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The full J School archive is now available.

J School is a virtual study series on the history, dynamics and drivers of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. J School’s summer session is now over, but all the classes can be viewed below.

Syllabus

 

July 15 at 12pm Eastern

On Zionism: Looking at History through Personal Narratives

Lesson Overview

From Herzl and the First Zionist Congress, early Zionists dreamt of freedom from persecution and the freedom to create a sovereign state for the Jewish people. How exactly to build the Jewish homeland, however, has always been far more contested, even among early Zionists. In this J School session on Zionism, Jeremy Ben-Ami and Dr. Fania Oz-Salzberger will walk us through a selection of key events and flashpoints in the Zionist movement by discussing how their own family narratives fit within the larger history of the Jewish people’s quest for freedom and autonomy.

Presenters

Jeremy Bem-Ami, J Street
Fania Oz-Salzberger, Israeli historian

Session Materials

Download the course guide here

July 22 at 12 pm Eastern

Palestinian Narratives on Both Sides of the Green Line

Lesson Overview

Learning about the Palestinian people’s history, culture and political debates is crucial to understanding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This session will be an opportunity to explore that history through topics such as nationalism, culture, citizenship, Palestinian history and land laws. We will be taught by Sami Adwan who will offer historical and personal insights, helping shed light on what it means to be Palestinian in 2020.

Presenters

Sami Adwan, Professor of Education at Hebron University
Maisam Jaljuli, political activist with Standing Together

Session Materials

Download the course guide

July 29 at 12 pm Eastern

Occupation 101

Lesson Overview

Join Frank Lowenstein, former special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations under President Obama's State Department, for a powerful and in-depth presentation about the on-the-ground realities of Israeli occupation and annexation. This session will enable us to walk away with an understanding of the actors, policies and intentions that have led us to our current reality of occupation and the implications of any moves towards annexation. With his experience in Obama’s State Department, Frank offers unique insight into the policy-making process and the practical and political limitations of American foreign policy in the region.

Presenters

Frank Lowenstein, former special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations

Session Materials

Download the course guide here

August 5 at 12 pm Eastern

Israeli Politics 101

Lesson Overview

With its complex, multi-party political system, Israeli politics can be fast-paced to follow as leaders from divergent political ideologies, religious affiliations, and ethnic identities jostle for power and influence. The complexity of Israel’s electoral system is a major factor in the country’s approach to the conflict and the concessions it will and won’t make for peace. This session will examine some of these challenges and broaden our understanding of the impact of Israeli politics on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Session Materials

Download the course guide here

August 12 at 2pm Eastern

Palestinian Politics 101

Lesson Overview

American media tends to characterize “Palestinians” as a monolithic group, and such a characterization obscures the diversity of attitudes, institutions and political actors found within Palestinian society. Palestinian businessman Sam Bahour joins J School to discuss the history of Palestinian politics, where we are now, and where we might be heading in the wake of annexation discussions. He’ll explore topics such as the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, examine the ideological differences between Fatah and Hamas and dive into how Palestinian public opinion shapes Palestinian politics and policy.

Presenters

Sam Bahour, Palestinian-American commentator and business leader

Session Materials

Download the course guide here

August 19

A History of Negotiations: The Five Core Issues and How They Can Be Resolved

Lesson Overview

From Oslo to Madrid to the Arab Peace Initiative, international stakeholders have repeatedly sought to lay the foundations for a negotiated end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Each time, five core issues surface as the key sticking points to reaching an agreement. This session of J School, taught by conflict expert, Dr. Galia Golan, a long-time pro-peace advocate, will examine how and why these five core issues- Jerusalem, borders and security, refugees and settlements continually arise in peace negotiations. During this one-hour course, we’ll explore the history of each issue, its relevance to each side and a range of potential solutions. We’ll also examine the role of third parties, the international environment more broadly, alternative diplomacy, public opinion and the politics of compromise.

Presenter

Dr. Galia Golan, Peace Now Co-Founder and Professor at Hebrew University

Session Materials

Download the course guide here
Download the slide deck here

August 26 at 12pm Eastern

J Street, American Jews and The Israel Lobby

Lesson Overview

Before Israel was even a state, grassroots advocacy shaped America’s’ policy positions toward the US-Israel relationship. There is no singular “Israel Lobby,” instead, there is an interconnected ecosystem of Israel advocacy lobbies that represent a wide range of opinions on what it means to be “pro-Israel” in the US. This session will examine some of the perspectives that comprise the US Israel lobbies, from Congress, to state capitals, to college campuses, to the K Street corridor in Washington DC where influential stakeholders shape the direction of Israel advocacy. We will discuss how these players have historically shaped policy for and how they shaped the different narratives that exist about the US-Israel relationship.

Presenters

Dov Waxman, Professor and The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation Chair in Israel Studies at UCLA

Session Materials

Download the course guide here