- Tell your students that they are about to see three different structures. Provide them with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION by asking them to try to identify what kinds of structures these are and who might visit them. Go to http://www.inisrael.com/tour/jer/vt_church.htm. Click on the images of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and show the students the exterior and interior of the church (this site allows you to navigate around 360-degree panoramic pictures of the church). Ask your students what type of building it is (a church). Ask your students which religion worships there (Christians). Tell them that this is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and that Christians believe it is the real site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.
- Go to http://www.inisrael.com/3disrael/kotel/index.html. Show the students the Western Wall images. Ask your students if they know which religion considers this wall significant (Judaism). Ask your students if they know why it is significant (the Western Wall is a remnant of the retaining wall built by Herod the Great in the 1st century BC, that surrounded the Second Temple enclosure).
- Go to http://www.inisrael.com/tour/jer/vt_temple_mount.htm. Show your students the image of the Dome of the Rock. Ask them what type of building it seems to be (a mosque). Ask your students which religion worships there (Islam). Ask your students if they know the significance of this building for Muslims (the Dome of the Rock is the site at which Muslims believe Muhammad ascended into heaven).
- Explain to your students that all of these religious sites are located in Jerusalem. (You may show students a layout of the city showing the location of the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/03/holy_sites/html/default.stm.) Ask them in which country Jerusalem is located (Israel). Ask them what these three religions have in common (Answers might include: holy sites in Jerusalem, monotheism, holy books, places of worship, trace their roots to Abraham).
- Ask your students if they can recall any conflicts these religions have had with each other in the past (Some examples -- Crusades: Christians, Muslims and Jews fight for control of Jerusalem; Middle Ages: Jews are blamed for the Black Death and persecuted; the Muslim Ottoman overthrow of the Christian Byzantine Empire). Ask the students if they know which religions are currently fighting over control of Israel today (Islam and Judaism: Palestinian Muslims and Israeli Jews).
- Distribute "Brainstorming!" student organizer to the students. Ask the students to write down ten words or ideas that come to mind when you say the words "The Middle East conflict." Have the students share their answers aloud. Discuss any common themes among their lists (Student answers will vary).
LEARNING ACTIVITY #1
- Show or distribute copies of the Balfour Declaration to the class (an online source is http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/mideast/balfour.htm. Distribute "Document Probing" student organizer to the students. Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION by asking them to examine the Balfour Declaration and Resolution 181 while filling out the top of Organizer #2.
- Show or distribute sections of the U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181, available at http://www.trumanlibrary.org/israel/unres181.htm. The sections to show students should include the first six paragraphs of the introduction (starting at "The General Assembly" and ending at "... B. Steps preparatory to Independence...") Have students continue with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION by asking them to examine Resolution 181 and fill out the second part of Organizer #2.
- Next direct students to the chart available at http://www.israelipalestinianprocon.org/populationpalestine.html#chart3, "Palestine: Arab/Jewish population 1914-1946." Have students continue with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION by asking them to examine the chart showing population changes in Palestine and fill out the third part of Organizer #2.
- Next direct students to http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/middle_east/israel_and_the_palestinians/
key_documents/1681322.stm, which includes a map of the partition plan and a summary of U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181. Have students continue with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION by asking them to examine Resolution 181 and fill out the fourth part of Organizer #2. Ask students to share their thoughts about these documents aloud. Ask them to draw two faces that show emotions -- one face for a Palestinian Muslim after seeing these documents, and one face for an Israeli Jew -- after seeing these documents on the bottom of Organizer #2. (For example, a student may draw a happy face for an Israeli Jew and an angry face for a Palestinian Muslim). Call on students to share what type of faces they drew and why.
LEARNING ACTIVITY #2
- Provide your students with a bit of background on the clip they are about to see: explain that this clip is taken from an interview with an 18-year-old Palestinian named Mohanned Abu Tayyoun, who entered Israel carrying a bag of explosives with the intention of carrying out a suicide bombing. He wavered, however, and returned home without carrying out the mission. He was arrested several days later and this interview was conducted within an Israeli jail. Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION by asking them to identify how Mohanned views his life and how he feels it differs from the lives of Israelis (Jews). PLAY Clip 1,"Martyrdom," for the class. Check for understanding by asking students to respond to the focus question. (Mohanned feels he would rather die and by a martyr than live his life, sees his life as hollow -- in contrast he sees Israelis as happy, going out, having fun, traveling.) Ask your students why Mohanned may feel that way (Answers may include: Palestinians have less land, fewer privileges, cannot come and go as they please.)
Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION by asking them to consider how religion played a role in the decision Mohanned made not to detonate the bomb. PLAY Clip 2, "Suicide Bombing," for the class. Ask your students to share their thoughts on why Mohanned didn't carry out the plan. (Mohanned felt that not all Jews were guilty of being against him, and that God wanted him to continue to live.)
LEARNING ACTIVITY #3
Provide your students a bit of background on the next clip -- this is taken from an interview with 25-year-old Majdi Amer, who in March 2003 built a bomb and prepared a suicide bomber for a bus bombing in Haifa that killed 17 people and wounded 50. Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION by asking them to compare Majdi's opinion of suicide bombing with Mohanned's opinion. PLAY Clip 3, "Israel and Palestine," for the class. Ask the students how Majdi and Mohanned's opinions differ from one another, even though they are both Palestinians involved in suicide bombing plots. (Majdi feels that Islam calls for him to defend his land any way he can, he does not recognize the Jewish state, he will kill an Israeli for every Palestinian killed. Mohanned did not see every Jew as an enemy, did not want to kill innocent people, felt that God wanted him to live.)
LEARNING ACTIVITY #4
Distribute the "Religion and Conflict" student organizer to the class. Ask students to complete the organizer answering the questions regarding how religion plays a role in religious conflict. Discuss the answers to the questions aloud.
- Students will create an objective newspaper article from the perspective of a reporter who has just witnessed a suicide bombing. The title of the article will be "Suicide Bombings Impact Both Israelis and Palestinians." The article will include background on the conflict, motivations of the bombers, impact of the bombing on Israelis, and a conclusion. The "Newspaper Article Template" student organizer can be used as a template to compete this assignment.
- Students can research poetry written by young Palestinians and Israelis to gain insight into how young people living in the Middle East deal with the conflict taking place around them. One source is a magazine Web site called "Crossing Borders," at http://www.crossingborder.org/CB29Low.pdf. This is a site bringing youth and educators in conflict areas of the world together. The magazine has poetry, articles and editorials written by educators and youth living in the Middle East.
- Investigate other methods of protest in the Middle East by examining vandalism-type art at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4748063.stm, a BBC article depicting vandalism art on Israel's West Bank wall. This could be compared to vandalism art from the Berlin Wall as well.
- Examine contemporary rock and roll music to see the cross fertilization between Israeli Jews and Arabs in Israel and in Palestine.
Visit a local mosque or invite a member to come in and speak to your class about current issues facing Muslims in your community.
Visit a local synagogue or invite a member to come in and speak to your class about current issues facing Jews in your community.
Contact your local law enforcement agency and ask how their policies have changed since the issue of terrorism has become more pressing in the aftermath of the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001.