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THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

.WASHINGTON D.C
Department of Political Science

PSC 2476
Fall Semester 2013

The ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT: Its Roots and Attempted


Solutions

Dr. Maurice M. Roumani, professor


Shusterman Visiting Professor
Class Meetings: Thursdays 11:10-1:00 PM
Office Hours: to be scheduled
E-mail: roumani@gwu.edu

Course Objectives

One of the most persistent conflicts in the 20th century has been the Arab-Israeli
conflict. The course will address the question why the solutions to this conflict has
so far been elusive. In doing so, the course will attempt at identifying the different
stages in the history of the conflict from its origin to the present. These will include, a
history of Muslim-Jewish relations, the rise of Jewish and Arab nationalisms, the
claim of two peoples to the same land, the European Powers involvements, military
confrontations and the attempts by world powers to solve the conflict. The recent
escalation of violence in the region brought to the fore the Jihadists and the Islamists
who may exacerbate even further the prospects of any solution to the conflict.

This is not a course in current events although the history of the conflict is felt to the
very day and occupies world daily media. The purpose of the course is to learn and
understand the root causes, evolution and the forces that shaped the political
landscape of the region.

Through the documentary history of the conflict we shall examine the narrative of
each party, the chronological and textual foundations which gave rise to the origins,
evolution and ramifications of what became the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Course Requirements

Students are expected to have read the material assigned before each class. Class
sessions will offer a mix of lectures, discussion and videos. Lectures will focus on
identifying the major issues and findings in the reading, with discussions used to
clarify, explore and challenge them.

The texts assigned contain "Suggestions for Reference and Further Reading."
Students who are Middle East majors are encouraged to consult these readings.
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There will be a number of videos that will be shown in class during the course. Exact
dates will be given in advance.

Grades will be based on the following:

Students are required to submit each week before classes meet a review of the main
arguments or issues from the topics of the week’s reading assignment. These
summaries will be used for discussion in class (15%).Class discussions will
demonstrate mastery of the readings, as well as being a forum for examination and
analysis of the reading material.
There will be a mid term exam around the middle of October (35%) and a final exam
(50%) at the end of the semester. Both exams will be based on class discussions and
presentations, and reading assignments including documents. Graduate students and
Honors students should consult the instructor for additional work to be completed to
secure appropriate credit.

Texts:

Ben-Ami, Shlomo, Scars of War, Wounds of Peace, The Israeli-Arab Tragedy,


(Oxford Univesity Press), (pb)
Dowty, Alan, (2007) Israel/Palestine, (Malden, MA Polity Press), (pb)
Bickerton, Ian J. and Carla L. Klausner, (2007) A History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict,
(Pearson Prentice Hall), (pb)
Lewis, Bernard, (1997) Semites & Anti-Semites: An Inquiry into Conflict and
Prejudice, (Phoenix Giant Paperback), (pb)
Bard, Mitchell G. (2007) Will Israel Survive? (New York: Palgrave MacMillan),
(Hardcover)
Gilbert, Martin, The Routledge Atlas of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 7th Edition (London
and New York: Routledge, 2005
Dershowitz, Alan, The Case for Israel, 2003
Dershowitz, Alan, The Case Against Israel’s
Quandt, William B., (2001) Peace Process: American Diplomacy and the Arab-Israeli
Conflict since 1967, (Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institution and Berkeley and
Los Angeles, University of California Pressemy, 2008

Suggested for Reference and Further Reading:


Reich, Bernard, Editor, (1996) An Historical Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press
Ross, Dennis, (2004) The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle
East Peace, (N.Y.: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Savir, Uri, (1998) The Process: 1,100 Days that Changed the Middle East, (N.Y.:
Vintage
Herzog, Chaim, (1984) The Arab-Israeli Wars: War and Peace in the Middle East,
(N.Y.: Vintage
Antonius, George, The Arab Awakening
Herzl, Theodore, The Jewish State
Hurewitz, J.C., The Struggle for Palestine
Reich, Bernard, Quest for Peace: United States-Israel Relations and the Arab-Israeli
Conflict
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Rothstein, Robert L., Moshe Ma’oz and Khalil Shikaki, (2002) The Israeli-
Palestinian Peace Process: Oslo and the Lessons of Failure, Perspectives,
Predicaments and Prospects, (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press
Goldscheider, Calvin, (2002) Cultures in Conflict: The Arab-Israeli Conflict,
(Westport, CT: Greenwood Press
Lewis, Bernard, (2004) The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror, (N.Y.:
Random House Paperbacks
Stone, Julius, (1981) Israel and Palestine: Assault on the Law of Nations, (Baltimore:
The Johns Hopkins University Press
Shalev, Aryeh, (1991) The Intifada: Causes and Effects, (Boulder: Westview Press
Peretz, Don, (1990) Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising, (Boulder: Westview Press
Segev, Tom, One Palestine: Jews and Arabs under British Mandate
Laqueur, Walter, (2006) The Changing Face of Anti-Semitism

Course Outline and Readings

1. Jewish-Arab relations in History


Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp. 1-15
Alan Dowty, Israel/Palestine, pp. 1-20
Bernard Reich, A Brief History of Israel, pp.1-45
Bernard Lewis, (1997) Semites & Anti-Semites: An Inquiry into
Conflict and Prejudice, pp.42-117

2. Arab Nationalism and Zionism: their respective narratives


Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp. 16-29
Alan Dowty, Israel/Palestine, pp. 21-68
Bernard Lewis, (1997) Semites & Anti-Semites: An Inquiry into
Conflict and Prejudice, pp. 117-140

3. The defeat of the Ottoman Empire and the assignment of the Mandates
Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp. 30-54
Alan Dowty, Israel/Palestine, pp. 69-86

