The field of Israel Studies is an important area of geo-politics. It merges studies of race, peoplehood, culture, identity, history, regional conflict in the Middle-East and spatial coexistence. Since August 2012 Jindal Centre for Israel studies in JSIA through the initiatives of Dr. Rohee Dasgupta has been engaging MA students in the study of modern Israel and organizing academic conferences. It has fostered institutional networks and exchange on Israel Studies with the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University, USA and Tel Aviv University, Israel.
JCIS aims to carry out research on race, ethnicity and conflict; Jewish Identity, bilateral relations between India and Israel, the American-Jewish Diaspora and Israel as well as on Europe and Israel. It intends to build a research colloquium of scholars pertaining to modern Israeli politics, culture, society, and economy and the betterment of Israeli-Arab relations (including Israeli-Palestinian relations). It welcomes students to write MA dissertations on Israel Studies.
JCIS currently offers three elective courses in the Jindal School of International Affairs (JSIA) and the Jindal Global Law School (JGLS).
MADLB 364 Politics of Coexistence: Israel and West-Asia Course Convener: Dr. Rohee Dasgupta
The course examines the evolving politics in the modern state of Israel. In particular, the topics of negotiations and the contexts of the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1948 to the present. For Jews, the state was the fulfilment of a 2000-year long dream to return to their ancestral homeland of Eretz Yisrael. For the Arab inhabitants known as the Palestinians, the establishment of a Jewish state was a tragedy. The course begins by exploring the broader historical and intellectual foundations of the state and questions on the land of Palestine followed by the problems related to Israel-Palestine peace processes. It also provides a geo-political framework of understanding the processes of state formation, state-security and related Israeli foreign policy. As International Relations is the key paradigm through which the course is understood, Israel’s relations with major world powers will be unavoidable in class-discussions. Additionally, several case-studies of successes and failures of negotiations between Israel and its several Arab neighbours – Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the Palestinians are studied through student-led presentations. Alongside this it discusses features of contemporary Israeli society, memory of the holocaust in Israel and ethnocratic debates between the Ashkenazim, Mizrahim and Sephardim. The course has a strong emphasis on Jewish history and identity and mostly has an inward focus on Israeli culture, Israeli political and legal system; how the Jewish state functions as a society of immigrants, relationship between secular and religious Jews and between Jews of various ethnic backgrounds.
Introduction to the Israel-Palestine Conflict Course Convenor: Dr. Khinvraj Jangid
The conflict between the State of Israel and the Palestinians is one of the known, yet compound, ongoing conflicts in the international relations. This course invites the students to look at its complex genesis with the first Arab-Israel war of 1948. However, it does not intend to analyse the Arab-Israel conflict and the various actors involved in it at the regional or international level. The events, actors and ideas of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians constitutes the core of the course. It is important to highlight the distinct history of the two—the Israelis and the Palestinians. This course will provide an historical view of it examining political, national and social issues entangled since the 1948 war. It will introduce the students to the two ‘official’ narratives of the Israelis and the Palestinians and help unearth the shortcomings of both when it comes to resolve the issues of the 1948 war. The role of narratives is very important in capturing the realities of the present phase of the conflict. With the help of multiple narratives this course will comprehend the major political and diplomatic causes and underlying dynamics of the conflict.
The Holocaust, Israel and Antisemitism: Interdisciplinary Perspectives Course Convener: Dr. Rohee Dasgupta
The course examines the complexities and interdisciplinary narratives about the impact of Antisemitism in the world today, particularly in terms of the effect that the Holocaust has had and the related politics of Israeli statehood. It discusses the role of the Holocaust in Jewish and non-Jewish social-political structures after 1945. The course incorporates informed perspectives on Israeli society and Israel Education within specific self-definitions and discourses of identity, memory and the politics of memorialization to unpack this triadic complexity. Additionally, the study of Antisemitism through its historical-social contexts and the global political responses from the contemporary left, right and centre give the course a unique focus towards the understanding of racism, prejudice and violence in the late 20th as well as 21st centuries.