Courses

Survival of a Nation: Exploring Israel Through the Lens of the Six-Day War

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Course Overview

One fateful week in June 1967 redrew the map of the Middle East.
Fifty years later, Israel continues to face numerous existential threats.
Experience an inspiring and thrilling account of what was then considered the most improbable and astonishing victory in all of military history.

Drawing on ideas of great Jewish writers and thinkers from throughout the ages, Survival of a Nation presents the Six-Day War as you've never experienced it before.

Its six sessions confront the impossible yet important questions of our time with affectionate and fervent patriotism, while also remaining realistic, and morally anchored.

This spellbinding course will sweep you up in its narrative force and abiding love for our nation's history and the best of its traditions, and will not let go of you until it's done.

JEWISH HOMELAND
If Judaism is a religion of ideas, why do jews care so much about land?

ANTI-ISRAEL SENTIMENT
Why does Israel perpetually raise the ire of the entire world?

PREEMPTIVE STRIKES
What are the ethics of preemptive strikes and collateral damage?

CIVILIAN CASUALTIES
How should Israel protect itself against an enemy that hides behind human shields?

CAPTURED TERRITORIES
What should Israel do with territories captured during the six-day war?

LAND FOR PEACE
​What lies at the heart of the land-for-peace debate?

Course Outline

Lesson One
People of the Land: The Jewish Claim to Israel

The 1967 conflict resulted from the argument, espoused by Egypt’s Abdel Nasser and most leaders in the Arab world, that Israel’s existence was illegitimate, having been founded on stolen Arab territory. What is Israel’s response to this argument? What is her right to exist as a Jewish state in the heart of the Middle East? And what is the justification for associating Judaism—an ethereal religion of beliefs and ideas—with a specific territory?

Lesson Two
Lightning Strike: The Ethics of Preemptive Strikes

As Arab armies mobilized along its borders, Israel faced immense international pressure not to launch a preemptive strike. She ignored these warnings and struck first. What are the ethics of preemptive strikes? What weight should be given to political considerations—as opposed to purely security/military concerns—in rendering such decisions? And how do these deliberations apply to the host of mortal threats that Israel faces today?

Lesson Three
Where East Met West: The Chosen City of Jerusalem 

In the course of repulsing Jordanian aggression, Israel captured the Old City of Jerusalem, including its Temple Mount and Western Wall, all of which holds utmost historical, cultural, and spiritual import to the Jewish nation. The return of these sites to Jewish hands triggered a global Jewish spiritual awakening. What is the history and significance of Jerusalem? What allure does it hold for its millions of annual visitors?

Lesson Four
Occupied with Peace: On the Viability of Land for Peace

Israel’s pre-1967 borders subsequently became known as the “Green Line,” to distinguish them from territories captured during the Six-Day War. Israel immediately offered to return her newly-acquired territories in exchange for lasting peace, but the Arab world rejected the offer. Subsequent attempts at exchanging land for peace have failed to resolve the issues surrounding these territories. Should Israel hold on to them no matter the cost? Is there an authentic way to trade land for a lasting and sustainable peace?

Lesson Five
Israel in Perspective: Viewpoints on the Land’s Identity

The Six-Day War had a profound impact on Diaspora Jewry. In its immediate aftermath, waves of new immigrants arrived in the Jewish state, while countless others experienced a spiritual reawakening. When the euphoria wore off, however, extreme diversity in perspective and reaction emerged—toward the war, and toward the State of Israel. What are the factors underwriting this fragmentation, and how do they influence Israel’s political process today?

Lesson Six
A Nation That Dwells Alone: Israel’s Relations with the Family of Nations

One of Israel’s principal dilemmas—one that grew more acute in the aftermath of the 1967 war—is its stance toward an often hostile international community. In staggering disproportion to the size of both its land and population, Israel receives almost constant coverage in international media and foreign forums, and the majority of this coverage is highly uncomplimentary. Is the criticism and censure justifiable? Can Israel normalize its existence and affairs to the point that it will be viewed and treated as equal to other players in the international community?

 

 

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