- The class will read and discuss the article "Palestine, Israel, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Primer."
- Working alone or in small groups, have students choose a leader from the list provided. The list is divided into six groups, each with four leaders. Each group is organized by its location and/or political tendencies. Either make sure that all the leaders are covered or that there is at least some representation from each group or "faction."
- Yasser Arafat, leader of
- Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian leader, former minister of education
- Sari Nusseibeh, Palestinian intellectual
- Maha Abu-Dayyeh Shamas, director of the Jerusalem Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling
- Abd al-Aziz al-Rantisi, leader of
- Ramadan Shallah, leader of
Palestinian Islamic Jihad
- Marwan Barghouti, lieutenant of Yasser Arafat
- Sheikh Ahmad Yasin, spiritual leader of Hamas
- Shimon Peres, current foreign minister of Israel
- Ehud Barak, former prime minister of Israel
- Tzali Reshef, leader of
- Terry Greenblatt, director of
- Ariel Sharon, current prime minister of Israel
- Benjamin Netanyahu, former prime minister of Israel
- Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, a leader of
- Eli Yishai, leader of
- George W. Bush, current president of the United States
- Colin Powell, current U.S. secretary of state
- Bill Clinton, former president of the United States
- Edward Said, Palestinian-American intellectual
- King Abdullah of Jordan
- Bashar al-Asad, president of Syria
- Hosni Mubarak, president of Egypt
- Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
- Students should, as a homework assignment, carry out research on their assigned leader to explore background, personal history, and statements or actions regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict. There are several Internet resources that are a good beginning for student research. These are listed in the Resources section.
- Students will create a poster display on the leader they are researching. Posters should include a photograph of their personality, his or her title (and former title[s] if applicable), background and biographical information, and a brief description of her or his political views and values on the Israeli-Palestinian question, with changes over time, quotations, and actions taken where appropriate. For example, is religion important? Independence? Culture and identity issues?
- When students complete their posters, they should introduce "themselves" briefly in class. Students will then take part in an exercise in which they play the role of their characters.
- The Saudi crown prince Abdullah proposed that if Israel were to withdraw to its pre-1967 lines, the Arab states would recognize Israel and offer full
of relations. Distribute copies of the article "The Saudi Initiative" to students.
- Based on their research, each student should write a paragraph explaining how the interests and values of their character would lead them to react to the proposed Saudi peace plan.
- Do they favor the Saudi initiative?
- Are they not yet ready either to commit to this course of action or reject it?
- Do they reject the plan outright and feel their interests would be better served by unilateral action, whether it be violence, disengagement, increased security measures, a fence, etc.?
- Students should introduce themselves as their character, stating their title and country represented, with a one-sentence summary of their feelings about the peace plan.
- Staying in character, students will then attend a reception at a regional conference convened to discuss the Saudi initiative. Allow approximately 20 minutes for students to gather in small, informal groups to discuss their reaction to the plan. Students may move from group to group, staying in character at all times. At the reception, the leaders are seeking to garner support and would like to convince one another of their own views in regard to the peace initiative. Guide students' discussion with the following questions:
- Why should the person with whom I am speaking come around to my point of view? What would they gain from this?
- What objections or fears might they have, and how could they be overcome?
- Students will "debrief" by returning to their seats and writing a second paragraph explaining with whom they spoke, some significant details of their conversations, and their final decision on the Saudi peace initiative.
- Did they change their minds from the first round? Why or why not?
- If not, what would have convinced them to do so?
- The challenge is for students to take on the persona of their character and to think through the situation, not to get their character's decision "right."
- How well can the student explain the background, political point of view and political position of one leader involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
- Was the display complete and of high quality in terms of the information provided, organization of data, and neatness and visual organization of the final product?
- Were the written assignments complete, logical, and well written?
Global Connections Essays:
- Culture: A Rich Mosaic
Culture, a shared set of traditions, belief systems, and behaviors, is shaped by history, religion, ethnic identity, language, and nationality, among other factors. The Middle East consists of approximately 20 countries, with many different religions and a variety of ethnic and linguistic groups.
- Economics: It's More Than Oil
National economies throughout the Middle East struggled in the 19th and 20th centuries to develop their natural and human resources, to modernize their societies, and to raise their standards of living.
How were the modern nation-states of the Middle East created?
- Politics: From Royalty to Democracy
Politics in the Middle East, far from being solely an issue of Islamic resurgence as is often presented by Western media, actually reflects a complex mixture of issues that include nationalism, religion, social and economic concerns, anti-colonialist sentiments, tribal loyalties, and ethnic identities.
