This course is offered both in person and online. In person it is taught by Gil Ribak and online it is taught by Leonard Hammer. The in person course is for the full semester and the online version is a short course from October 12th to December 6th.
This course surveys the history of the modern state of Israel from the first stirrings of modern Jewish nationalism in the 19th century to the establishment of the state in 1948 to the system and problems of governance in contemporary Israeli society. We will explore the ways in which Israeli political traditions and institutions have developed and the cultural ideas that have shaped them, raising questions about the ways in which issues of national identity determine domestic and foreign policies including defense strategies past and present. We will discuss the perspectives of early Zionist thinkers, different ethnic and religious communities, historians, and ourselves as students, while seeking to understand the nature of state-building in the Israeli context and its significance to the history of the modern Middle East.