The History of Modern Israel – Part I: From an Idea to a State

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About this course: How did the State of Israel come to be? How is it that an idea, introduced in 19th century Europe, became a reality? And how does that reality prevail in the harsh complexities of the Middle East? Presented by Professor Eyal Naveh, with additional units from Professor Asher Sussers' "The Emergence of the Modern Middle East" course, This course will take you on a journey through the history of Modern Israel. In this 1st part of the course we will explore: How did the 19th century idea of a Jewish state become a reality? So the next time you hear about Israel in the news, you will be informed enough about the history of this area to comprehend the many sides and narrati…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: How did the State of Israel come to be? How is it that an idea, introduced in 19th century Europe, became a reality? And how does that reality prevail in the harsh complexities of the Middle East? Presented by Professor Eyal Naveh, with additional units from Professor Asher Sussers' "The Emergence of the Modern Middle East" course, This course will take you on a journey through the history of Modern Israel. In this 1st part of the course we will explore: How did the 19th century idea of a Jewish state become a reality? So the next time you hear about Israel in the news, you will be informed enough about the history of this area to comprehend the many sides and narratives that interact to shape the complex reality of Israel today. Please also join us in the 2nd part of this course: Challenges of Israel as a sovereign state * This course is a joint effort of Tel Aviv University & Israel Institute (www.israelinstitute.org) * This course uses media material from various archives, courtesy to Yad Vashem Archive for their help. * This course is self-paced. Once you register, you can participate in the course anytime, as often as you wish and over any stretch of time

Created by:  Tel Aviv University
  • Taught by:  Professor Eyal Naveh, General History

    General History professor at Tel Aviv University and at the Kibbutzim College of Education
  • Taught by:  Professor Asher Susser, Senior Research Fellow

    Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
Level Beginner Commitment 3 weeks of study, 1 hour/week Language English, Subtitles: Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.5 stars Average User Rating 4.5See what learners said Coursework

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Tel Aviv University Tel Aviv University (TAU) is Israel's largest institution of higher learning – with over 30,000 students and more than 125 schools and departments in nine faculties. Global in outlook and impact, it is consistently ranked among the world's top 100 universities, as well as the top 20 institutions in terms of scientific citations. A spirit of openness and innovation is evident in all of TAU's teaching and research activities, breaking down barriers between disciplines, and boldly striving to address the twenty-first century's most pressing challenges.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


The Emergence of Zionism



This module will discuss the major reasons for the rise of the Zionist movement as the national movement of the Jewish people, as a modern, European phenomenon at the last third of the nineteenth century. It will focus on the main features of the movement as well as its first projects in Palestine. The module will end with the impact of World War I on Jews in general and on the Zionist movement in particular, leading to the Balfour deceleration.


12 videos expand


  1. Video: Course Trailer
  2. Video: Introduction
  3. Video: Origins of Zionism
  4. Video: Practical Zionism
  5. Video: Political Zionism
  6. Video: Other Versions of Zionizm
  7. Video: The Old Yishuv, The 1st Aliyah (wave of immigration) & Early settlements
  8. Video: The 2nd Aliyah
  9. Video: The culture of the Immigrants - Interview with Professor Anita Shapira
  10. Video: The impact on the Jews in Europe & the Yishuv
  11. Video: WWI & British interests
  12. Video: The Non-Promised land

Graded: Evaluate your knowledge

WEEK 2


The Jewish Community (Yishuv) in Palestine Under British Mandate, 1921-1939



Focusing on the first two decades of the British Mandate in Palestine, this module will explore the relationship between British authorities, Jews, and Arabs in the area. It will characterize the nature of the Zionist society that developed during this time by characterizing it as a "state in a process". It will also point to the emergence of initial Palestinian nationalism and its struggle against both the British authorities and the continuation of Jewish immigration and national building.


8 videos expand


  1. Video: Attitudes toward Arab and Jews and its results
  2. Video: 1920s: Initial Arab Opposition to the Zionist Project (1920-21, 1929)
  3. Video: New waves of immigration, Settlements, Social Organization, Military militias
  4. Video: Demographic and social changes, political consolidation
  5. Video: The development of an Hebrew Culture - Interview with Professor Anita Shapira
  6. Video: Building a Hebrew Society
  7. Video: The creation of the Palestinian National Movement
  8. Video: From the Peel commission to the White Paper of 1939


WEEK 3


WWII, the Holocaust, the end of the Mandate and the Establishment of Israel



This module will explore the most tragic event of the Twentieth century, namely the Second World War and the Holocaust. It will discuss the impact of this event on the Jewish Zionist society in Palestine. The module will continue by looking at the Zionist struggle against the British Mandate following the years of the war, the British decision to leave the area, the UN suggestion to create two states, one Jewish and one Arab, the failure of this project and the break of the war between Jews and Palestinians. We will analyze the declaration of independence and the creation of Israel as a sovereign state that had to fight for its existence and succeed to defend itself against an invasion of neighboring Arab states. It will explain the Palestinian catastrophe and the tragedy of Palestinian refugees.


11 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: The Nazis' rise to power
  2. Video: WWII and the Holocaust
  3. Reading: For more on the Holocaust - Refer to TAU & Yad Vashem course " The Holocaust - an introduction"
  4. Video: The Conflict
  5. Video: The approach to the British during the war - Interview with Professor Moti Golani (In Hebrew -Please use subtitles)
  6. Video: Protesting, but still Aiding
  7. Video: Revolt against the British
  8. Video: The true face of the relations with Britain - Interview with Professor Moti Golani (In Hebrew -Please use subtitles)
  9. Video: Diverse approaches to the struggle
  10. Video: The UN intervention and the partition Plan
  11. Video: The "Civil War" between Jews and Palestinian at the end of the British Mandate
  12. Video: The Declaration of Independence, the war against the Arab invasion, Victory and armistice

Graded: Final test

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