aruri)

•  An Independent Palestine Would Threaten Israel's Security (Yohanan Ramati and Shlomo Baum, pp. 154-161)

•  The United States Should Strengthen Relations with Israel (Charles Brooks, 1993, pp. 226-232)

•  Background/New Mideast Peace Bids: A Pocket Guide (Ha'aretz   10/12/2003)


•  Address by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at the Fourth Herzliya Conference

(December 18, 2003)

•  Sharon's Speech: The Decoded Version (Uri Avenery, 2003)

February 26   (Downtown)

Lecture on The Israeli Right, Hamas and Obstacles to Peace : Ilan Peleg (Lafayette College, Pennsylvania) and Steve Niva (TESC)

            Required Reading:

•  Selections from One Land Two People (Deborah Gerner , pp 165-194)

•  The Future of Bi-National Israel:Beyond the Winter of Discontent (Ilan Peleg, 1989)

•  Palestinian Suicide Bombings, Israeli Provocations and the Cycle of Violence (Steve Niva, 2003).

•  The Israel-PLO Accord is a Prelude to Violence (Ze'ev Benjamin Begin, pp. 111-116)

March 4 (Downtown)

Lecture on Women's Movements and Peace Movements in Israel/Palestine : Simona Sharoni and Therese Saliba (TESC). Representatives from local organizations will talk about their efforts toward peace.

Required Reading:

•  Collective Identity, Social Movements, and the Limits of Political Dissent (Sharoni, Simona, 2000).  

•  Palestinian Women and Institution Building (Suha Sabbagh, 1996).

•  The Women's Movement on the West Bank (Rita Giacaman, 1996).

•  Diary of the Dispossessed: Women's Misery and Suffering under Israeli Occupation. (Mona El Farra, 2002).


•  Feminist Peace Activism During the Al-Aqsa Intifada. (Gila Svirsky, 2002)

March 11   (On campus)

Student presentations based on final papers