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The History of Modern Israel – Part II: Challenges of Israel as a sovereign state (Coursera)

This course deals with the Israeli politics, economy, society and culture, since its creation in 1948 till today. It analyzes the construction of the Israeli historical narrative as an identity-building narrative, intending to inculcate a collective memory to a diverse society.

We will focus on key events and essential components that shaped the Israeli society from the fifties till the present. We will also discuss the changes that the Israeli society experiences in its almost seventy years of existence and how it affects its politics and culture. Among the topics we will discuss issues such as immigration, economic transformation, political upheaval, religious Zionism and post-Zionism, privatization and Americanization, Holocaust increasing role in shaping Israel’s identity, diversity and multiculturalism, as well as the enduring conflict with the Palestinians and the Arab world.


Week 1: Israeli Society: The First Years 1948-1967

Week 2: Israel, Between War and Peace 1967-1979

Week 3: Israel – A Society in transition 1977-1995

Week 4: Changing Identity

Week 5: Israel in the 21th century