Israel - Birth of a Nation - Classroom 1

Discussion Questions

  • The impetus for Zionists to establish a Jewish state vastly increased during the 20th century. Why did Jews feel it was so important to establish a state? What is the significance of the state being established in Palestine?

  • What is meant by a mandate? How is this term used politically? Why did Great Britain possess a mandate Palestine in the aftermath of World War I?

  • The United Nations resolution that created Israel flamed centuries-old antagonisms between Arabs and Jews. Why is there, and why has there been, such animosity between these two peoples? Who is entitled to Palestine?

  • Discuss the contributions of David Ben-Gurion in the creation and establishment of the state of Israel.

  • Why were the "iron skeletons" left on "Sha'ar Hagai," the road to Jerusalem?

  • Over six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust. What did the establishment of a Jewish State mean to those who had survived the Holocaust?

  • Great Britain limited Jewish immigration to Palestine during its British occupation. Why do you think Great Britain did this? How did this affect Jews trying to flee the horrors of Hitler's Europe?

  • Discuss how women were a part of the establishment of Israel. How do Jewish and Arab cultural ideas about women differ? Why do you think women were more involved in politics and warfare in Israel than in other countries?

Extended Activities

  • Divide the class into two sections and assign each section a pro-Arab or pro-Israeli stance and moderate a debate on the occupation and possession of Palestine.

  • On an outline map of the Middle East, mark off the area of Palestine and highlight/indicate the areas that belong to Israel and the areas that belong to the Arabs. Use your findings to discuss how the geographic boundaries of the states help fuel Arab-Israeli animosities.