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Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedClayton First semester 2010 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Ari Ofengenden


The unit examines the history, politics and society of modern Israel from the early days of the Zionist movement to the beginning of the 21st century. Main topics include the varieties of Zionist ideology and practice, pre-independence Jewish society, the history of Jewish-Arab conflicts, constitutional and legal history of the State of Israel, and the growth of modern Israeli society. We will look at issues of identity, cultural coherence and variety, social divisions along national, ethnic, political and religious lines, Israel's international standing, and the common denominators of Israeli polity and society.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will:

  1. understand major topics in the political and social history of modern Israel;
  2. be able to demonstrate skills in analysis of conceptual issues involved in the study of identity, social division and coherence;
  3. understand Israel's international standing and related issues in Middle East and international politics;
  4. understand the major ideologies and institutions at work in the development of modern Israeli society;
  5. be able to discuss and analyse the major social and political facing the State of Israel.


Essay (2500 words): 50%; Tutorial paper (1000 words): 20%; Take home exam (1000 words): 20%; Tutorial preparation [text]: 10%.

The teaching program for this course involves a period of intensive teaching in weeks 4, 5 and 6.

Chief examiner(s)

Ari Ofengenden

Contact hours

Classes are held over ten weeks of the semester. There will be three contact hours per week for seven weeks (weeks 1-2, 8-12; one 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial), in part utilizing video conference from Israel, and intensive teaching involving six contact hours for three weeks (weeks 4-6).

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Religion and theology
Jewish civilisation