INAF-440 The Making of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
Spring for 2015-2016
In this course we will explore in-depth the origins and early development of the conflict between the Palestinians and Zionism. Its primary focus is the history of the three decades of British rule of Palestine that ultimately culminated in the Palestinian nakba (the dispersion and shattering of Arab society) and the creation of the state of Israel. Among the critical questions that this class will examine are the following:
the origins of Zionism and Palestinian nationalism;
the struggle over the Jewish National Home policy;
the erosion of the rural Arab order and the social transformation of Arab society;
the demographic and economic growth of the yishuv (the pre-state Jewish community);
Zionist relations with both the Palestinians and the British regime;
the Arab revolt of 1936-39;
the militarization of Zionist aspirations;
international and regional dimensions of the conflict over Palestine;
the role of the U.S. in the Palestine question;
and of course, the 1948 war.
Utilizing primary sources as well as scholarly accounts, students will navigate the tangle and tergiversations of these three fraught decades. In doing so they will also have the opportunity to act as junior historians through readings from official statements of policy, documents of the Palestinian national and Zionist movements, the findings of official commissions of inquiry, and other primary materials in English. (Students so interested can obtain recommendations for further readings in Arabic and Hebrew.) An abiding principle of the course will be to critically scrutinize the nationalist and imperial narratives contesting the Mandate period.
Other academic years
There is information about this course number in other academic years: