This section offers insight into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through exposure to history, narratives, primary sources, non fiction and fiction literature and a glossary of terms.

We have include a variety of narratives, some are characterized by significant disagreements on historical facts, interpretations and the perceived intentions of each party. Narratives stand at the core of the conflict and serve as an elusive obstacle to its resolution. Understanding the multiple narratives is a key to understanding the dynamics of this conflict.

As Jewish Educators we have a dual responsibility to help our students form a life-long engagement with Israel while providing information and tools so they can become discerning learners.

History and Narratives

History of Israel and the conflict from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Wikipedia account of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
An American Perspective by George Mitchell for the Boston Globe, September 2014
In a three-part series, former Senate majority leader and Middle East envoy George J. Mitchell reflects on the troubled history of the region and ponders what it will take to push Israel and the Palestinians toward a two-state solution. The long-term security of the United States rests upon a deal.

Part 1: How We Got Here
Part 2: Peace is Needed Now
Part 3: America's Role

Cartoon by Dan Wasserman for the Boston Globe

Cartoon by Dan Wasserman for the Boston Globe

History of the Israeli Palestinian Conflict
From PBS POV, an educational addendum for the film Promises

Traditional Narratives of Israeli and Palestinian History
by Paul Scham
Edited excerpts from: “Shared Histories: A Palestinian-Israeli Dialogue,” edited by Paul Scham, Walid Salem and Benjamin Pogrund.

Side by Side: Parallel Histories of Israel-Palestine
by By Dr. Sami Adwan and Dr. Dan Bar-On, a project of PRIME
The book is available at the Jewish Community Library and for purchase

In 2000, a group of Israeli and Palestinian teachers gathered to address what to many people seemed an unbridgeable gulf between the two societies. Struck by how different the standard Israeli and Palestinian textbook histories of the same events were from one another, they began to explore how to “disarm” the teaching of the history of the Middle East in Israeli and Palestinian classrooms. The result is a riveting “dual narrative” of Israeli and Palestinian history.

Learning Each Other's Historical Narrative: Palestinians and Israelis Comparative narratives:
Two preliminary versions of the book are available to download online:
Part 1, Part 2 (downlodable from this site)

Crossing the Border (video)
Behind the PRIME project
Interviews with Dr. Sami Adwan and Dr. Dan Bar-On

Narratives of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Evolvement, Contents, Functions and Consequences (academic paper)
by Daniel Bar-Tal and Gavriel Salomon

National Narratives in a Conflict of Identity
By Yehudith Auerbach
Chapter 3 in a study “Barriers to Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”
Editor: Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov
The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies 

Primary Sources

Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Historical Documents

Guide to Mid East Peace Process
History and Documents from the Israel Ministry of Fireign Affairs

History, Politics and Diplomacy of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
A Source Document Reader, Center for Israel Education

The Middle East (1916-2001) - A Documentary Record
Avalon Project, Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy - Yale Law School

The Hamas Covenant 1988

Educational Resources

NEW!! APPROACHING CONFLICTS - From the iCenter for Israel Education

Contexts, Perspectives, and Values in Israel Education
Approaching Conflicts is designed to help educators and learners engage sensitive material with more confidence, ask more questions, and challenge assumptions for the purpose of a strong and meaningful relationship with Israel.


Much like narratives, glossaries differ depending on point of view and affiliation. Below are several documents which represent a diversity of perspectives.

Stand for Israel Glossary

Anti Defamation League (ADL) Glossary

Israel Muse Glossary

Info Please Glossary

ProCon for Glossary

Use with Care - Glossary for journalists (IPI)
This document alerts foreign correspondents covering events in the Middle East to the sensitivities regarding certain terms. 

Non-Fiction Books

Israeli and Palestinian Voices: Books and DVDs
From the Jewish Community Library

Weathered by Miracles
by Thomas A. Idinopulos
A history of Palestine from Bonaparte and Muhammad Ali to Ben-Gurion and the Mufti

Side by Side: Parallel Histories of Israel-Palestine
by By Dr. Sami Adwan and Dr. Dan Bar-On, a project of PRIME
For more info

The Yellow Wind
by David Grossman

Three Wishes – Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak
by Deborah Ellis
This collection of accounts from young people between the ages of 8 and 18 portrays the sapping toll of war on their lives. Each narrative is prefaced with a short historical or personal background description providing a point of reference for the sentiments expressed. Grade: 7-9

We Just Want to Live Here
by Amal Rifa’I and Odelia Ainbinder
Palestinian Amal Rifa'i and Israeli Odelia Ainbinder are two teenage girls who live in the same city, yet worlds apart. They met on a student exchange program to Switzerland. Weeks after they returned, the latest, violent Intifada broke out in the fall of 2000. Grade: 8-12

Arabs and Israelis: Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East
by Abdel Monem Said Aly, Shai Feldman, Khalil Shikaki 


Literary Works

Tell Me a Story with a Happy Ending
A recent correspondence between Sayed Kashua and Etgar Keret
Published in the Newi Yorker, October 13-14, 2014
Part 1Part 2

by Eli Amir
A Jewish-Palestinian romance that brings a generous spirit to a legacy of distrust.

Samir and Yonatan
by Daniella Carmi
An unlikely friendship develops between two young patients in a Jerusalem hospital leading to healing and a mutual understanding. Grade: 5-8


If you have resources to include, please email