About the TAU Workshop

Dinner in the Old City of Jerusalem
Dinner in the Old City of Jerusalem

The Moshe Dayan Center's Tel Aviv University Workshop on Israel and the Middle East [TAU Workshop] is an intensive 12-day academic workshop and travel program focusing on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and on contemporary issues related to Israel, the Palestinian territories and the broader Middle East.  It is designed for faculty members from around the world who teach courses on the history, religion, politics, and other dimensions of the modern Middle East and who have not yet had the opportunity to spend much time in Israel.

The workshop features sessions with many of the most outstanding Israeli and Palestinian academics active in the field today, who present and discuss scholarship on historical and current issues related to Israel and the Middle East. The academic program is enriched by the participation of a wide variety of practitioners, including Knesset members, civil servants, diplomats, negotiators, journalists, geographers, civil society leaders, IDF officers, activists, educators and co-existence leaders.

The first part of the program focuses on the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Topics include the rise of Zionism in Europe, Muslim-Jewish-Christian relations during 19th Century Palestine, Jewish immigration to Palestine/Israel, the 1948 War, the 1967 War, the First and Second Intifadas, the Oslo process and subsequent peace initiatives. The second part of the program explores topics related to current dimensions of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Israeli politics and society, Israel’s relationship with its neighbors, and Israel’s role in the region. Topics include Arab citizens of Israel, co-existence initiatives; minorities such as the Druze; Israel and the Syrian civil war; Israel, Lebanon and Hezbollah; Israel and Iran, and Israeli domestic policy and decision-making. The workshop also includes a visit to the Knesset and meetings with Members of the Knesset, as well as a visit to a large settlement block in the West Bank and an adjacent Palestinian village.

Sessions are held at a wide variety of locations around Israel, each chosen to enrich the academic content of the session. Sessions are held in Tel Aviv, Jaffa, West and East Jerusalem, on a Kibbutz overlooking the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Road, on a Moshav in central Israel, in areas  C and  B of the West Bank, Abu Gosh, Umm el-Fahm, Haifa, at the Syrian border, the Lebanese border, the Gaza periphery, and in various places along the Mediterranean coast. Site visits include the Western Wall, and al-Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount (on which sits the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque), the site of Deir Yassin, the Golan Heights, Shebaa Farms, and the security barrier fence/wall. The program also includes a helicopter flight over Jerusalem and central Israel.

Participants come away from the program with a deepened understanding of the different perspectives on the Arab-Israeli Conflict, with insights into contemporary issues related to Israel and the broader Middle East, and with personal connections to Israeli and Palestinian counterparts and to their fellow participants from around the world.

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TAU Workshop Pictures