• Class Number 2150
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof James Piscatori
    • Prof James Piscatori
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

The central focus of the course will be the forces for continuity and change in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and the challenges facing efforts to sustain a viable and productive peace process. Initially the course will examine the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from four angles: the search for security and identity within national frameworks; the peace process; dealings between external factors, the broader Arab-Israeli conflict; and the political dynamics that brought about the demise of the Oslo process. The course will then examine final status issues that were supposed to be addressed through the Oslo process - especially refugees, Jerusalem, borders and sovereignty, resources and security. The course will conclude with a discussion of the micro and macro issues facing Palestinians and Israelis, and how they may impact on the prospects for peace.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. reach a better understanding of the key issues underlying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;
  2. gain a comprehensive picture of the interaction of domestic and external actors and factors shaping the conflict;
  3. critically examine the positions of the parties and the ideas that have been advanced to deal with core unresolved issues;
  4. examine critically how progress might be made towards resolving the conflict, against the background of contemporary political realities; and
  5. participate in discussions about contested concepts with confidence and with tolerance for other points of view.

Required Resources

No purchasing of a course reader (BRICK) or set textbook(s) is required for this course. Readings marked as ‘Required’ in this course guide are available online on the course Wattle site. It is crucial that you read these weekly set readings. Under the sub-heading ‘Further Readings’, additional sources are provided for students interested in pursuing the weekly topic further.

Students are encouraged to read widely, including key pieces of essential reading for each week but also other sources. Reading lists supplied for each seminar are intended to give students a lead and provide starting points for seminar discussion. Students are encouraged to conduct their own research, and draw materials from alternative sources, such as the electronic media and World Wide Web.

The books listed below provide a useful introduction to the course, especially for students with limited knowledge of the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflicts. The lecturer can advise which of these books would be of the most helpful reading depending on your prior knowledge.

Overview of the conflict:

A succinct summary of the history and course of the conflict is: Charles Smith, ‘The Arab-Israeli Conflict’, in Louise Fawcett (ed), International Relations of the Middle East (Oxford; Oxford University Press, 4th edn, 2016), chapter 12, pp. 259-284.


Walter Laqueur, The History of Zionism (London: I.B. Tauris, 2003). This is a cogent and detailed exposition of the history of an ideology. Chapter 7 on Jabotinsky and Revisionism is particularly useful.  


Ilan Pappe, A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004). An excellent overview. In the words of one review: ‘Pappe writes the story of Palestine, a land inhabited by two peoples. He begins with the Ottomans and traces Palestine’s history to the present day. While these events provide the background and explain the construction of Zionist and Palestinian nationalism, at centre stage are the men, women and children who lived through these times. It is a story of coexistence, as well as oppression, occupation and exile’.

Edward W. Said, The Question of Palestine (New York, Vintage Books, 2nd edn., 1992).  A Palestinian perspective on the question of Palestine.

Avi Shlaim, Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions and Refutations (London: Verso, 2009). A lucid overview of a range of key issues, transformations, and personalities in the Israel-Palestine conflict. 

Charles D. Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents (New York: St Martin’s Press, 9th edn, 2016; or any edition): a balanced overview of the conflict with useful, explanatory maps, documents, and chronology.

Israel and the Arab world:

Itamar Rabinovich, Waging Peace: Israel and the Arabs, 1948-2003 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004). The first chapter, pp. 1-37, provides a brief but excellent introduction to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and much of the remainder of the book provides a useful overview of the peace process in the 1990s.

Avi Shlaim, The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (New York and London: Norton and Co., 2001). This focuses mainly on Israeli policy approaches towards the Arab world.  While lengthy, it is especially useful in explaining the often hidden interactions between the Israelis and Arab regimes. 


Thomas Friedman, From Beirut to Jerusalem (London: Collins, 1990); and/or

Robert Fisk, Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 3rd edn., 2001). Friedman’s book is very readable, recounting the field coverage of a Pulitzer-prize winning New York Times journalist.  Fisk’s is a compelling work, drawing on his reporting for the Independent in London, that includes extensive discussion on the regional aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict as played out during the Lebanese civil war.


Students who have not studied the Middle East in any depth before commencing this course should consider consulting one of the following books as an historical background on the region:

William Cleveland and Martin Bunton, A History of the Modern Middle East (Colorado: Westview, 2004, or later editions).  See especially chapters 13, 17, 22, 23.


Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples (London: Faber & Faber, 1991). Parts IV and V (chapters 16-26, pp. 263-458) are most relevant.


Peter Mansfield, A History of the Middle East (London: Penguin, 1991). See especially chapters 8-13, pp. 149-353.


Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 3rd and rev. edn., 2007). A comprehensive review of political, diplomatic, and ideological developments and challenges to Israeli state formation.

