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On Teaching – Food for Thought: Five Ways to Think About (and Teach) the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Food for Thought: Five Ways to Think About (and Teach) the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Steven A. Glazer is professor of History at Graceland University, in Lamoni, Iowa. The author would like to thank the reviewers and editors of THE MIDDLE GROUND for their helpful suggestions to improve an earlier draft. Portions of this first paper were originally presented at the Midwest World History Association conference at Wabash College, Crawfordsville, Indiana, in September 2015.

Since 2008, I have offered an upper-division course at Graceland University entitled, “History of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.” Graceland University is a small, liberal-arts institution, enrolling some 1000 students on the main campus in Lamoni, Iowa. The students who enroll are a mix of History majors and others curious to learn more about a topic they have heard about. A significant number of students are members of the church that sponsors Graceland University, the Community of Christ, and some of these students may bring certain religious presuppositions with them.

I describe the course in the syllabus as addressing “the relatively short, but nonetheless tragic and complex history of one of the world’s most intractable conflicts.” In doing so, I try to knock down, as quickly as possible, stereotypes and myths of an “ancient conflict,” “Biblical conflict” or the idea that “they have been fighting there for hundreds/thousands of years.” I am also trying to create an atmosphere in the class that will be respectful of all points of view, and recognize that no one side has a monopoly on truth or justice. The main text for the course, Charles D. Smith’s Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History with Documents also reinforces these important assumptions.

As a way of making sense of a conflict that began when Zionist Jews began arriving in Ottoman-controlled Palestine in the late 19th century, five different models can be usefully applied as a way of understanding the events of the last approximately 135 years. These approaches are one, a model that sees the conflict as unique, two, a religious conflict model, three, a conflict between sovereign states, four, an ethnic or national conflict, and five, a settler-colonial conflict. Each of these models has some degree of usefulness, although, I would argue, some are more useful than others.

GlazerFiTeachingFall2017themiddlegroundjournal.org

Edited by Eileen Orzoff-Baranyk

(c) 2017 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 15, Fall, 2017. http://TheMiddleGroundJournal.org See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.

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On Teaching Column: What Is Informal Imperialism?

Column: What Is Informal Imperialism?

Abstract: This article aims to explain in a theoretical way, but with practical historical examples the complex notion of informal imperialism. First analyzing imperialism(s) and colonialism as a whole, it will then try to caracterize and categorize more specifically what is informal imperialism. Comparing imperialism with the our understanding of space, a grid of understanding is thus applied to imperialism as a whole, to then qualify and address the informality of the phenomenon, and give theoretical tools based on practical historical cases for the historian and the political scientist.

Keywords: informal imperialism, imperialism, empire, colonialism, colony

GottelandImpTeachingFall2017themiddlegroundjournal.org

(c) 2017 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 15, Fall, 2017. http://TheMiddleGroundJournal.org See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.

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Review of Ocean of Trade: South Asian Merchants, Africa and the Indian Ocean, c. 1750-1850 by Pedro Machado Cambridge University Press

Review of Ocean of Trade: South Asian Merchants, Africa and the Indian Ocean, c. 1750-1850 by Pedro Machado

Ocean of Trade: South Asian Merchants, Africa and the Indian Ocean, c. 1750-1850. Pedro Machado. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. ISBN: 9781107070264

AerniFReviewsFall2017themiddlegroundjournal.org

Edited by Birgit Schneider

(c) 2017 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 15, Fall, 2017. http://TheMiddleGroundJournal.org See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.

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Review of Beijing’s Power and China’s Borders: Twenty Neighbors in Asia edited by Bruce A. Elleman, Stephen Kotkin, and Clive Schofield Routledge

Review of Beijing’s Power and China’s Borders: Twenty Neighbors in Asia edited by Bruce A. Elleman, Stephen Kotkin, and Clive Schofield

Beijing’s Power and China’s Borders: Twenty Neighbors in Asia. Bruce A. Elleman, Stephen Kotkin, and Clive Schofield, eds. Armonk, NY and London, England: Routledge, 2013. ISBN: 9780765627643

MarakBeijReviewsFall2017themiddlegroundjournal.org

Edited by Karen Rosenflanz

(c) 2017 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 15, Fall, 2017. http://TheMiddleGroundJournal.org See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.

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Review of The Indian Ocean: Oceanic Connections and the Creation of New Societies edited by Abdul Sheriff and Engseng Ho Hurst and Company

Review of The Indian Ocean: Oceanic Connections and the Creation of New Societies edited by Abdul Sheriff and Engseng Ho

The Indian Ocean: Oceanic Connections and the Creation of New Societies. Abdul Sheriff and Engseng Ho, eds. London: Hurst & Company, 2014. ISBN-10: 1849044260

AndersonIndReviewsFall2017themiddlegroundjournal.org

Edited by Martin Pflug

(c) 2017 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 15, Fall, 2017. http://TheMiddleGroundJournal.org See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.

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Review of Voices from the Shifting Russo-Japanese Border: Karafuto Sakhalin edited by Svetlana Paichadze and Philip Seaton Routledge

Review of Voices from the Shifting Russo-Japanese Border: Karafuto Sakhalin edited by Svetlana Paichadze and Philip Seaton

Voices from the Shifting Russo-Japanese Border: Karafuto/Sakhalin. Svetlana Paichadze and Philip Seaton. (eds.) Abingdon: Routledge, 2015. ISBN: 9781138804784

IvingsReviewsFall2017themiddlegroundjournal.org

Edited by Martin Pflug

(c) 2017 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 15, Fall, 2017. http://TheMiddleGroundJournal.org See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.

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Review of Africanizing Democracies: 1980-Present by Alicia Decker and Andrea Arrington Oxford University Press

Review of Africanizing Democracies: 1980-Present by Alicia Decker and Andrea Arrington

Africanizing Democracies: 1980-Present. Alicia Decker and Andrea Arrington. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. ISBN: 9780199915392

RichAfrReviewsFall2017themiddlegroundjournal.org

Edited by Ashley Dressel

(c) 2017 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 15, Fall, 2017. http://TheMiddleGroundJournal.org See Submission Guidelines page for the journal’s not-for-profit educational open-access policy.

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