Understanding Israel in the Jewish Community

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Summer 2018 (Full Session)
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

computer science

This course examines the history of the conflict between two peoples who claim the same land. We will pay particular attention to the Jewish narrative. This can be taken for 4 or 8 credits. First session 4 credit students will focus on the earlier history prior to the development of Zionism as a national movement , or second session they will focus on the later history with the early settlements up to the establishment of the state through 1967 and the later rise of anti-Zionism .

We will study the context in which Zionism arose in Europe, focusing on Jewish experience post-Enlightenment as Jews became assimilated into European society. We will study the impact of the Enlightenment on Jewish society, how modernity affected Jewish communal life, and the successes and failures of assimilation. In this context we will study the various strands of Zionism and how the Zionist movement affected Jewish communities and Judaism.

Next, we will focus on the impact of the early Zionist settlements in what would become Israel. We will study the successes and failures of the different settlement waves, the impact of the settlements on the population that resided in Palestine at the time, how the Zionist settlements grew into a viable community and built the institutions needed to support the state. We will identify some of the causes that contributed to the Zionist success that culminated in the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 and to the concurrent failure of the Palestinians to achieve a similar outcome. This section concludes with the impact of the 1967 war on Jews and Jewish identity, both in Israel and globally.

Finally, our focus shifts to the rise of anti-Zionism and anti-Israel sentiment, particularly on college campuses. We will focus on how views of Israel and Zionism have changed in the years since its establishment as a state, both among Jews and non-Jews. We will also look at how such views affect anti-Semitic attitudes in Europe and the United States. We will conclude with an examination of grass roots movements in Israel and the West Bank to bring the two communities together and efforts to bring attention to the two national narratives. We will also look at some of the impediments to such resolutions.

This sequence of study does not focus on the many peace efforts and uprisings that mark the history of the conflict itself, but instead provides the historical background to the Jewish narrative.

Online learning:
  • No Required Online Learning - No access to web tools required. Any web tools provided are optional.

Scheduled for: Day

Located in: Olympia

Advertised schedule:

Mon/Wed 10-2