17.565 | Spring 2019 | Undergraduate

Israel: History, Politics, Culture, Identity


Staged Israeli-Arab-Palestinian Peace Conference

Students are expected to be well-versed and familiar with their specific topic of “expertise” and to also be familiar with the other delegations’ narratives.

Core Issues

  1. Jerusalem = The future of the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. Namely: who will have sovereignty over this site and who will control it? Similarly, who will have control and/or sovereignty over Jerusalem’s Arab and Jewish neighborhoods?
  2. 1948 Refugees = Will they have the right to return to their original homes in Jaffa, Haifa, etc., and to about 450 villages, most of them are now destroyed?
  3. Palestinian State and settlements = Will it be established at all? And if it will, what its future borders will be? And—what will happen to Israeli settlements and their inhabitants that are now located within the future borders of a Palestinian state, once such a state will be established?
  4. Other important issues = security arrangements for both sides, economic cooperation, water rights, air rights, travel between the West Bank and the Gaza, etc.

Each delegation needs to form an overall position towards a possible agreement, one that will not violate its basic interests.

Below, please see some links that you may want to consult for the peace conference. Please be advised that this is just a suggested list and I encourage all to look for other sources of information.

  1. The Jewish Virtual Library’s text presents Israeli and Jewish-American mainstream position on the issue. In addition, please also look for Netanyahu’s speeches (especially his Bar Ilan speech) and the Likud party’s resolutions regarding a future Palestinian state and the settlements.
  2. The Foundation for Middle East Peace tries to present a “balanced” perspective and a range of opinions.
  3. The UN’s “The Question of Palestine” website presents the UN stand, which in general is not so supportive of the Israeli (and US’s) one.
  4. The website of the Negotiations Affairs Department of the PLO contains very useful information regarding the position of the Palestinian Authority about our peace conference’s topics. Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) is a pro-Palestinian information source.

Important UN Resolutions, Agreements and Proposals

UN Resolutions

General Assembly: 181; 194; 67/19

Security Council: 242, 338; 2334

List of Resolutions


The Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty (1979)

Oslo I Accord (1993)

Oslo II Accord (1995)

The Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty (1994)

The Annapolis Conference (2007)


President Clinton Parameters (2000)

The Arab League Peace Initiative (2002)

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2019