The course syllabii were all used in college level courses and are appropriate for advanced teen and adult education enrichment.

Content and objectives of each course are reflected in the short introductory paragraph. Often the reading, writing, and examination requirements are listed. The articles and the books suggested by the instructors can all be obtained at major university libraries or through an on-line access source, such as Nexus Lexus, or JSTOR. For some of these access forums, one needs a password or membership.  Each course is designated at the level at which it was offered- introductory, upper-level, or graduate- and whether the course was composed primarily of professorial lectures or group seminar discussions.  All the course syllabi listed here, unless otherwise designated, were taught at Emory University by regular faculty or by visiting scholars. End of semester evaluations from the courses listed indicate that the students found their content to be challenging and informative. We are grateful to the Emory Institute for the Study of Modern Israel [ISMI], for providing the funding that brought visiting scholars to teach, and thank ISMI for granting us permission to list these syllabi. Special thanks is given to those scholars who did not teach at Emory, but who graciously provided us their syllabi for use by the general public and other teachers.

As a compendium to all these courses, we have compiled a resource collection (e-book), titled “History, Politics and Diplomacy of the Arab-Israeli Conflict,” which is available for purchase in our store.


“The Inter-Arab System: Unity and Division From World War I to the ‘Arab Spring’”
Graduate Seminar
Spring 2016 – Bruce Maddy-Weitzman
View Syllabus
Course Description:
This course seeks to understand one of the most important factors shaping the modern and contemporary politics of the Middle East: the complicated relationships between Arab countries, and the interaction between inter-Arab dynamics and other dimensions of Middle Eastern political life such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, Great Power penetration, and the rise of political Islam. Employing both “realist” and “constructivist” theories of international relations, it will analyze the evolution of the system from its infancy at the beginning of the 20th century, through the pan-Arab heyday of Gamal Abdel Nasser in the 1950s and 1960s, the subsequent consolidation of a more normative state system and its eventual, albeit partial undermining by the “Arab Spring” upheavals. In examining inter-Arab dynamics against the background of challenges posed from within the Arab world, by non-Arab regional actors – Israel, Turkey and Iran – and by Great Powers, the course will seek to understand matters such as the changing nature of modern Arab identity, Arab state formation, the effect of supra-national and sub-national ideologies on the behavior of Arab elites, and the underpinnings of the foreign policies of Arab states.

“The Struggle for Israeli Identity”
Graduate Seminar
Spring 2016 – Nahum Karlinsky
View Syllabus
Course Description:
We will start by outlining the construction of Israel’s collective identity during the State’s formative years. We will then discuss the shattering of that collective outlook in subsequent years and will proceed to examining its transformation into its current condition of a kaleidoscopic set of different and even contrasting identities. The theoretical notions of individual and collective identities will guide us throughout the course. Among the topics to be explored are: Israel’s political system and society; ethnic relations in Israel; the Arab minorities in the Jewish state; is there a unique Israeli culture?; Israeli Occupation and settlement projects; the struggle for a unifying Israeli identity. The course will conclude with a staged peace conference on the conflict between Israel and Palestine

“History of Modern Israel”
HIST 190
Introductory Level (Seminar or General)
Spring 2016 — Ken Stein
View Syllabus
This undergraduate lecture course focuses on the history, politics, society, economics, and culture of modern Israel. It traces the Jewish connection to ancient Israel, origins of Zionism, making and keeping the state, Arab-Israeli negotiations, and Israel’s place in Middle Eastern and Jewish History. The syllabus contains references to sources documents found on this site at /resources/documents/  All books required are in paperback and significant suggested readings for this course may be found on on-line.

History, Politics, and Diplomacy of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
HIST 383-000/POLS 383-000/JS 383-000/MESAS 370-000
Undergraduate Fall 2015 – Kenneth W. Stein
Monday/Wednesday 10:00-11:15am, Anthropology 303 (143 students)
View Syllabus
This course is an introductory survey of the history, politics and diplomacy of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Coverage includes introductions to modern Jewish and Arab histories, evolution of Zionism and Arab nationalism, demise of the Ottoman Empire, and the operation and demise of the British Mandate in Palestine.

“History of Israeli Foreign Policy”
HIST 285-006 (cross-listings: JS271-002; MESAS270-002)
Undergraduate
Spring 2015 – Ziv Rubinovitz
View Syllabus
The course will analyze Israel’s foreign relations, and will examine the tension between Israel’s geographic location in the Middle East and its Western orientation. It will look at how Israel’s foreign relations emerged from Israel’s Jewish origins, the Palestine Mandate, Israel’s relations with the great powers, and the superpowers as well as its regional quest for recognition.

