Lecturer — Ph.D., Brandeis University
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Phone: 512-232-8269
- Office: CLA 4.414
- Office Hours: T TH 11 a.m. – 12 noon
Randall Geller lived in Israel for six years and worked as lecturer, tour guide, and journalist (under the name Doron Geller) before beginning his doctoral program in Zionism and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University, completed in May 2011. The focus of his doctoral work was on non-Jewish minorities within the Israel Defense Forces, and how the army's practices of inclusion and exclusion reflect on the tensions, dilemmas, and debates that have preoccupied Israel's principal decision makers ever since the foundation of the state in 1948. These dilemmas are centered around Israel's self-definition as both a democratic and Jewish state — but where 1 in 5 Israeli citizens is not Jewish. He is currently working on articles related to his doctoral work while revising his dissertation into a book. Randall has taught at Brandeis University, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and American University before coming to the University of Texas at Austin.
J S 365 • Israeli Intelligence/Espionage
TTH 1100am-1230pm MEZ 1.202
(also listed as
GOV 365N, HIS 364G, MES 343 )
In order to understand how a tiny, mostly Jewish state has survived in the Middle East despite a multiplicity of threats ever since it was founded in 1948, it is imperative to understand the role of its intelligence services in assessing threats, acquiring agents, deceiving enemies and assisting in the evaluation and promulgation of security measures designed to protect the state. We will begin by exploring the leadership and structure of Israel’s intelligence community and then examine specific operational missions both during war and peace. We will explore how Israeli intelligence agents have formed relationships with both state and non-state actors and how in certain cases, its agents have penetrated the highest levels of the political and military structures of neighboring Middle Eastern states. We will also investigate bungled assassination attempts that have led to severe embarrassment for the state and resulted in the capture of Israeli agents in Arab countries. In every situation, we will see that Israel’s intelligence community encountered extraordinarily difficult dilemmas and challenges when trying to formulate an appropriate response to a given action against the state or its citizens. Complicating matters was the fact that Israel’s intelligence services, like America’s, operate in a democratic society with civilian oversight and under the spotlight of media glare.
Response papers (10 assignments 1-2 pages each) 20%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 30%
Daniel Byman, A High Price: The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011)
Amos Gilboa and Ephraim Lapid, Editors, Israel’s Silent Defender: An Inside Look at Sixty Years of Israeli Intelligence (Jerusalem: Israel Heritage and Commemoration Center, 2012)
Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman, Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel’s Secret Wars (Levan Books, 2012)
J S 311 • History Of Israel
TTH 930am-1100am PAR 201
(also listed as
HIS 306N, MES 310 )
Professor is Randy Geller.
Course Description: This is a course on the history of Israel, from the emergence of the modern Zionist movement beginning in 1881 to the present day. We will start off by discussing the biblical foundations for the emergence of modern Zionism, the Jewish people’s links to the land of Israel through almost 2000 years of exile, and the idea of a return to the land in mid 19th century Europe. We will then quickly engage with the establishment of new Jewish settlements in Palestine under Ottoman rule and the problems and opportunities that such settlement engendered. We will explore the manner in which the European powers redrew the map of the post-World War I Middle East – including Palestine, and what kinds of possibilities emerged for a Jewish state in the region in the aftermath of the war. Settlement and competition for land and resources with the Arab population will be explored under the British Mandate (1917-1948). The emergence of the modern state – along with mass Jewish immigration, integration and polarization among Jews, dilemmas over integrating Arabs while under threat from her neighbors, and the role of the army as both an instrument of national defense as well as a mechanism of socialization will be fully explored. We will discuss Israel’s wars as well as the opportunities, difficulties, and dilemmas in achieving peace. Current events will be discussed in class on a regular basis, albeit briefly; we have a large amount of material to cover but, as we will see, many of the events debated in present day Israel have long preoccupied both Israel’s founders and sons.
Course Requirements: There will be three essays as well as a final exam.
Grading will be calculated on the following basis:
Attendance and participation: 10%
Essay 1 – 20%
Essay 2 – 20%
Essay 3 – 20%
Final Exam – 30%
Papers should be turned in precisely on the due dates assigned. You should try to make every class. Occasionally that can’t happen during the course of a semester, but more than 6 absences will be grounds for failure. Obviously, excellent attendance and participation will have a strong and positive impact on your grade.
Course Objectives: Through a critical study of both primary and secondary sources, students will engage with the dilemmas and decisions that Israel’s leaders – and people – have made while trying to survive, thrive, and forge a unique national identity in an often hostile regional environment.
Teaching Method: The course will consist of lectures, in-class critical examination of documents, maps, and video presentations. Class discussions will constitute a major part of the course; on that basis, students are urged to come to class prepared as well as to follow the news closely. Contemporary events will be discussed in light of their historical perspective.
1). Howard Sachar, A History of Israel (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007)
2). Alan Dowty, Israel/Palestine (Cambridge: Polity, 2008)
3). Itamar Rabinovich and Jehuda Reinharz, Israel in the Middle East: Documents and Readings on Society, Politics, and Foreign Relations, Pre-1948 to the Present. (Brandeis University Press, 2007).
4). Martin Gilbert, Atlas of the Arab-Israeli Conflict (newest edition available).
Articles will be placed on the web sit.