What are the goals of lessons on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

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Our lessons on this conflict are aligned with the Massachusetts History and Social Sciences Framework. The following language (in italics) is contained in the state frameworks and guides our teaching of the subject: 

Explain the background for the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948, and subsequent military and political conflicts.

  1. the growth of Zionism, and 19th and early 20th century immigration by Eastern European Jews to Palestine
  2. anti-Semitism and the Holocaust
  3. the United Nations (UN) vote in 1947 to partition the western part of the Palestine Mandate into two independent countries
  4. Palestinian loss of land and the creation of refugees by Israeli military action
  5. the rejection of surrounding Arab countries of the UN decision and the invasion of Israel by Arab countries
  6. the various wars between Israel and neighboring Arab states since 1947, (e.g., the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War)
  7. the diverse mix of cultures (e.g., Jews, Palestinians, and Arabs of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Druze backgrounds) in the region in the late 20th and early 21st centuries
  8. attempts to secure peace between Palestinians and Israelis, including the proposal of a two-state solution

The purpose of lessons on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or on the larger, historical Arab-Israeli conflict, is not to tell students what to think about an enormously complicated topic or to advocate for any particular vision. Instead, the goal for teachers is to expose students to arguments that exist and are advocated for in the real world.

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