This new course takes an impartial look at the history and possible resolutions of the Middle East Conflict. The emphasis is on the impact of legal documents and issues on the negotiation of points of controversy. Among the legal aspects we have to consider the impact of United Nation resolutions, the League of Nations Mandate, the Oslo Accords, the four party roadmap, and the evolution of facts on the ground on the prospects for a settlement in our time. Jewish and Palestinian perspectives will be presented with equal time and respect. Our immediate purpose is fathom the way in which international law either adds or detracts from the solution of the conflict. The large purpose is to examine conflicts of this sort in general and assess the role that international law has to play in negotiating peaceful solutions. As part of the class discussion and outside it, students will be asked to read, analyze and assess not only the legal, historical and policy position different actors take on the conflict but also the underlying narrative that animates the different arguments and rhetorical postures that are adopted. Students successfully completing the course will emerge with a greater appreciation for the range, nuance and language of the legal and policy discourse on the conflict as well as a sense of the parameters of legitimate debate and potential options and mechanisms for resolution of the issues at stake.
Palestinian speakers will be added as the course proceeds.