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Syllabus.ISRL448D.FIN - ISRL448D/HIST428V Dividing...

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ISRL448D/HIST428V Dividing Palestine? Examining Jewish-Arab Negotiations in the 1930's Spring 2012 Tues/Thurs 9:30-10:45am Professor Paul Scham 0140 Holzapfel Hall Office hours by appointment 301-405-9412 [email protected]
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This course is designed as a seminar which will examine the Arab-Israel conflict from the beginning of Zionist settlement in 1882 until the establishment of Israel and the concurrent Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe ) in 1948. However, the main focus of the course will be on the Middle East in the 1920s and ‘30s and, within that, on a 4 week simulation of a set of Jewish-Arab negotiations in 1936. The course is intended for students with no academic background in the conflict, as well as those who have taken ISRL289i on “Fundamental Problems of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, or a similar course. Though much of what you may have learned elsewhere will be applicable here, the focus of this course is different. No prior knowledge of the conflict is assumed. This is a history course, not one on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as such. However, the larger purpose is to shed light on some of the dynamics that have prevented settlement in the past and are still doing so. Thus, questions, analogies, discussions, etc,. that bring in current issues are very welcome. It is certainly my hope and intention that you will understand the conflict as a whole much better once you have taken this seminar. The course will briefly cover the history of Palestine before 1882, Ottoman rule up to 1918, the growth of Zionist settlement, the development and nature of Zionism and of Palestinian and Arab nationalism, and the establishment of the British Mandate. We will then spend a week looking at the neighboring countries, in order to understand how the conflict in Palestine was influenced by them. Then we will examine the growth of Arab-Jewish-British suspicion and hostility, which broke into violence several times before the Palestinian Revolt of 1936-39. We will also study briefly some events in Europe that had great influence on Palestine in the 1930s, such as the growth of fascism and antisemitism in Europe and the rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany. The last few weeks of the course will carry the story up to 1948. However, the highlight of the semester will be a 4-week “simulation” of Arab-Jewish negotiations based on the Peel Partition Plan of 1936-37. Each student will be assigned the role of a real character from the time and will be expected to become an expert on him (sorry, I’m afraid there were no women who were part of this in 1936). “Jews”, “Arabs,” and “British officials” will meet among themselves and with each other, based on the actual events (with some slight adjustments) that took place. During the simulation, students will be faced with the situation as it appeared to the leaders in the 1930’s, and will have to make decisions on that basis. They will be able and encouraged to
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Syllabus.ISRL448D.FIN - ISRL448D/HIST428V Dividing...

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