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University of Haifa
[University of Haifa] Professor Yuval Yonay (Sociology) presents course on "The Sociology of the Occupation", during this academic year

[University of Haifa, sociology] Professor Yuval Yonay presents course on "The Sociology of the Occupation", during this academic year

    According to an official course announcement, the course deals with "the relationship between Arab-Palestinians and Jewish citizens of Israel, focusing on the way....both groups see each other." It considers the "history of the Jewish-Palestinian conflict as seen by both groups."
(Comment by Prof', emeritus, Jack E. Friedman: The course purports to offer a balanced examination of a central concern in Israeli society without supporting "any particular position"; in other words, an honest and objective consideration of a sensitive subject, as one would expect in a university classroom. Regrettably, students expecting balance and objectivity are likely to be sorely disappointed.
    The course title itself is a giveaway. It is not about "relationship" but about "occupation." The course description is also revealing: not Israeli Arab citizens, but "Arab-Palestinians"; and among the issues for discussion are the "inequality and discrimination of the Palestinians [sic] by the Establishment." And one can only guess the ominous intent behind the muddled declaration that the "course is based on the conception that a complete separation between science [?] and ideololgy is impossible, because ideological concepts are influenced by the way facts are interpreted."
    Then there is the reading list, stacked with anti-Israel texts: among others, an essay by Benny Morris published in 2000 alleging Israeli complicity in the removal of hostile Arabs during an operation in Israel's 1948 struggle against invading Arab armies--but no mention of Morris's "Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited" (2004) on the role Arab leaders played in encouraging Palestinian-Arabs to leave their villages. And the 2007 "Haifa Declaration," whose aim is to remove the Jewish character of Israel.
        Such imbalance is not surprising, considering the presenting professor's strident advocacy over the years of positions that threaten the country's well-being and security, including promotion of the "right of return," and encouragement of Israeli youth to refuse national service in defense of Israel.)

Translated from Hebrew by Ralf Dobrin


The relationship between Palestinians and Jews in Israel


Dr. Yuval Yonay, Revital Yonay, Mason Badawi

Hours: Wednesday 4-5 pm, room 7007, Tel. 8240016 (extension 2016)


The course deals with the relationships between Arab-Palestinians and Jewish citizens of Israel, focussing on the way individuals within both groups see each other, as well as the quality of the contact between Palestinians and Jews. During the course we will deal with the history of the Jewish-Palestinian conflict as seen by both groups. The course will deal with the question of how both communities, the Palestinians and the Jews, understand the memory of themselves and the struggle between them,  and we will ask if it is possible to build a collective memory that can serve as a base for dialogue between the groups. Also, we will deal with the nature of the current relationship between Jews and Palestinians, inequality and discrimination of the Palestinians by the Establishment. We will also discuss ways of defining the character of the State of Israel and the attempts at compromise and dialogue between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel. Incorporated within the framework of the course will be a workshop aimed to give students practical experience and expand their knowledge of attitudes and feelings of each other. Also this will provide an opportunity for personal assessment of their own attitudes and values.







The Course “The Sociology of the Occupation” deals with important, central questions regarding the essence and quality of Israeli society and the relationships between its various groups. These are questions that divide and polarise Israeli society. The course does not support any particular position connected with the aforementioned divisions. It does, however, encourage deeper recognition of each other by the two societies. It aims to deepen the awareness of various sociological and personal factors relevant to these questions so as to promote critical, independent thinking on the subject.


In addition to all this, the course is based on the conception that a complete separation between science and ideology is impossible, because ideological concepts are influenced by the way facts are interpreted. For this reason we will strive for maximum tolerance. We shall listen carefully to every claim and assertion that is raised, even those that might seem to us to be demagogic, absurd and even dangerous. Rather than reject ideas (by participants, visiting lecturers or various papers) that might seem unfounded, we shall try to discuss them candidly, relate to their background and learn as much as possible about them.

Books to read:

Uri Ben Eliezer: "Through the sight: The making of Israeli Militarism". 1995

Benny Morris: "Correcting a mistake: Jews and Arabs in Israel". 2000

"Or Committee report". 2000

Sammy Samoha: "Regime of the state - Israel: Democracy Civil, non-democracy or ethnic democracy?". 2000

Oren Yiftachel: "Ethnocracy, Geography and Democracy: On the politics of Judaizing the country". 2000

Amal Jamal:"Morality on the collective rights of Arabs in Israel". Adallah 2005

Mada Al-Carmel: "The Haifa Declaration". 2007

Chaim Gans: "A Jewish State".  2006


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