Despite its small size and population, Israel is a diverse, dynamic, and complex society. To understand its ethnic, religious, and political divisions, you will explore the different origins of the Jewish population over the last 150 years, and the growing role of the Arab population (over 20%) in Israeli society. You will learn about the special role of religion in the secular state, the development of Hebrew speaking culture, the political system, the settlement movement and the peace movement, gender issues, hi-tech and Israel as the “start-up nation” and the role of the army in everyday life. The course will conclude with a survey of the debate on whether Israel is a Jewish state or a state of all its citizens.
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