Primary Documents:

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/a06f2943c226015c85256c40005d359c/c758572b78d1cd0 085256bcf0077e51a?OpenDocument

United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/7D35E1F729DF491C85256EE700686136

Map - Territories Occupied by Israel in 1967: http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/cf02d057b04d356385256ddb006dc02f/b08a2e4d1fde5 cec85256b98006e752f?OpenDocument

UN Security Council Resolution 338 (1973) http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/7FB7C26FCBE80A31852560C50065F878

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  •  An evaluative matrix for their oral presentation
  • Written feedback on the major essay  explaining the strengths and weaknesses of the work and with an indication of how the final mark was arrived at.
  • No feedback is provided on the final examination, although students are welcome to access their paper in accordance with ANU and College policies. 

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

General Skills

In this course students will develop the following skills:

  1. Critical thinking: Students will learn to look at debates about Middle Eastern politics and international relations generally, evaluate the usefulness of strategic culture as an analytical tool, and consider the application of these approaches to Gulf countries specifically. An evaluation of the strengths, weaknesses, and biases of these arguments is a skill that should be transferable to other analytical tasks.
  2. Research: Students will learn to evaluate and utilise a wide variety of sources and collections.
  3. Communication: Students will learn to present well-reasoned analysis and to engage the arguments of others, both in writing and verbally.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to Course Introduction to the course: objectives, reading and academic requirements Discussion of the myths, memories and representations of the Palestinians, Arabs, Jews and Israelis.
2 Historical Background Ottoman control and the colonial period in the Holy Land Early Zionism and nationhood Arab and Palestinian reactions to Jewish migration & political change The 1948 war revisited
3 Canberra Day
4 Israeli and Palestinian Political Culture: Searching for Security & Identity The development of Israeli identities The dynamics of Israeli citizenship and political culture Israeli perceptions of Arabs, Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs The nature of Palestinian political culture and identity Palestinian views of Israel and Israelis The consequences for political behaviour and nation-building
5 (Re)Constructing the Israeli and Palestinian ‘State’ Political Identity formation and the nation-state Frameworks, narratives, internal shifts and the rise of extremists Formalising recognition constitutionally and internationally Israel as ‘Jewish’ state, Palestine as ‘democratic’ state Sovereignty versus dependence
6 Religious Alternative Views of the State: Hamas and the Israeli Religious Right Rise of religious movements and parties critical of secular politics in both the Israeli and Palestinian cases Interaction between religious ideology and nationalism Impact of the Religious Right on domestic and regional stability Major essay due end of Week 6: 4.00 pm, Friday, 5 April 2019
7 The Lebanese Quagmire: Israel’s Wars In Lebanon Israeli invasions of Lebanon in 1978 and 1982 Importance of Hizbullah to the conflict Reasons for and consequences of Israeli-Hizbullah war in 2006 and subsequent clashes Implications of Hizbullah involvement in Syrian civil war Note: Make-up class, owing to Easter Monday holiday: Friday, 26 April 2019
8 The Wider Impact of the Conflict: Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia Consequences of the various wars on regional actors The Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Arab World especially, views among political elites and on the ‘Arab Street’ Regional states’ evolving attitudes towards Israel
9 The Wider Impact of the Conflict: Turkey, Iran, and Great Powers The ups and downs of the Israeli-Turkish relationship Roles of Iran in supporting opposition to Israel Cold War rivalries and the conflict The interaction between domestic politics in external powers and the conflict
10 The Rise and Fall of the Middle East Peace Process Factors in the growing impetus for a Palestinian-Israeli peace process up to 1990 The Madrid Process, Oslo processes and the ‘golden age’ of peace, 1993-1996 The breakdown of Oslo The Middle East Peace Process (MEPP) 2000-present The ‘two-state solution’
11 Key Issues post-Oslo: Palestinian Refugees, Israeli Settlements & the Status of Jerusalem Refugee memories and mythologies Refugees within Palestinian society and politics and the politics of the right of return Refugees as a regional issue Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza Impact of the settlements on negotiations Contested claims to sovereignty: Jewish, Muslim and Christian presence in the Old City The arguments over Arabisation and Judaisation of Jerusalem The status of Jerusalem as central to any final and comprehensive peace agreement
12 Human Security Issues: Employment, Water, Food The Separation Wall & checkpoints Israeli economic control of occupied territory Labour access and rights Access to and control of resources such as water Securitisation of food Note: Week 12 seminar to be included in double-session with Week 11: i.e., both Weeks 11 and 12 on Monday, 20 May 2019 Take-home exam due: midnight, Saturday, 1 June 2019

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
All assessment tasks 100 % 22/06/2019 28/06/2019 1, 2, 3, 4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 100 %
Due Date: 22/06/2019
Return of Assessment: 28/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

All assessment tasks

Please refer to the MEAS8112 course guide on the Wattle site for details of all assessment tasks.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) as submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Essays can be collected from the Course Convenor (or a nominated person) when notified they are ready for collection via the Wattle course page noticeboard.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

There are no opportunities to resubmit essays unless they are referenced incorrectly. 

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof James Piscatori
+61 2 6125 4982

Research Interests

Prof James Piscatori

Monday 15:00 17:00
Tuesday 14:00 15:00
Prof James Piscatori
+61 2 6125 4982

Research Interests

Prof James Piscatori

Monday 15:00 17:00
Tuesday 14:00 15:00

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions