BA History and French / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
The History and Sociopolitics of Palestine/Israel (1882-1967)

Course unit fact file
Unit code MEST10042
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course unit provides an introduction to causes, consequences and controversies associated with the emergence, development and consolidation of the conflict in Palestine/Israel from 1882 until the 1967 war. Emphasis is placed on both the socio-political and diplomatic aspects of the conflict. This is a Year 1 course.As such, it assumes no knowledge about the topic; students who for whatever reason happen to be somewhat knowledgeable about the topic – or perhaps think that they are -- may find this fact fortunate or unfortunate; yet this course is intentionally geared toward those new to the subject.


On successful completion of this course participants should have developed:

  • skills for critical analysis of one of the world’s single most covered political conflicts;
  • general understanding of main processes in the formation of the 20th Century Middle East;
  • foundational ability to apply acquired knowledge to broader Middle Eastern histories as well as to regional and meta-regional themes (such as the phenomenon of modern nationalism).



Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this unit successful participants should:

  • reach a primary level of factual empirical knowledge in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict; 
  • be able to discuss and analyse the development of the conflict intelligently and in nuance;
  • comprehend the principal narratives of its protagonists involved;
  • be able to comment in an informed manner on a range of controversies surrounding this conflict.

Practical skills

The foundational knowledge acquired is essential for any position in the private or public sector that deals with Israel/Palestine and helpful for any work that relates to the Middle East due to the centrality of the question to the region.  

Assessment methods

Assessment task  


Weighting within unit (if summative) 

Book review essay 







Resit Assessment 

Assessment task  




Feedback methods


Feedback method

Formative or Summative

  • oral feedback


  • written feedback on essay


  • additional one-to-one feedback (during the consultation hour or remotely)


Recommended reading

Charles D. Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992). Any edition of the book will do.  

Secondary articles will be retrieved via and uploaded to course blackboard.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Seminars 12
Independent study hours
Independent study 164

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Moshe Behar Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Meetings with Academic Advisers (4) 

2 office hours weekly 

Primary sources and lecture notes are in blackboard.

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