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.
“The Making of the U.S.-Israeli Relationship”
HIST 385 – introductory – all levels
Fall 2008 Semester – David Tal
The course will deal with the buildup and development of the Israeli-American relationship from the 1940s to present.
“History of Israeli Politics: Institutions and Society”
HIST 385/ POLS 385/ JS 371 – upper level – introductory
Fall 2008 Semester – Doron Shultziner
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 Semester – Paul Rivlin
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 analyses 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.
“History of Israeli Politics: Institutions and Society”
HIST 385-004/POLS 385-005/JS 371-001 – introductory – all levels
Fall 2007 Semester – Reuven Hazan
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 Semester – Ken Stein
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 Semester – Ken Stein
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 Semester – Stein
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.