History of of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HIS 227

       Course Name: History of of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course surveys the Arab-Israeli conflict from the beginnings of Zionist immigration into Palestine up to the present.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the historical events that have led to the conflict and explain their contemporary consequences;
  2. Identify the major historical figures associated with the conflict and summarize their political, social, economic, and religious views;
  3. Analyze the nature of the issues that form the basis of the conflict and evaluate potential solutions;
  4. Evaluate the interests of the main domestic, regional, and international actors involved in the conflict and interpret their positions;
  5. Analyze and interpret primary and secondary sources related to the conflict.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Background: The Middle East and Palestine up to the Twentieth Century
  2. Ottoman Society, Palestine, and the Origins of Zionism in Europe, 1800-1914
  3. World War I, Great Britain, and the Peace Settlements, 1914-1921
  4. Palestine Between the Wars: Zionism, The Palestinian Arabs, and he British Mandate, 1920-1939.
  5. World War II, the Creation of the State of Israel, and the First Arab-Israeli War, 1939-2948.
  6. The Beginnings of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Search for Security, 1949-1957.
  7. From Suez to the ’67 War, 1957-1967.
  8. Ongoing Conflict and the Search for Peace in the Middle East, 1967-1976.
  9. The Camp David Accords.
  10. Life for Palestinians in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
  11. The Lebanese Civil War and its Aftermath, 2975-1978.
  12. Israel in Lebanon: Background and Impact, 1981-1982.
  13. Peace Efforts, Terrorism, and Political Strife, 1984-1987.
  14. The Intifada, 1987-1993
  15. The Madrid talks, 1991-1993.
  16. Oslo, the Olso Accords, and Obstacles to the Oslo peace Process, 1993-200`.
  17. Camp David II and the Second Intifada
  18. Decent into Chaos, 2001-Present.
  19. The Prospect for Peace: Taba, the Road Map, and the Geneva Accord.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Classes will include a variety of instructional methods such as: Lectures, in class discussions, group activities, document and film analysis, and the use of new technologies.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be required to:
  1. Read a standard textbook and research materials
  2. Write outside of class the equivalent of 12 - 14 double-spaced typed pages, in the form of a term paper, summaries of Journal articles, short research papers, and/or other kinds of writing.
  3. Participate in in-class and out-of-class activities.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

A standard history of the Arab-Israeli conflict will be assigned, such as:

Cohen, Michael J., The Origins of the Arab-Zionist Conflict, University of California Press, 1987.
Morris, Benny, Righteous Victims, Alfred A. Knopf, 1999.
Tessler, Mark, A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Indiana University Press, 1994.
Sachar, Howard M., A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, Alfred A. Knopf, (rev.) 1998.
Schulze, Kristen E., The Arab-Israeli Conflict, Longman, 1999.
Shalaim, Avi: The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World, W. W. Norton, 2000.
Smith, Charles D., Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, Bedford/St. Martins, 2001

In addition, more focused texts may be used, such as:
Benevenisti, Meron, Intimate Enemies: Jews and Arabs in a Shared Land, University of California.
Binur, Yoram, My Enemy, My Self, Doubleday, 1985.
Cobban, Helena, The Palestinian Liberation Organization: People, Power, and Politics, Cambridge University Press, 1984.
Ezrahi, Yaron, Rubber Bullets: Power and conscience in Modern Israel, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1997.
Hass, Amira, Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land Under Siege, Henry Holt and Company, 1996.
Khalidi, Rashid, Palestinian Identity: Construction of Modern National Consciousness, Columbia University press, 1997.

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

At least two exams will be given in addition to other required papers and assignments.

Students will also be evaluated on a combination of written assignments and in- and out-of-class assignments.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.