Spring 2009

Israel Studies Courses available for undergraduate and graduate students.

Professor N. Perez
Political Science 169: Special Studies in Comparative Politics
Israel’s Identity: Conflict, Peace, and Neo-liberalism

Course Description: This class examines the identity of Israel. We shall discuss some of the formal institutions of Israel (the parliament, etc.), but our focus will be on the social and ideological aspects, not the legal aspects. Israel is a diverse country, with many communities and sub communities. Jews are divided to religious Jews (ultra orthodox, modern orthodox, conservative and reform), then there are traditional and secular Jews. Israeli Arabs are divided between Muslim and Christian Arabs, and then there are Druze, labor migrants, and on and on. There are of course crossovers between these communities, and there are cases that do not 'fall' under these categories, such as Israel's gay community.

On top of this diversity, Israel faces two contemporary conditions: the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians, and a new Neo-liberal economic order. Both pose major challenges to the existing social order in Israel.

Lastly, Israel is in search of itself – there is an abundant of literature about Israeli and Jewish identity, which asks questions such as 'who is a Jew?', 'what are Israeli Arabs?', can there be 'secular Judaism' and on and on.

Our goal in this class is to take a closer look at Israel's identity, through examination of Israel's diverse communities. We shall read literature from many and diverse sources, in an attempt to better understand the identity of Israelis.

Professor S.I. Salamensky
Theater Arts 113: Israeli & Palestinian Theatre & Performance Art
Lec 1 T, 2:00 p.m. – 4:50 p.m., Haines 220

Course Description: The land now known as Israel is not just a place. It is a realm of the imagination - envisioned and re-envisioned throughout history, endlessly performed and re-performed into being. As with performance, it is at once both real and surreal, sturdy and fragile, all-enduring and ephemeral. Performance—a far higher-impact medium in this small, ever-changing nation than in our own larger, more static one—serves to both reflect the past and present of the region and project its future. Symbol of origin, exile, and return, Israel echoes and informs our very concepts of time and place themselves. In this course, we will examine selected modern works of dramatic and performance art by Israeli, as well as Palestinian, writers and artists, looking beyond facile cultural cliché to deeper structures.

Professor C. Berrebi
Economics 187: The Economics of Terrorism: The Israeli Experience
Lec 1 W, 12:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m., Broad 2100A

Course Description: The course is intended to provide a formal analysis of Israel's experience with terrorism from an economic perspective. We will consider a variety of theoretical and empirical approaches to studying terrorism. This includes the study of the economic costs and consequences of terrorism, the evaluation of the economic root causes on the occurrence of terrorism, the economics of religion and its relation to terrorism and suicide terrorism in particular, the economics of counterterrorism, and the political economy of terrorism. All of which will rely heavily on studies of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Israel's experience in coping with terrorism.

The course will rely on positive, as opposed to normative, economic analyses aimed to identify cause and effect based on the relevant supporting theories. This course is NOT about the latest political or economic debate on who did what to whom in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the MIddle East. It will, however, provide the tools and understandings necessary for a substantive discussion of that sort to take place.

This course is technically challenging and rigorous and therefore, requires at minimum background in research methods/econometrics in addition to introduction to microeconomics.

Professor N. Ezer
Hebrew 1C: Elementary Hebrew
Lec 1 MTWRF, 11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m., Humanities A26
Lec 2 MTWRF, 12:00 p.m. – 12:50 p.m., Humanities A26

Class Description: Introduction to modern Hebrew, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Professor Y. Sabar
Hebrew 102C: Intermediate Hebrew
Lec 1 MWF, 10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m., Rolfe 3135
TR, 1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m., Royce 152

Class Description: Amplification of grammar; reading of texts from modern literature.

Professor L. Hakak
Hebrew 103C: Advanced Hebrew
Lec 1 TR, 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m., Humanities A30

Class Description: Introduction to modern Hebrew literary texts.

Professor N. Ezer
Hebrew 111B: Conversational Hebrew
Lec 1 W, 1:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m., Bunche 3117

Class Description: Vocabulary used in daily life, different speech acts in both formal and informal contexts, and various Israeli socio-cultural issues using different kinds of media, such as video, Internet, and newspapers.

Professor J.L. Gelvin
History 109B: Palestine, Zionism, and Evolution of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Lec 1 MWF, 10:00 a.m. – 10:50 a.m., Perloff 1102

Class Description: Examination of origins of Arab-Israeli dispute from the mid-19th century through founding of state of Israel and expulsion/flight of three quarters of million Palestinians from their homes. Exploration of social history of Palestine up to Zionist colonization, origins of Zionism and Palestinian nationalism, varieties of Zionism, Zionism and colonialism, seminal events and their consequent symbolic connotations "Great Revolt" and 1948 nakba (disaster), construction of national consensus in Israel, 1967 and its aftermath, intifada, and redefinition of conflict as result of Oslo.

Professor L. Binder
Political Science 245: Middle Eastern Politics
Sem 1 W, 2:00 – 4:50 p.m., Bunche 2150

Class Description: Survey of contemporary research approaches and problems in Middle Eastern politics.