2009-05-03

Israel - Birth of a Nation - Classroom 2

Discussion Questions

  • Israelis considered the Arab-Israeli war a "terminal war." What does this term mean? Why did the Israelis consider this war a "terminal war?"

  • Jerusalem is one of the most famous cities in the world, and one of the most contested sits. Why is Jerusalem such a contested site? What is the significance of this city? Discuss how Jerusalem is an integral part of the three of the world's greatest religions.

  • Discuss the importance of airplanes for Israeli in the Arab-Israeli war.

  • The ship Altalena smuggled in arms and supplies to Israel. How did these supplies create tensions among the Israelis that almost resulted in a civil war?

  • Research and discuss the careers and influence of Israeli patriots such as Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir, Menachem Begin, and Yizhak Rabin.

  • What is the basis of Israel's Citizen Army and how and why was it established?

  • This year marked the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the nation of Israel. Discuss some of the political and national advances made by Israeli in the last century. What has been Israel's influence on the rest of the world?

  • Arab-Israeli relations have always been strained at best. Discuss the current state of these relations and what you think the future might hold for these two peoples.


Extended Activities

  • Create a timeline that chronicles Israel's history for the last fifty years.

  • Imagine that you were a soldier in the Israeli Army during the Arab-Israeli War. Write down your experiences and feelings at the creation of Israel and the subsequent war so your grandchildren will have a first-hand account of the historic time.