Melanie Alexandra Ribeiro de Aguiar (2013-2015) MA (JSIA)
I started learning about Israel from the third semester of my MA program in Diplomacy, Law and Business. It was in Professor Rohee Dasgupta’s elective Politics of Coexistence: Israel and West Asia. In that, I could learn from scratch about Israel, the history of its creation, peoplehood, culture, politics and economics as well as the interaction of Israel amidst and with its neighbours in the Middle East. I also took the elective Introduction to Israel-Palestine Conflict by Dr. Khinvraj. I got engaged with the events, actors and ideas of the conflict itself and particularly the official narratives of both sides.
After that, I successfully applied for a one-month program at Bar-Ilan University,in Tel Aviv for a summer certificate course Identity-based Conflict Resolution. There we focused on specific aspects related with religion and narratives of collective memories as well as on methods and processes of conflict management and transformation. During that time, I was also doing my internship in an interfaith NGO in Jerusalem, conceived to bring closer Jews, Muslims and Christians.
I also wrote my MA dissertation on the topic Food Security and Economic Cooperation between the GCC, SADC and Mozambique: an Analysis of the Limits for Interregional Cooperation. I am very much interested in engaging on a future research of the possibilities of cooperation between Israel and Mozambique in the area of food security after being overwhelmed by the well-developed Israeli system of agriculture and water management even though.
Niharika Malhotra (BA LLB 2011) Global Law School
In four years of law school, there were very few courses that inspired me and motivated my curious side to surface. The course, Israel- Palestine conflict was one of the few courses that changed my perspective not just about the conflict but also about many other ancillary topics, such as statehood and nationalism.The course was taught in a story-telling manner which ensured that it was interesting and the audience understood minor concepts well. Since course focused on the historical aspects it made it gripping. Furthermore, the classroom discussions were based on present issues which helped me relate abstract ideas to events.
A subject like this, which is not just research oriented, but also encouraged me to understand diplomacy and international relations in a mature manner. As law students, it was refreshing not to look into legal issues but analyze issues which are socio-political in nature.
Pertaining to the conflict itself, the course, apart from introducing basic reasons behind the conflict, encouraged me to research and write about aspects that I would not have otherwise thought of. Dr. Khinvraj encouraged me to research and write a paper on relation between Feminism and rise of Hamas.
Lastly, personally this course and teaching methodology opened me to understand that there are always two sides to a coin. This is because this course was structured to look into aspects from all the angles and understand how politics exists everywhere, be it within states and or in a state.
Deepa T.M.(BA LLB 2011) Global Law School
For the course on Israel – Palestine Conflict taught by Dr. Khinvraj Jangid, one does not need to have prior knowledge of the course other than what the title itself suggests. The course is structured for all kinds of students which beautifully delineates from the very introduction of the conflict not only in particular to the two countries but in terms of international politics. The course did not only introduce me to the conflict in depth but also created a space that permits elaboration of the conceptual framework.
There was barely any room for doubts or confusion as it was taught in an excessively detailed manner without being a burden to study. The political narratives were lectured as though reciting stories with the blend of the culture and the consciousness, which made the understanding of the conflict a moralistic one. As said earlier, the professor has a deeper appreciation for the curiosity of the students and because of which as a student this course I, much like the rest of my fellow course-mates have gained the knowledge more than just the conventional wisdom about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Asees Kaur (LLB 2011) Jindal Global Law School
As a law student our core courses are very specific to law related. But I also had my BA credits to complete and this course was offered which was of 3 credits and 3 hours a week. So I opted for this. But once this course started everything was not the same. Generally when one reads about a conflict it gets boring after some stage.But here that did not happen because there was so much political and cultural history in it.
One of the main things that this course changes is one’s viewpoint and thinking in the aspect of how to see a conflict. Israel-Palestine conflict from outside might seem a very clear-cut picture but more one reads about it more confused one gets. There is so much political and cultural mess that on every point one has to question. And the highlight of this course is that one is not just taught through books or readings. Movies, debates between the students and talks by the leading experts on this topic are very much part of this course. Variety of activities therefore helps one question your approach to knowledge and ideas in order to broaden the understanding.
Bhargava Reddy - MA DLB-2014-2016 (JSIA)
I got to be a part of Jindal Centre for Israel Studies initially through the study group in the first semester of my course. We dealt with various aspects of Israeli society with a wide range of readings. The best part of the study group was the final simulation of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.It was very gracious of Prof Rohee Das Gupta to include me in the exercise even though I was still in my first semester and had very little knowledge about the way negotiations are conducted.
In my second semester I took the course taught by Dr. Khinvraj Jangid on Israel-Palestine conflict. The class was especially enriching as we were exposed to broader political aspects of the conflicts rather than just the narrow understanding of the standoff between Israel and the Palestinians with other Arab states.
The Centre is not bogged down by any particular narrative of the whole Israel-Palestine conflict, we are encouraged to view things critically rather than approach the subject with a set mind-set. Other two most enriching experiences while being associated with the Centre were: a visit to Jamia Malia Islamia University where Prof Robert Lloyd delivered a guest lecture on developments in the Middle East which invited diverse responses from the audience giving a wholesome picture of the subject and another was a Track II Dialogue organised by the Centre in collaboration with the IDC Herziliya at Indian Council for World Affairs wherein we got an opportunity to interact with academics as well as diplomats from Israel.
The centre has added the much required dynamism to the school of International Affairs enabling students to go in-depth about not only the conflict between Israel and its neighbours but also into the finer aspects of Israeli and the Palestinian society.
Summer Program at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, 2015.
The two courses taught at JGU on the Middle East, specifically those related to Israel studies were very insightful. On one hand, the course on Politics of Coexistence:
Israel and the West Asia would provide a clear picture of the state of Israel regarding many aspects such as its establishment, the people there, the society and their religion. Combined, all those aspects form a unique heterogeneous state located in a sensitive region and neighboured by Arab States at its surroundings. Then, being focused on the region of Middle East but trying to bring a different perspective from the usual, my dissertation was on Iran-Africa Relations: Opportunities and Prospects.
On the other hand, the course on Introduction to Israel-Palestine Conflict was immensely thoughtful as it touched the most relevant events, marked by wars mostly, that contributed to the current situation of the region and that defines Israel-Palestine relationship. Having the opportunity to go to Israel as well as the West Bank, during a Summer Program on Identity Based Conflicts at Bar-Ilan University was an enriching experience. The first-hand knowledge of people, society and places helped me fathom the real situation through the encounters with many perspectives of the conflict. After my graduation my plan is to go home and start working as a university teacher. May be in the future I will be a diplomat and represent my country Mozambique around the world.