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Gary Simms: Modern Israeli History Part 2


This is the second semester of a year-long text-based study of modern Israel’s History. We begin with a brief review of the British Mandate. World War II, and the post-war period.  We continue with study and discussion of the War for Independence, the creation of Israel’s institutions, the questions of Jewish and Arab immigration, and the Suez conflict. We continue with the beginnings of the on-going confrontation between Israel and Palestinians, discuss the Eichmann trial, and review the 6 Day War and its consequences. We continue our discussions with the Yom Kippur War, the Sadat opening, Oslo and its consequences, the emergence of new Israeli leadership, the Lebanon War, the intifada, and Israel’s unique status regarding UN resolutions. We conclude with a discussion of the BDS movement and modern anti-Semitism. 


Lesson 1: The British Seek to Maintain Control 

    A.  The Peel Commission and Reactions to it 

    B.  White Paper of May 17, 1939

             C.  World War II and the Jewish Community of Palestine

Lesson 2: Post-War to Independence

    A. Independence for Arab States & and Formation of the Arab League

    B. Haganah, Irgun and Lehi in armed struggle against British rule.

    C. The Jewish Debate: Can we have a bi-national state? 

    D. UN Resolution 181 

    E. Pre-State Armed Struggle; Radio Tel Aviv Report

Lesson 3: Beginning of the War for Independence

    A. Ben-Gurion takes leadership

    B. Declaration of Independence; Weitzman Recounts the Recognition 

    C. Beginning of the War; Yad Mordechai

    D. UN Resolution 194

Lesson 4: The War for Independence

    A. First phase: May 14 –June 11, 1948, including invasion, truce of June 11-July 8

    B. Second Phase: July 8 – 18 July 1948, and second truce July 18- October 15

    C. Third phase: October 15 1948– January 7, 1949; UN Resolution 194 and the Armistice

    D. Outcome of the War for Independence: Jewish Immigration and Jewish and Arab Refugees

Lesson 5: The Creation of Israeli Institutions and the early years

    A. Constitutional Consensus & Law of Return

    B. The Assembly of Representatives became the Knesset; first elections in 1949

    C. National Council became the government, under the leadership of David Ben-Gurion. 

    d. The Law of Return

    E. The Basic Law of Israel

Lesson 6: The Government under Ben-Gurion

    A.  Hula Valley reclamation project begun.

    B.  Reparations from Germany

    C. Hula Valley Reclamation 

     D. Operation Susannah    

    E. The fight with the fedayeen.  

    F. Ben Gurion’s “4 Questions.”

Lesson 7: The Suez Crisis

    A.  Background: the canal, colonialism, oil, and Nasser

    B. Lead Up to War: British withdrawal, Nasser nationalizes canal, Israel, Britain and France Agree     to joint action

    C. Invasion, French, British Actions Support, concluding days

    D. Aftermath (including American demand for withdrawal)

Lesson 8: Eichmann Affair 

    A. Wiesenthal Tracks down Eichmann

    B. The Trial and Appeal

    C. International Reactions

Lesson 9: Run up to the 6 Day War

    A. Nasser Demands, British depart

    B. National Unity Government

    C. American Role

    D. Nassar’s Vow

Lesson 10: The 6 Day War

    A. Day-by-day review

    B. Rabin Speech at Mt. Scopus

Lesson 11: Resolution 242 and its aftermath

    A. Adoption by UN

    B. Consequences of Resolution

    C. The Subsequent “Assault on 242”

    D. 72 Munich Olympics

Lesson 12: Yom Kippur War

    A. In Sinai, in the Golan

    B. Results

    C. UN Condemns Zionism as Racism; Israeli Response

Lesson 13: Entebbe and Sadat

    A. Entebbe Raid

    B. Sadat Speech to the Knesset

    C. Response of the PLO

Lesson 14: Camp David & Oslo

    A. Negotiations under President Carter’s leadership

    B. Agreement between Egypt and Israel

    C. Israel/Egypt Peace Treaty

    D. Oslo Accords

Lesson 15: War in Lebanon and the Intifada

    A. Lebanese War

    b. Netanyahu & Barak Govenments

    C. Camp David II, the Creation of the PLA

Lesson 16: The Continuing Search for Security and Peace

    A. The “Peace Process”

    B. Hamas and Hezbollah vs. Fatah

    C. Impact of Arab Spring

    D. BDS, ant-Zionism, Anti-Semitism

Maryana Harouni: Prophets and Psalms

  1. David

  2. Shlomo

  3. Israel split

  4. Era of Prophets

  5. Hoshea

  6. Isiah

  7. Jeremiah

  8. Amos

  9. Ezekiel

  10. Psalms

Maryana Harouni: 11th-12th Grade – Prophets and Psalms


  1. David

  2. Shlomo

  3. Israel split

  4. Era of Prophets

  5. Hoshea

  6. Isiah

  7. Jeremiah

  8. Amos

  9. Ezekiel

  10. Psalms