the parallel histories of israel and palestine
Below you will find our first syllabus, in seven video chapters.
The best way to use these interactive videos is for individual study, either at home or in the classroom.
We've also developed:
Debate programs for several chapters. These videos prepare classes for debates on landmark events in the region’s history, such as the Balfour Declaration or the 1948 war, and include twelve pieces of evidence for students to work from.
A series of classroom lesson plans which work with the materials featured in the video chapters. You can find them here.
INTRODUCTION: THE COMPLETE HISTORY
If you or your students are new to this topic, you might want to start with this short overview of the region’s history, told as two narratives.
CHAPTER 1. THE JEWS AND THE ARABS 1914 - 21
Find out about how the World War changed the fortunes of the Arabs and the Jews and gave them both hope that they could establish a state in Palestine.
CHAPTER 4. THE 1948 ARAB–ISRAELI WAR
The civil war that erupted at the end of 1947 morphed into an all out war between the new state of Israel and its Arab neighbors. For the Israelis this became their War of Independence, and for the Palestinians their Naqba, or Disaster.
This short war was hugely significant for Israel and for the Palestinians. Israel extended its boundaries in all directions, and in doing so took control of the lives of the Palestinian inhabitants of Gaza and the West Bank. For Palestinians this was an-Naksah, "The Setback"
While we are still researching the main programme, you can explore the hotly disputed question of who caused the war through this class debate below.
CHAPTER 6. THE FIRST INTIFADA 1987-1993
This Arab uprising caught both the Israeli government and the PLO in exile by surprise. Find out how it deepened a split in Israeli society over what to do with the land won in 1967, and began the negotiations that led to the Oslo Accords.
If you don’t have time for an in-depth study but you still want to explore elements of the First Intifada, here’s a lesson which prepares students to debate ‘Were the Israelis justified in their use of force in the First Intifada?’
It contains a brief historical overview, suggestions for arguments for both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and ten pieces of evidence for each side to use.
When Hamas captured Corporal Gilad Shalit on the Southern Gaza border in October 2006 no one expected it to take over five years to negotiate his release in exchange for more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Find out what happened and what impact it has had on Israeli and Palestinian politics and society.
The last years of the twentieth century saw the peaceful end of some major conflicts: the Cold War was concluded; Apartheid ended in South Africa; both sides laid down their guns in Northern Ireland and in the Middle East, the Oslo peace accords suggested that the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians was also heading towards a settlement. This was not what happened, although all parties claimed it’s what they wanted. Find out in this programme what went wrong, and why this conflict has proved so hard to settle.
A series of classroom lesson plans designed using historical sources featured in our video lessons. The plans are free and easy to download.