This course will trace the conflict between Zionism and the Palestinian Arabs from its origins in the late nineteenth century to the present. We will try to understand why this conflict has been intense and unresolved for over one hundred years. Among the issues we will consider are: the origins of Zionism, the nature of Zionist/Palestinian relations during the British Mandate years, the birth of Israel and the origins of the exodus of the Palestinian refugees, the origins of the 1967 War, the Israeli settlement movement since 1967, and the abortive Israeli/Palestinian peace negotiations since 1967. We will also examine the role of the United States in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict since 1948 and especially in recent years.
This seminar emphasizes class discussion, brief reader response writing for each class, and four longer essays spaced throughout the semester.