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Center for Israel Studies | Courses & Minor


Center for Israel Studies
Battelle Tompkins, Room T39

Center for Israel Studies
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016

2012-2013 Courses

Courses listed may apply to a minor in Israel Studies

For available class times and additional information, please visit:
AU Registrar Class Schedule.

Spring 2013

Arab/Israeli Relations
(SISU 319.001)
Dan Arbell, Scholar-in-Residence, Israel Studies

A survey of Arab-Israeli relations from their origins to the present. Includes an account of Zionism and Palestinian nationalism, the history of the British mandate, the Arab-Israeli wars, the involvement of external powers, and the quest for peace. The emphasis is on conflict resolution. Prerequisute: SISU 206 and SISU 220.

Divided Cities in the Twenty-first Century
Divided cities embody complex consequences of nationalism, war, migration and economic disparities in the last century. Focusing on salient cases like Jerusalem, Beruit, Berlin and Dubai, we will study historical, cultural and geographical accounts of the impact of divisions on residents' daily lives and their sense of local identity.

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Historic and Cultural Perspectives

This course approaches the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict through historical, ethnographic and cultural perspectives. Beginning with the Zionist and Palestinian nationalist movements in the late nineteenth century, the course traces their interactions to explore the complexities of national and communal identities, and notions of home and return in Israeli and Palestinian society. 

U.S. Israel Relations
Guy Ziv, Assistant Professor, School of International Service

This course explores the evolution of U.S. relations with Israel, from the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948 to the present day. Along the way, it examines key milestones in U.S.-Israel relations, beginning with President Truman's controversial decision to buck the U.S. foreign policy establishment and formally recognize the state of Israel;the wartime American airlift in 1973;the U.S. role in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, from Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's shuttle diplomacy to the two Camp David summits and beyond;and the U.S. role in providing military, economic, and diplomatic aid to the Jewish state. The course analyzes how a combination of sentimental, political and strategic factors have led to the formation of a wholly unique bilateral relationship characterized at once by both tight bonds and inherent tensions. 

Modern Jewish Civilization
(HIST 245.001)

This course surveys Jewish responses to the challenges of modernity. It examines the creation of new Jewish communities in America and Israel, shifts in Jewish political status, and innovations in Jewish religious and intellectual history such as Zionism and Hasidism. 


Fall 2012

Politics and Public Policy in Israel
Dan Arbell, Scholar in Residence, Israel Studies

Israel's parliamentary democracy is a mosaic in which ethnic class, religious, nationalist and migration considerations play a dynamic part in the intricacies of the political system. The course is divided into two main sections: (1) An overview of the geopolitical history of Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict from the pre-state era until today; (2) An introduction to the principles that guide Israel's political system and the cleavages in Israeli society which greatly affect developments and trends in politics and policy.
Prerequisite: GOVT-130 or GOVT-231 or GOVT-232, and minimum 2.5 GPA.  

History of Israel
(HIST 443.001)

Traces the development of modern political Zionism in nineteenth-century Europe;the historical background leading to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948;and the history of Israel since then, including patterns of Jewish immigration and its relationship to the Arab world. Meets with HIST-643.

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Israel Studies Minor

AU's undergraduate minor in Israel Studies is one of the premier programs of its kind in the United States. Its focus is on Israel's history, unique political democracy, multicultural society, economic development, immigrant absorption, and international contributions in the arts, business, technology, sciences, and letters. Courses are offered in numerous areas including sociology, Jewish studies, history, and the School of International Service. Another feature of the minor is its seamless connection with study abroad in Israel. AU students are encouraged to study in Israel and receive credits toward the Israel Studies minor. The Center for Israel Studies complements the minor by hosting conferences and events to further educate individuals about Israel and Israel's contributions to the world.

For additional information, please see the Israel Studies Minor Requirements in the Jewish Studies website. You may also contact Dr. Michael Brenner, Abensohn Chair of Israel Studies, 202-885-2752,; or Laura Cutler, Managing Director, 202-885-3780,