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Understanding the origin of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

25 big questions in 25 short videos


About this course

Has the Israeli-Palestinian conflict been going on for millennia? Is it too complicated to sort out? Is it simply a modern fight between competing nationalisms? Perhaps it’s a dispute over real estate, caused by settler colonialism? Is religion the problem? Or are politicians to blame?

Before adopting any of these perspectives, I invite you to join me on a journey into the past.

When exactly did relations between these two communities sour? And why?

This course traces the origin of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It aims to be simple, but not simplistic. These twenty-five short videos (in Spanish with English subtitles) address twenty-five big questions about the origins of the Conflict. Join me!

What you will learn

  • What is antisemitism? How does it help explain the rise of Zionism? What did Palestinians think of Zionism?
  • The Land of Palestine from antiquity until World War I
  • Jewish Immigration, the Land Issue and Palestinian Dispossession
  • The First World War and Britain’s Schemes
  • The Battle Between the Wars: 1919 to 1939
  • The Second World War, the End of the British Mandate for Palestine, and the Partition Plan
  • The 1948 War and its Consequences
  • Conclusions and Reflexions

Your instructor

Alessandra Abusada

My name is Alessandra Abusada . My grandparents were born in Palestine and emigrated to Peru in the late 1920s. As a descendant of Palestinians, I felt I needed to know about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In 2010, I traveled to Beit Jala, hometown of my grandparents, to learn history on location. I arrived with no understanding and a thousand questions. The injustices towards the Palestinians that I witnessed were unimaginable. How could this be happening in the twenty-first century?

To broaden my perspective I enrolled in Hebrew University and earned a Masters in Conflict Research and Resolution. Studying with Israeli Jews exposed me to new perspectives, some of them hard to hear. It seems most people are entrenched in their narratives (a word I grew to hate). I took refuge in history books and classes, hoping that the past would provide answers. This series is my attempt to share what I learned.

Only if we journey into the past will we understand the present. And when we understand the present, we can move beyond it and begin to imagine a brighter future for both communities.

Frequent questions

When does the course start and finish?

The course starts now and never ends. It is a completely self-paced online course: you decide when it starts and when it ends.

How long do I have access to the course?

How does lifetime access sound? After you enroll, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you want – across any and all devices you own.

Price of course


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