Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Conflict in the Middle East

Conflict in the Middle East

New York State Standards:
Standard 1 – United States History, Key Idea 2
Standard 2 – World History, Key Ideas 1, 2, 3, and 4
Standard 3 – Geography, Key Ideas 1 and 2
Standard 5 – Civics, Citizenship and Government, Key Ideas 1 and 4

Common Core Curriculum Standards:
Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10
Writing 1, 2

– Students will be able to understand the origin of the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis.
– Students will be able to demonstrate reading comprehension.
– Students will be able to determine the main idea of primary source documents.
– Students will be able to use critical thinking skills to argue against a presented viewpoint.
– Students will be able to understand multiple perspectives.
– Students will be able to demonstrate civic engagement.
– Students will be able to demonstrate world historical context.
– Students will be able to dialogue about causation of changes.
– Students will be able to analyze statistics.
– Students will be able to interpret maps.
– Students will be able to learn content about the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

1. The teacher will begin by going over the document and elaborating by putting the history of the time in context. (Discussing trends in Eastern as well as Western and Central Europe as outlined by Liora Halpin)
2. The teacher will then distribute a guided note sheet and begin a PowerPoint presentation. The beginning slide asks students to analyze yet another document, an excerpt from the Balfour Declaration. Then, students will interpret the map of the UN partition plan as well as statistics regarding population in the area at the time of partition. (Statistics and information extracted from the presentation by Bernard Wasserstein.) Students will be asked to identify problems with the partition plan as well as ideas as to how it might have been divided differently. Students will also be asked to analyze the population of the time and respond to why more land was given to the smaller population (the idea was that more will migrate in).
3. The presentation continues taking the students through the creation of the state of Israel and then the wars that began. A film clip from Discovery International streaming will then be shown that summarizes what had just been discussed and adds visuals. (Discuss how the Arab armies did not work together as was explained by Ann Lesch)

On Day Two-
4. The presentation continues to advance through the years chronologically and discusses the formation of the PLO, the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War and finally attempts at peace with the Camp David Accords in 1979. More video clips are interspersed for clarification and visuals. Videos can be found on
5. We then see the digression again with the intifada and then the hope of the Oslo-Peace Accords, followed by Rabin’s assassination, the next Intifada, and then the Road Map for Peace. Throughout this, the teacher will be elaborating and stressing the role of individuals, as well as multiple perspectives (terrorists versus freedom fighters, necessary protection or aggression, spoilers and peacemakers, etc.)

  • Christina Cone
  • Smithtown High School West
Related History Institute
Grade Level
  • High School: 10
Time Frame
  • Two forty-minute class periods

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