“Zionist and Israeli political leadership: idealism, realism and pragmatism”
HIST 385-004 (cross-listings: JS371-001; MESAS370-008; POLS385-009)
Undergraduate 
Spring 2015 – Ziv Rubinovitz
View Syllabus
The course will discuss the political leadership of the State of Israel as an introduction into Israel’s political system. The course will begin with the pre-state (Yishuv) era and then will analyze the leadership since 1948. The analysis will highlight the ideational, realist and pragmatic aspects of Israel’s leadership throughout its existence.

“American Foreign Policy Towards the Arab-Israeli Conflict and its Regional Context”
HIST489RW-00P/POLS490RW-00P WRT Jr/Sr Colloquium
Undergraduate or Graduate
Spring 2014 – Ken Stein
View Syllabus
This class will focus on American foreign policy in the Middle East over the last seventy years, with particular emphasis on the Arab-Israeli Conflict.  It will look at the origins of American association with the Middle East and then look deeply into American engagement in Arab-Israeli diplomacy. It will review the conflict’s emergence since 1945 and particularly the roles played by external parties.

“History, Politics, and Diplomacy of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1947-present”
HIST 489R-00P/POLS 490R-00P WRT
Jr/Sr Colloquium
Spring 2013 — Ken Stein
View Syllabus
Using monographs, memoirs, documents, texts, interviews, other primary sources and secondary readings, students will come to define the origins, development, management, and attempts at resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.  We shall look at the conflict’s emergence to 1949, its evolution since and particularly the roles of external parties: Middle Eastern states, the Cold War, inter-Arab politics and the so-called ‘Arab Spring.’ America’s role in attempts and failures at mediating the conflict’s resolution will be investigated closely, highlighted by a simulation of the 1977-1979 negotiations.

“Jews and Judaism in Modern Times”
Religion/Jewish Studies 309
Undergraduate Lecture course
Fall 2013  – Michael Berger
View Syllabus
The aim of this course in terms of content is to enable students to understand how Judaism in the Modern Period evolved – and continues to evolve up to the present day.  To be sure, Jews today have multiple sources of identification: not only religious, but national and ethnic as well.  However, our course will focus on the religious dimensions of Jewish identity and thinking and how that has changed as a result of Jews’ entrance into Western society and their engagement with its culture.  While we will have occasion to address non-religious subjects, our focus will remain the religious dimension.

“Palestine 1948”
Graduate Students
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rothberg International School
Spring 2013 – Hillel Cohen
View Syllabus
The war of 1948 has shaped the history of modern Middle East more than any other single event. The establishment (and survival) of the state of Israel despite Arab efforts to avert it, on one hand, and the prevention of establishment an Arab state in Palestine while creating the Palestinian refugee problem, on the other, are the main lasting consequences of this war.

“Sephardic Jews in the Diaspora and Israel”
HIST/MESAS/JS 370
Undergraduate Lecture Course
Spring 2013 — Yaron Ayalon
View Syllabus
Aiming to survey the history of Sephardic Jews, this course will begin with a brief discussion of the formative Middle Ages, which in many ways defined and shaped Jewish practices and customs for centuries to come. We will move on to the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain, and then the Ottoman period and the transformation of the eastern Mediterranean Jewish world into a Sephardi-dominated one, in language and practices. Then we will discuss the changes Sephardi-Mizrahi communities experienced with the emergence of Zionism and the immigration to the State of Israel, where the Sephardim were a majority until the 1990s. We will devote the last third of the semester to the experiences of Sephardi-Mizrahi Jews in Israel.

“Arabs in a Jewish State: the Arab Minority in Israel — Between Integration and Alienation” (with additional bibliography)
Undergraduate Seminar
Fall 2012 — Eli Rekhess
Northwestern University
View Syllabus

The seminar will focus on minority-majority relations in Israel, with special emphasis on three areas: first, the effect of modernization on the more traditional Arab society; second, the dilemma of national identity (the interrelation between the Israeli, Arab, Palestinian and Muslim/Christian components, the impact of the PLO and Hamas), political participation (Knesset) and the struggle of the Arab minority for equality, and third, the developments following the Oslo Accords, the establishment of the Palestinian Authority and the Intifada (the October 2000 Uprising; the discourse over the “Jewish and Democratic” nature of Israel; the search for alternative models – “State of its Citizens”, separatism, autonomy).

