CONFLICT IN
ISRAEL PALESTINE

Below you’ll find a scheme of work to teach the Israel Palestine conflict. The history is told as two competing narratives: Jewish/Israeli and Arab/Palestinian. It’s nine weeks but you can choose to teach fewer - each week is focused on one enquiry question and stands alone.

If you scroll down, you find that each week has a supporting dual narrative video to help you prepare the class, pdf packs with 20 sources for students to explore digitally or for you to print, a question which can be debated at the end of the week, and a PowerPoint lesson plan.

Israel and Palestine

Overview

WEEK KEY QUESTION CONTENT FOCUS/SKILL
1 Which group had the stronger claim to the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan? Origins of Judaism Arab Invasions Ottoman Empire Chronology Source evaluation Argumentation
2 Should the British Government be praised or blamed for the Balfour Declaration? WWI Arab Revolt Zionism Balfour Declaration Causation Source evaluation Argumentation
3 Should the British Government be blamed for its handling of the Mandate in Palestine? End of WWI League of Nations WWII Balfour Declaration Consequences Source evaluation Argumentation
4 Should Jewish armed forces be blamed for the forced dispossession of half the Arab population from their homes in Palestine in 1948? 1948 Israel’s War of Independence/Naqba Consequences Source evaluation Argumentation
5 Was Israel forced to begin the Six-Day War to protect itself from Arab aggression? 1967 Six-Day War/Naksa Causation Source evaluation Argumentation
6 Were the Israelis justified in the use of force in the First Intifada? 1987 The First Intifada Causes Source evaluation Argumentation
7 Are the Palestinians mainly to blame for the failure of the Peace Process? Oslo Camp David Gaza Settlements Consequences Source evaluation  Argumentation
8 Has the Israeli government been justified in building the Security Barrier/Separation Wall? Second Intifada The Wall Settlements Justification Source evaluation Argumentation
9 Would a One State or a Two State outcome be better for Israelis and Palestinians? Political representation Voting rights Economy Consequences Analysis Judgement
Israel and Palestine: Week 1

Which group had the stronger claim to the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan?

Both Jews and Arabs lay historical claims to this land. This programme explains the history of the land across three millennia from the land of Canaan in the late Bronze Age, through conquest by the Romans, Arabs, Ottomans, and British, up to the present day.

Video

PDF of Sources

PPTX Lesson Plan

Israel and Palestine: Week 2

Should the British Government be praised or blamed for the Balfour Declaration?

In 1917, Lord Balfour in the British government wrote to Lord Rothschild, the leader of British Jews, promising to support the establishment of a national home for Jews in Palestine.

Was this a great humanitarian gesture which offered a place of safety for a long-persecuted minority? Or was this an act of imperial arrogance which ignored Palestinians’ right of self-determination and which left them still stateless a century later?

 

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Israel and Palestine: Week 3

Should the British Government be blamed for its handling of the Mandate in Palestine?

At the end of the First World War, when the Ottoman empire collapsed in 1918, the League of Nations awarded authority (Mandate) over the area to Britain.

Should the British government be praised for its efforts to maintain peace between two irreconcilable groups who refused to compromise? Or should it be blamed for always putting imperial interests ahead of the interests of inhabitants and quitting the Mandate without having brokered any sustainable settlement?

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Israel and Palestine: Week 4

Should Jewish armed forces be blamed for the forced dispossession of half the Arab population from their homes in Palestine in 1948?

The withdrawal of Britain in 1947 led to war between Arabs and Jews in Palestine, at the end of which over half the Arab population had left their homes, never to return. Should we blame Jewish armed forces for the forced dispossession of Palestinians? Or should we blame Arab leadership for starting the war and encouraging Arab civilians to leave the war zone?

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Israel and Palestine: Week 5

Was Israel forced to begin the Six-Day War to protect itself from Arab aggression?

In 1967 Israel launched a surprise attack on Syria, Egypt and Jordan and won a comprehensive victory. Was Israel forced to do this because it was threatened by imminent invasion from its more numerous Arab neighbours? Or was Israel’s attack an aggressive move to seize more Arab land for itself?

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Israel and Palestine: Week 6

Were the Israelis justified in the use of force in the First Intifada?

The uprising at the end of 1987 in Gaza and the West Bank, territories occupied by Israel after the Six-Day War, took both Palestinian and Israeli leadership by surprise.

Were the Israelis justified in using necessary and proportionate measures to restore order, or was their use of force, which included beatings and shootings, to repress a largely peaceful uprising unjustified?

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Israel and Palestine: Week 7

Are the Palestinians mainly to blame for the failure of the Peace Process?

Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat took first steps towards a permanent and comprehensive peace based on a Two State solution by signing the Oslo Accords in the mid 1990s. However, a quarter of a century later peace remains as elusive as ever. Is this the Palestinians’ fault for having unrealistic expectations and failing to rein in violence? Or is it the Israelis’ fault because they were never serious about giving up control of Arab lands conquered in 1967?

 

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Israel and Palestine: Week 8

Has the Israeli government been justified in building the Security Barrier/Separation Wall?

In 2002, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced that a separation barrier would be built between Israel-proper and the Palestinian West Bank. This has now become a permanent feature. Has this barrier been justified because it prevents Palestinian terrorism and saves Israeli lives? Or is it unjustified because it is merely a strategy used to cage and control the Palestinian population while seizing more of their land?

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Israel and Palestine: Week 9

Would a One State or a Two State outcome be better for Israelis and Palestinians?

For over a century the Palestinians have been demanding a state of their own and in the mid 1990s it looked as though that was going to be possible. However, a quarter of a century later it has become even harder to achieve, so both Palestinians and Israelis are asking themselves, which solution is better for both Israelis and Palestinians: living together in one state, or separately in two?

 

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