Lesson: What does Religion Say?

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Lesson Objective

Objective: Students identify arguments and evidence regarding religion within the conflict in Israel-Palestine

Lesson Plan

Lesson Name: Israel-Palestine- Religious Teachings            Course: High School Language Arts by Anke al-Bataineh

Objective:  Students identify arguments and evidence regarding religion within the conflict in Israel-Palestine

Materials:

Attached articles

Chapters 31-32 of "The Case for Israel" http://www.amazon.com/Case-Israel-Alan-Dershowitz/dp/047146502X

Index cards

Highlighters

           
Anticipatory Set:         (10 min)
Does religion require or forbid a Jewish state in the land of Historic Palestine?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1WysLbhxt0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG4pic5IY0k


Topic and Position Frames:        

AC: Jewish commandments require that Jews live in the Holy Land, and promise that land to them.

AC: Islam has many commandments to protect and welcome other religions, especially Jews. Thus, Muslims should not fight Israel.

AR: It is clear that the Jewish people need a safe place to live. If God did not want them to settle in the Holy Land, he would not have promised it to them.

X: Islam has commandments to protect Jews living in peace in Muslim lands, but does not prohibit defending one's country from hostile outsiders.

X: Judaism does not require a political state or Jewish domination in the Holy Land, but it does teach about holy sites and important history there that should be preserved and visited freely.

NC: Many religious Jews believe that immigrating en masse to Israel is rushing God's plan and goes against commandments to leave peacefully in other countries.

NC: Political Zionism is a new idea, only about a century old. When political Zionism was being developed, the Holy Land was not the intended location.

NR: Even many conservatives in Israel are starting to split from Religious Zionists, and sometimes the state itself is against them.


Vocabulary:

Zionism

secular

jihad

Torah

Avoda (labor)

Pacifism


Lesson Reflection:

What went well?

What would you change?

What needs explanation?

This is confusing stuff and you have to be really careful of not letting anyone think you are trodding on any religion, but kids followed my intent. They were helped by graphing the opposing views on the board to keep them lined up. It is so abstract for them, they struggle to know how to react to each idea.

Depending on your audience, you might need more or less disclaiming and sensitivity. If you have students with strong religious background related to this issue, it would be good to devote time to more in-depth study of their own religion's views so that they feel heard and have their ideas clarified before encountering opposing views.

If you haven't already gone over the meaning of Zionism explicitly, it might be good to start this lesson with that. There are different branches of Zionism with different motivations. The most active and influential in Israel is secular, statist Zionism. If you have time in your unit, you might explore the intimate relationship between American Zionism and the stability of the Israeli state. There are conspiracy theories about this, but the truth is pretty intense and can be found by researching AIPAC and similar organizations. Your class may or may not be interested in the documentary about Christian fundamentalism in the Holy Land called "Waiting for Armageddon."



Lesson Resources

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1WysLbhxt0
1049
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG4pic5IY0k
1049
Zionism MidEastWeb.pdf  
301
Religious Zionism explained  
351
Religious Zionist My Jewish Learning  
354
PalReligions  
326
IslamProtectJews  
363
Why Orthodox Jews are Opposed to the Zionist State  
255
What is the Neturei Karta  
247
ReligiousZionism  
320

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