“The History of the Modern State of Israel”
Undergraduate Course
Spring 2012 — David Mendelsson
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

View Syllabus
This course will begin with an examination of the Zionist idea; its common denominators and variegated factions. Due consideration will be given to the late-nineteenth century European context in order to appreciate the socio-economic, political and cultural factors that impacted upon the Zionist movement.

“Israeli Society and Politics”
HIST 385 Jr/Sr Lecture
Spring 2012 — Yaron Ayalon
View Syllabus
The State of Israel was founded in 1948. For Jews, it was the fulfillment of a 2000-year long dream to return to their ancestral homeland of Eretz Yisrael. For others, notably the Arab inhabitants known as the Palestinians (named after their land, Palestine), the establishment of a Jewish state was a tragedy. This course, however, will deal very briefly with the dispute between the two parties, also known as the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Although the conflict has undoubtedly shaped Israeli society and its political system, this course will mostly have an inward focus on Israel itself: its political system, international relations, how it functions as a society of immigrants, relationships between secular and religious Jews and between Jews of various ethnic backgrounds, and the role the military plays in Israeli society. We will also look at Israeli culture through music and film. 

“The Jews of Arab Lands”
HIST 285-004/MESAS 270-000
A
ll Levels
Fall 2011 — Yaron Ayalon
View Syllabus
Topics covered will include the absorption of Middle Eastern Jews in Israel; the socioeconomic status of Jews from Arab lands in Israel and how it changed over the years; their involvement in Israeli politics and how it affected the immigrants as well as the Israeli political game; and the culture Jews from Arab lands brought with them, such as music and popular customs, and how the impact these have had upon Israeli society.

“History of Israeli Foreign Policy”
HIST 489
Jr/Sr Seminar
Spring 2009 — David Tal
View Syllabus
The seminar will deal with various issues pertaining to Israel’s foreign policy. Every meeting we will discuss articles and issues relating to the articles that are in the syllabus. Every student will present an article, and a discussion will ensue.

“Contemporary Issues in Israeli Politics and Society”
HIST 489SWR/ POLS 490SWR
Jr/Sr Seminar
Spring 2009 — Doron Shultziner
View Syllabus
This colloquium looks at developments in Israeli politics, society and constitutional arrangements from the 1990s until present day. We will explore contemporary issues in view of their historical evolution. New political players, and societal and political phenomena in Israel will be discussed as well.

“The Making of the US–Israel Relationship”
HIST 385
Introductory — All L
evels
Fall 2008 — David Tal
View Syllabus
The course will deal with the buildup and development of the Israeli-American relationship from the 1940s to present.

“Issues in Israeli National Security”
HIST 489SWR/ HIST 585
Graduate Students
Fall 2008 — David Tal
View Syllabus
The course will deal with various issues relating to Israel’s national security. It will touch upon general strategic topics as well as military events, and issues relating to the Israeli- Arab conflict.

“History of Israeli Politics: Institutions and Society”
HIST 385/ POLS 385/ JS 371
Upper Level — Introductory
Fall 2008 — Doron Shultziner
View Syllabus
This course explores the Israeli political system, its institutional characteristics and components, and its main political dilemmas. The course aims to provide knowledge about Israeli political history and society. Topics included will be the origins and the development of the political system, electoral histories, and government formation. Attention is given to the dynamics between institutional arrangements and social cleavages in Israel and their interrelated effects. the course also discusses some of the main sociopolitical issues and tensions resulting from the dual definition of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, religion and politics, and the effects of armed conflicts on politics and society. the course requires no previous knowledge about Israel.

“The Israeli Economy”
HIST 351/ECON 351-000/JS 370/MESAS 370R
All Levels
Spring 2008 — Paul Rivlin
View Syllabus
This course traces the history of the pre-independence and modern economy, examining the role of population growth and immigration; problems of inflation and stabilization; the balance of payments and sectoral developments. It analyzes the role of the Histadrut, the defense budget; the economics of the peace process of the 1990s and Israel’s integration into the world economy. The effects of the second Intifada and the current rapid growth of the economy are also examined.

