Lesson plan: No one wins
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- Research the history of the struggle for peace in the Middle East.
- Explore the perspectives of different groups of people involved in and affected by the Israeli- Palestinian violence.
- Discuss criticisms of Palestinians and Israeli conflicts in recent months.
- Critically analyze media coverage of Palestinian-Israeli violence.
National Council for the Social Studies
IX. Global Connections
High school students are able to think systematically about personal, national, and global decisions, interactions, and consequences, including addressing critical issues such as peace, human rights, trade, and global ecology.
Internet access (optional)
CNNfyi.com article, "Israeli human rights group slams Israelis, Palestinians"
1-2 class periods
1. Discuss the recent incidents between the Iraelis and Palestinians. Ask students how they feel about the violence that has been committed by both groups in the past few months. Have them read the CNNfyi.com article, "Israeli human rights group slams Israelis, Palestinians" then ask the following questions:
- What is B'Tselem? When and why was it created? What criticisms did the group have of Israel's behavior during the recent conflicts? What suggestions did B'Tselem offer to the Israeli government? Do you believe these suggestions to be reasonable? Explain. How has Israel responded to the report? Do you think that Israel will respond favorably or unfavorably being that the criticisms come from their "own?" Explain.
- What does B'Tselem's report say about the Israelis and their human rights violations? Why are they accusing Israel of violating human rights? Are B'Tselem's claims valid? What were some of the criticisms of the Palestinian Authority? Do you think the offenses allegedly committed by Palestinians were intentional?
- Why have Palestinians and Israelis been accused of hindering the media's reporting the conflict? Should attacks on the media be seen as part of the process of war? Explain.
2. Have students research the history of the peace talks between Israel and Palestine either using online or print media. Students can use the following questions to guide their research:
1. How many summits have been held?
2. Who have been the key players?
3. What are the main issues?
4. What is the political significance of the West Bank?
5. What offers and concessions have the Israelis and the Palestinians each brought to the negotiating table?
6. What promises have been made?
7. Which promises have been kept?
8. What obstacles have negotiators faced throughout the peace negotiations?
3. Direct students to examine the views of different groups affected by the conflicts in the Middle East. Information from above mentioned research may be used. Have students draw upon prior research to examine views of different groups affected by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Then have students select a group and write a letter-to-the-editor that explains the group's sentiment about Israel and Palestine.
Have students reflect on the experiences of those having to deal with the Israeli and Palestinian conflict directly. Encourage them to write journal entries about daily experiences of teens, parents, etc. who live through the conflict.
Instruct students to present their letters to the class.
Instruct students to critically analyze news coverage of Palestinian-Israeli violence by comparing information from a variety of news sources. Then have them compose essays about how to obtain accurate, unbiased and credible information about international news events or whether it is possible to obtain fair information.
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