MES 323K • Arab-Israeli Politics
2:00 PM-3:00 PM
This is a course about politics and clashing value systems, not history, but first you will need to learn the history and learn why you are learning the historical facts that are presented. You will also discover that "Arab-Israeli" politics really involves several levels: 1) conflicts between Arabs and Israelis in Palestine/Israel, 2) conflicts between the state of Israel and various Arab states in the region, 3) conflicts, muted since the end of the Cold War but still present, between powerful states outside the region who are sucked into the first two sets of conflicts, 4) conflicts within the American community over the nature of our commitment to Israel and how to reconcile it with other national interests, 5) conflicts within the Israeli body politic over relationships with their Arab neighbors, and 6) conflicts between Arab states and within the various Palestinian communities over their relationships with Israel. This course is designed to enhance your understanding of these domestic, regional, and international factors in the "Arab-Israeli" conflict. Part of your learning experience will be to represent a major actor in a four-week simulation of Middle Eastern diplomacy. Although this is not listed as an intensive writing component course, please expect to do a lot of writing as well as reading.
Midterm 25% Role Profile Paper 10% Annotated bibliography 5% Game participation 10% (includes game plan) Debriefing paper 10% Class Participation 10% (includes computer "chat" participation) Identifications Test 15% Final take-home essay 15%
Charles D. Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 6th edition (St. Martin's Press, 2006) or later edition if it becomes available. Abel's course pack, available for purchase at 715 23rd St. (University Towers parking)