Home > 2014 Courses > HISTORY, PHILOSOPHY AND CONTEMPORARY STUDIES > Milestones in the Arab-Zionist confllict


Due to illness the Milestones in the Arab-Zionist Conflict course has been condensed into four lectures from Tuesday 28 to Friday 31 January. Refunds for the missed lecture (Monday 27 January) will be available from the Summer School cash office from Wednesday 29 January to 7 February. After 7 February refunds cannot be given. We regret the inconvenience.

Professor Benny Morris, Department of Middle Eastern Studies, Ben-Gurion University, Israel

This course will examine key processes and turning points in the development of the conflict between the Zionist movement and the Arabs over Palestine, starting with World War I and ending with the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. The course will look at ideologies on both sides of the divide, at international contributions to the conflict and at the consequences of bouts of violence in 1936–1939 and 1948. The first two lectures will deal with the 1917 Balfour Declaration supporting the establishment of a ‘Jewish national home’ in Palestine. The uprising of Palestine’s Arabs against the British Mandate Government, the Zionist enterprise it nurtured and the Peel Commission will be considered. Zionist leaders such as Ben-Gurion and Chaim Weizmann regarded the idea of transferring Arabs out of Palestine as a means of achieving a Jewish majority in the area. The course will consider whether the idea impacted on events in the 1930s and 1940s. Aspects of the first Arab-Israeli war will be discussed, including its causes, the civil war and the course of the war. It will also look at the creation of the refugee problem and the long-lasting consequences. The final lecture will deal with problems left over by 1948 – the existence of Israel and what to do about it (for the Arabs), the Palestinian refugee problem and the Jewish refugee problem (Holocaust survivors and the Jewish communities from the Arab world) and the Israeli-Arab conflict and the Cold War, 1949–1956.

1.    The Balfour Declaration
2.    The Arab Revolt, 1936–1939
3.    The Idea of Transfer
4.    The 1948 War: the creation of the refugee problem
5.    After 1948: the new Middle East order

This course is offered in association with the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies.

Recommended reading

Morris, B. 2001. Righteous Victims: A History of the Arab-Zionist Conflict 1881–1999. New York: Vintage Books.
Morris, B. 2008. 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Tessler, M. 2009. A History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. 2nd ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Fromkin, D. 2009. A Peace to End all Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East. New York:
Holt McDougal.

Course code: 1030

Date & time: 27–31 January 9.15 am


Full: R375,00

Staff: R186,00

Reduced: R94,00