This essay focuses on the political, economic, and cultural history of Israel. I discuss the impacts of the states that occupied Israel for 3,200 years. My goal is to examine the historical underpinnings of the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, the subsequent Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the search for sustaining peace. I wrote these lectures for Stanford’s Israel Suitcase Seminar, October-November 2010.
I first discuss the ancient rulers of Israel/Palestine – Egypt (1300-1050 BCE), Israeli monarchs (1050-841), Assyria (841-612), Babylonia (598-539), Persia (539-332), Hellenistic Kingdoms (332-167), Maccabean dynasts (167-37), Rome (37 BCE-324 CE), Byzantium (324-613), and Sasanian Persia (613-629). I next look at transitions under Islamic rule of Israel/Palestine (637-1918) – Arab conquest, Crusader
rule, Ottoman exploitation, and European influence. I then analyze changes under the British mandate in Palestine (1918-1948) – Jewish immigration, Jewish-Arab coexistence, and creation of the state of Israel. I end by examining independent Israel (1948-present) – the objectives of and conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians. I append a time line, a bibliography, and a description of sites that I visited in Israel.
Israel Suitcase Seminar and Jordan Extension, Tel Aviv and Jaffa, Caesarea and Upper Galilee, Lower Galilee and Bet She’an, Zippori and Nazareth, Jerusalem,
Al Quds University, Bethlehem and Masada