This course focuses upon the topic of negotiations and conflict resolution in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1977 to the present. The course is divided into three parts. First, we will present the general theoretical framework for explaining and understanding negotiations in international relations. Second, we will refer in general terms to the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the main issues and patterns of negotiations, with reference to the larger Middle East context. Third, we will address several case-studies of successes and failures of negotiations between Israel and its Arab neighbors – Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the Palestinians.
In this context, we will attempt to understand the relative failure of the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. The class lectures will be complemented by a variety of study trips and encounters that enable participants to explore the facts on the ground and examine local realities from the perspectives of various religious, political, cultural and national groups that converge at this crossroads of humanity. The field trips are organized in cooperation with the International Institute of Leadership and delve into: - Encounters between the “West” and the Middle East - Relations among Christians, Jews, and Muslims - Interests and concerns of the International Community - Competing claims between Israelis and Palestinians