- U.S. Foreign Policy
What have been the role and effects of U.S. foreign policies and actions in the Middle East?
- Biographies of the Middle East
MERIA's guide provides a basis for exploring Internet biographies of leading figures in the Middle East.
- Middle East Conflicts: Biographies
Biographies of individuals involved in the Middle East conflict
- The World Factbook 2001
The Central Intelligence Agency publishes information on the geography, people, government, and economy of each Middle Eastern country.
- NOW with Bill Moyers
Bill Moyers anchors an hour-long weekly news series offering fresh perspectives and analysis on today's events, issues, and the ideas that are shaping our world.
- Morning Edition Online
Morning Edition is a two-hour mix of news, analysis, interviews, commentaries, arts, features, and music.
- Online NewsHour
NewsHour is the nation's first and only hour-long nightly broadcast of national news.
- New York Times Online
The Web site for the New York Times newspaper, with articles updated throughout the day
- Christian Science Monitor Online
Church ownership and a public-service mission give the Christian Science Monitor a unique journalistic voice.
- Washington Post Online
A daily newspaper with headquarters in Washington, D.C.
- The Wall Street Journal Online
A daily newspaper focusing on business and the economy
- The Guardian Online
The biggest newspaper Web site in the UK
- Al-Ahram Weekly Online
A weekly news publication from Egypt
- Middle East Times Online
A weekly source for news and independent analysis of politics, sports, business, religion, and culture in the Middle East
- Ha'aretz Online
Founded in 1919 by Zionist immigrants, Ha'aretz is a daily newspaper with a broadly liberal outlook on domestic and international affairs.
- The Daily Star Online
Lebanese news coverage of local and regional politics, business, and features
- The Jordan Times Online
An Arab political daily published in Amman by the Jordan Press Foundation
- Hunting Bin Laden
Investigating Osama bin Laden, his network, and his role in terrorists attacks on America (pre-9/11)
- Target America
As the Bush White House weighs its options, Frontline identifies the lessons we have learned from America's first "war on terrorism" in the 1980s.
- Looking for Answers
Frontline asks, what explains the hatred behind the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history? And why has radical Islam sprung from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, two of America's key allies in the Middle East?
Frontline examines Islam's worldwide resurgence through the story of diverse Muslims struggling to fit Islam into their lives.
- Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land
A review of the film, Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land, a film about the issues faced by Israelis and Palestinians and the land in which they seek to live
- Bethlehem Diary
A review of Bethlehem Diary, a film that focuses on two Palestinian families and an Israeli human rights lawyer during this tumultuous period
- The Road to Peace: Israelis and Palestinians
A review of The Road to Peace: Israelis and Palestinians, a film that demonstrates how peace is perceived and lived by ordinary people
- Oasis of Peace
A review of Oasis of Peace, a film about a village in Israel where Jews and Palestinians -- all Israeli citizens -- have been living as equals since 1978.
- Waiting for Saladin
A review of Waiting for Saladin, an ensemble, documentary portrait of Palestinian inhabitants of East Jerusalem who live under Israeli rule
- AbuKhalil, As'ad. Historical Dictionary of Lebanon, Asian/Oceanic Historical Dictionaries #30.
Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1998.
- Goldschmidt, Arthur, Jr. Biographical Dictionary of Modern Egypt.
Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 200.
Power, authority, and governance
- Analyze and explain ideas and mechanisms to meet needs and wants of citizens, regulate territory, manage conflict, establish order and security, and balance competing conceptions of a just society.
- Compare and analyze the ways nations and organizations respond to conflicts between forces of unity and forces of diversity.
- Compare different political systems (their ideologies, structure, institutions, processes, and political cultures) with that of the United States and identify representative political leaders from selected historical and contemporary settings.
- Analyze and evaluate conditions, actions, and motivations that contribute to conflict and cooperation within and among nations.
Time, continuity, and change
- Systematically employ processes of critical historical inquiry to reconstruct and reinterpret the past such as using a variety of sources and checking their credibility, validating and weighing evidence for claims, and searching for causality.
- Investigate, interpret, and analyze multiple historical and contemporary viewpoints within and across cultures related to important events, recurring dilemmas, and persistent issues while employing empathy, skepticism, and critical judgment.
Individuals, groups, and institutions
- Apply concepts such as role, status, and social class in describing the connections and interactions of individuals, groups, and institutions in society.
- Describe and examine belief systems basic to specific traditions and laws in contemporary and historical movements.
- Predict how data and experiences may be interpreted by people from diverse cultural perspectives and frames of reference.
For more information, see the
National Standards for Social Studies Teachers, Volume I.