Palestinian Politics and Society

Unlike all other Arab states that have achieved independence, The Palestinians remain a nation without an independent “State.”  The Arabs and Jews of Palestinian were promised independence by England, and the land, which was eventually abandoned by the British Mandate and referred to the United Nations.  One State achieved independence, while the other went through several occupations, the last of which is still in effect.  To deal with Palestinian Politics as a separate concept would be at best arrogant, and at worst foolish.  While one nation – the Israelis – has moved forward in its state building, the other is still stuck, and has rarely succeeded in achieving its goals – whether social, political, or economic.  Add to the current situation a major split – both geographic and political – in a nation that has occupied by Israel for the past 50 years. 


In this course, we will be tracing and studying the story of the rise of Palesinian Nationalism since 1948.  Of course, a brief historical introduction will be necessary.  One thing that we have to keep in mind that the Palestinian Story cannot be told independent from the Israeli Story.  The two are highly connected and some would argue dependent on each other. 


In the first part of the class, we will be dealing with various authors and academic analyses.  During the last 3-4 weeks of the class, we will have guest speakers from the trenches.  These are individuals who have been involved in creating the peace agreements between Israelis and Palestinians, and you will get to hear first-hand about their work and experiences; their success and failures. 


This course should prepare students to:

  1.  Understand the background to rise of Palestinian Movement.
  2. Appreciate the transformation of Palestinian Society from the 19th century to the current time.
  3. Grasp the differences between Palestinian Politics and Israeli Politics.
  4. Understand the role religion has been playing in the shaping of Palestinian politics and society.
  5. Appreciate and Understand the Current position of Palestinian politics post Arab Spring

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