4. The Arab Revolt 1936-39 and the exchange of promises


Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp. 30-40, 55-65
Baruch Kimmerling and Joel S. Migdal, Palestinians: The Making of a
People (Mass. Harvard University Press, 1993) chapter 4

5. The Holocaust, Displaced persons and the United States


Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp. 66-73, Documents, pp. 89-91
Alan Dowty, Israel/Palestine, pp. 77-86
Bernard Lewis, (1997) Semites & Anti-Semites: An Inquiry into
Conflict and Prejudice, pp. 140-192; chapters 6 and 7
Robert S. Wistrich, A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from antiquity
to the Global Jihad, N.Y. Random House, 2010’ chapter 20
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6. The First Arab Israeli War of 1948 and the Armistice Agreements
Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp. 96-100, 102-105
Alan Dowty, Israel/Palestine, pp. 86-96
Bernard Reich, A Brief History of Israel, pp. 45-86

7. The Refugee Problem: Arabs and Jews


Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp. 100-102, 105-109
Maurice M. Roumani, The Jews of Arab Countries: A Neglected Issue,
pp. 1-12, 38-46
Maurice M. Roumani, "The Silent Refugees: Jews from Arab
Countries,”Mediterranean Quarterly: A Journal of Global Issues
Summer 2003, Vol.14, No.3. pp. 41-78
Benny Morris, The Birth of Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited
(Cambridge University Press, 2004) pp. 286-296

8. The Sinai-Suez Campaign War, October 1956


Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp.112-140

9. The 1967 War and its aftermath


Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp. 140-154
Bernard Reich, A Brief History of Israel, pp.86-111
Optional: Shlomo Ben-Ami, Scars of War, Wounds of Peace, The
Israeli-Arab Tragedy, pp. 71-146
Alan Dowty, Israel/Palestine, pp. 105-116

10. PLO: The re-emergence of Arab Nationalism


Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp.155-166
PLO Charter: Barry Rubin "The Palestinian Nationalist Movement:
From Catastrophe to Disaster," in The Middle East Enters the Twenty
first Century, by Robert O. Freedman, ed. pp. 137-153

11. The 1973 October War: a new stage in Israeli-Arab relations


Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp. 163-177
William B. Quandt, Peace Process: American Diplomacy and the
Arab-Israeli Conflict since 1967, (Wash. D.C.: Brookings, 2005),
pp. 98-129

12. The PLO National Covenant (1968) and the Security Council Resolution 338
Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp. 173-175
Walter Laqueur and Barry Rubin, eds. The Israel-Arab Reader, A
Documentary History of the Middle East Conflict, (Penguin Books,
USA, 2008) pp. 121-131; pp. 182-194
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13. The unfinished beginning of the Peace Process


Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp. 178-194
Reading Documents:
Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp. 194-204

14. The First Intifada: its impact on Arabs and Israelis


Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp. 330-334

15. A New attempt at promoting Peace: The Madrid Conference


Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp. 243-254
Shlomo Ben-Ami, Scars of War, Wounds of Peace, The Israeli-Arab
Tragedy, pp. 173-201

16. The Oslo Breakthrough


Alan Dowty, Israel/Palestine, pp. 137-168
Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp. 254-258, Documents: pp. 261-271
Optional: Shlomo Ben-Ami, Scars of War, Wounds of Peace, The
Israeli-Arab Tragedy, pp. 201-240

17. The second Intifada: Al-Aqsa Resurrection


Jeremy Pressman, “The Second Intifada: Background and Causes of
the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” The Journal of Conflict Studies, Vol.
XXIII, #2 Fall 2003, pp. 114-142
Robert J. Brym, “Suicide Bombing as Strategy and Interaction: The
Case of the Second Intifada,” Social Forces Vol. 84 # 4, June 2006 pp.
1969-1987

18. Violence continues: Did Oslo fail?


Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp. 276-312
Bernard Reich, A Brief History of Israel, pp. 188-272
Shlomo Ben-Ami, Scars of War, Wounds of Peace, The Israeli-Arab
Tragedy, pp. 240-284

19. Fences, unilateral withdrawal, Road Maps and yet Peace remains
Elusive; Why?!
Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp. 327-334; 345-383
Shlomo Ben-Ami, Scars of War, Wounds of Peace, The Israeli-Arab
Tragedy, pp. 285-311

20. The Role of Religion in the Conflict


Meir Litvak, “The Islamization of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict,”
Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. 34 #1, January 1998, pp. 148-163
Menachem Klein, “Hamas in Power,” The Middle East Journal,
Summer 2007, Vol. 61, #3
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21. An intractable conflict or unresolved issues?


Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A History of the Arab-Israeli
Conflict, pp. 384-396
Alan Dowty, Israel/Palestine, pp. 169-217
Efraim Inbar, “The Rise and Demise of the Two-State Paradigm,”
ORBIS 53, 2 (2009)

22. What is to be expected: Demography, Nuclear Weapons


Khalil Shikaki, “The Future of Palestine,” in Foreign Affairs,
November/December 2004, vol. 83, no. 6
Mitchell G. Bard, Will Israel Survive? Chapters 4 and 5
Bernard Wasserstein, Israel and Palestine: Why They Fight and Can
They Stop? (London: Profile Books, 2004), chapter 4

Besides the conflict, what Israel is really about?


Mitchell G. Bard, Will Israel Survive? Chapter 9

Students should also be informed of current events in the region by viewing daily
newspapers such as The New York Times, Washington Post, the Jerusalem Post,
and others. Students should also consult the following journals and web sites:

Jewish Political Studies Review


Foreign Affairs,
Foreign Policy
GLORIA Center
MEMRI
JINSA
www.TheEttingerReport.com
SPME (Scholars for Peace in the Middle East)
The Middle East Quarterly