“Israeli Society and Politics”
HIST 385 – junior/senior lecture
Spring 2012 Semester – Yaron Ayalon
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- all levels
Fall 2011 Semester – Yaron Ayalon
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.