“The International Oil Market and the Political Economy of the Middle East”
HIST 351/ECON 351-00P/MESAS 370R
All Levels
Spring 2008 — Paul Rivlin
View Syllabus
This course examines the connections between world’s reliance on oil and the political economy of the Middle East. The first part of the course examines world energy markets and their development, with emphasis on the USA. It then places oil consumption into the wider energy context. The rise of China and India as energy consumers is also examined and some environmental issues are analyzed. The second part looks at the Middle East as an oil supplier: what was the role of the West and how renter states have come into being. Economic and strategic conclusions are drawn.

“Contemporary Issues in Israeli Politics”
HIST 489SWR/POLS 490SWR
Upper Level Seminar
Spring 2008 — Doron Shultziner
View Syllabus
This colloquium looks at developments in Israeli politics, society and constitutional arrangements from the 1990s until present day. The main topics that will be covered in the course are the changing agenda and nature of the Israeli politics, the role of the Israeli Supreme Court in shaping political realities, new dimensions of political extremism, gender politics, and interest groups. A relevant historic review about each topic will precede each topic and will provide understanding of Israeli politics, society and law along specific topics. No previous knowledge of Israel is required.

“History of Israeli Politics: Institutions and Society”
HIST 385-004/POLS 385-005/JS 371-001
Introductory — All Levels
Fall 2007 — Doron Shultziner
View Syllabus
This course explores the Israeli political system, its institutional characteristics and components, and its main political dilemmas. The course aims to provide knowledge about Israeli political history and society. Topics included will be the origins and the development of the political system, electoral histories, and government formation. Attention is given to the dynamics between institutional arrangements and social cleavages in Israel and their interrelated effects. The course also discusses some of the main socio-political issues and tensions resulting from the dual definition of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, religion and politics, and the effects of armed conflicts on politics and society. The course requires no previous knowledge about Israel.

“The Palestine Mandate: 1920-1948”
HIST 489/JS 371/MES 370-SWR
Introductory — Upper Level Seminar
Spring 2007 — Ken Stein
View Syllabus
This junior/senior colloquium will review the thirty-year history prior to the creation of Israel in 1948. We shall try to answer the question: why and how did the Zionists succeed in building a national home? Using primary and secondary sources, it will review social, economic, and political issues which influenced the development of Zionism, affected the creation of Israel, and saw the emergence of Palestinian national identity, the creation of Israel and Palestinian refugees, and the unfolding of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Students will concentrate on understanding the internal workings of Arab, British, and Zionist communities and their relationships with one another. Students will use a variety of historical sources, including unpublished dissertations, period newspapers, memoirs, monographs, biographies, and novels of the era.

“History of Modern Israel”
HIST 190
Introductory Level (Seminar or General)
Spring 2006 — Ken Stein
View Syllabus
This undergraduate freshmen course will review the history of modern Israel from the inception of Zionism to the present. The four periods of study will be the ideological formations (to 1917), Zionist autonomy in Palestine and nation-building (to 1949), the problems and successes of sovereignty (to 1977), and the quest for identity and normalization (to the present). Issues to be discussed will include the structure of the old and new Yishuv, immigrations to Eretz Yisrael, British rule in Palestine, relationships with the great powers, sociological associations and cleavages,  Israel-Diaspora relations, American Jewry and Israel, religion and state policy interaction, the political and economic systems, constitutional issues, Arab-Israeli wars, American-Israeli relations, the negotiating process, and quest for recognition from  Arab neighbors. Several guest speakers will participate in the class.

“Topics in 20th Century Middle Eastern History”
HIST 489/ JS490/ MES 370
Introductory — All Levels
Spring 2006 — Ken Stein
View Syllabus
The purpose of this course is twofold. First, it is designed to acquaint students with an in-depth understanding of the major issues affecting the Middle East in the 20th century. Students will review the origins and development of the modern Middle East and understand the social, economic, and political foundations that set the stage for the region this century.  Second, students will become familiar with original source material that frame the key issues in the modern Middle East and engage in non-partisan discussion through written and oral presentations.

Course topics will include, among others, evolution and development of Arab political culture, the legacy of Islam, the socio-economic-demographic underpinnings of the modern Middle East, the transformation of the ME in the 1908-1923 period, the controversial legacies of European colonial and imperial presence in the region during the first half of the 20th century,  establishment of independent Arab states, political economies, Islam in contemporary politics,  Palestinian nationalism, Jewish political culture, Zionism and Israel, evolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the cold war in the region, inter-Arab politics,  American/European interests toward the Middle East, chances of democratic reform, the explosion of the media upon Middle Eastern societies, the role of the foreigner in shaping change, and understanding how historical narratives are created and written.