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Kamran Scot Aghaie, Chair CAL 528 | 204 W 21st St F9400 | Austin, TX 78712-1029 • 512-471-3881

Summer 2009


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
86095 MTWThF
11:30 AM-1:00 PM
GAR 1.126

Course Description

The Israel known to the world outside its own borders is usually seen in monolithic terms. But Israel is home to some seven million people with diverse origins, thoughts and beliefs. What interests them? What do they talk about? Write about? Discuss with each other? Argue over? Unless quoted in international papers, we rarely hear Israelis speak on social issues. This course will examine Israel and its society by listening to the voices of its citizens. Using texts and speeches penned by Israeli political, cultural and social figures such as David Ben Gurion, Amos Oz, Rabbi Eliezer Shach, Sayed Kashua, Charlie Biton, Shelly Yechimovitch and Irit Linur, we will consider how they reflect on the larger society and seek to discover how Israelis feel about their state, their society, their culture and themselves. Our classes will deal with topics including: what kind of state do Israelis think should Israel be; the status Israeli Arabs and other non-Jews; secular-religious tensions; being an Israeli woman; and socio-economic issues. Using the individual voice of each speaker, we will delve into these topics and attempt to see Israel through the eyes of its people.


Amos Oz, In the Land of Israel, 1993. Moshe Lissack and Dan Horowitz, Trouble in Utopia, 1990. David Ben Gurion, "The Meaning of the Negev," Speech, 1955. Sayed Kashua, Excerpts and translations from weekly HaAretz Column 2006-2008. Azmi Bishara, "Why Israel is After Me," LA Times, 2007. Ben-Dror Yemini, "The Trap of Self-Delusion," NRG, 2007. Irit Linur, The Secret Blond (translations from the Hebrew original) Shelly Yechimovitch, Excerpts from Speeches in the Israeli parliament 2006-2008 (translations from the original Hebrew). Rabbi Eliezer Shach, "The Rabbits and Pigs Speech," 1990. Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, "Redemption as Responsibility," Tradition, 2007?


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