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Reconstructionists Expanding Our Conversation on Israel-Palestine

Thursday, 15 February, 2024 6 Adar I 5784

8:00 PM - 9:30 PMZoom

Join us on Zoom for an 8-week course taught by Joel Beinin, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History and Professor of Middle East History, Emeritus at Stanford University. This will be an opportunity to grapple with the history and current realities of the Israeli occupation, engage with difficult ideas, and process complex questions in a respectful environment. Among the questions the course will address are: 

  • What is the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories it conquered from Jordan and Egypt in the June 1967 War – the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip? (Israel also conquered the Golan Heights from Syria and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, which it evacuated in 1982, in the same war, but we won't be dealing with those territories.) 
  • What are the ideological and practical mechanisms that sustain the occupation? How did they come into existence?
  • What are the differences and similarities in the status of the three territories? 
  • Is the occupation temporary? Can it be separated from the political regime that prevails inside Israel's pre-1967 borders?
  • This class will grapple with these questions prompted by a discussion of films. For 6 of the 8 sessions, we will watch a film on our own before class. We will begin with a 30-40 minute lecture offering historical context for the topic of the film. Then we will discuss the film and the related issues it raises. There are no films for the first and last session. On Jan. 25 we'll have a guest lecture and the concluding session will be based on discussion of a reading. 

Before retiring in 2019, Joel taught Middle East history for 35 years at Stanford University. He is one of the organizers of Reconstructionists Expanding Our Conversation About Israel-Palestine and is a member of Havurah Shalom in Portland. He has taught this class in his congregation in Portland. 

Registration is required. Zoom information will be forwarded after registration is received. The course fee is sliding scale $36-$72 for the series.

Please email if you need scholarship assistance.

Reconstructionists Expanding Our Conversation on Israel-Palestine is an independent project organized by rabbis and laypeople and co-sponsored by several Reconstructionist congregations – Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, Congregation Shaarei Shamayim, Havurah Shalom Israel/Palestine Committee, Kadima Reconstructionist Community, Kol Tzedek, Mishkan Shalom, and Or Haneshamah. We embrace the Reconstructionist movement’s values of justice (tzedek), compassion (chesed), and the dignity of all human life (b’tselem Elohim). Our embrace of these values leads us to oppose Israel’s domination of the Palestinian people. We hope this series will expand our understanding of historical and present-day conditions in Israel/Palestine and strengthen our commitment to a just future.  All are welcome to join us in learning and listening with open hearts and minds.

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