This seminar course will grapple with some of the most important issues affecting the future of Israel, the West, and the entire Middle East. We will begin by investigating the theoretical foundations of “nationalism,” the most powerful force shaping world politics over the past four centuries. Drawing on this deeper historical and philosophical understanding, we will examine the case for (and against) an international order based on national states such as Britain, America, and Israel. We will apply these concepts to understand why the creation of a Jewish state was justified three-quarters of a century ago and why the case for it has only grown stronger over time. And then we will apply similar criteria to assess whether the creation of a Palestinian state can be justified on moral and pragmatic grounds today.
Dr. Daniel Polisar
Daniel Polisar is co-founder and Executive Vice President of Shalem College. He previously served as President of the Shalem Center from 2002-2013 and also served as its Director of Research, Academic Director, and Editor-in-Chief of the center’s journal Azure. Before joining Shalem, he was founder and director of Peace Watch, a non-partisan organization monitoring Israeli and Palestinian compliance with the Oslo Accords, and head of the Peace Watch observer team during the January 1996 Palestinian elections. Dr. Polisar received his BA in politics from Princeton University and his PhD in government from Harvard University, where he was the recipient of Truman and Fulbright scholarships, as well as of a Mellon Fellowship. His research interests include the history and philosophy of higher education, education in Israel, and Israeli constitutional development.
Meet the Instructor
Tikvah aims to make all of our courses available to as many qualified students as possible. In the event that Tikvah needs to add additional sections, this course may be taught by a different faculty member with a similarly high level of expertise.