Course: In the Case of Barack Obama v. Benjamin Netanyahu: The Israeli-Palestinian Civil War, The United States and Iran

HC 434H/421H

Professor: David Frank

Graduation Requirement:  This class will fulfill an Arts & Letters  Colloquium and an IC Multicultural class.  If the student has already taken an Arts & Letters Colloquium, this class will fulfill both of the following requirements:  an Elective Colloquium and an IC Multicultural class.

President Barack Obama’s June 4, 2009 “A New Beginning” speech, addressed primarily to the Arab and Muslim worlds, prompted a response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on June 14, 2009 that was critical of Obama’s rendition of Israeli history.   The two speeches mark the origins of an ongoing rhetorical duel between the two men.  We will study the trajectories of this duel, doing so by placing it in its historical and rhetorical context.   Students will learn the general history of the Israeli-Palestinian civil war featuring the rhetorical duel between Obama and Netanyahu, engage in a simulation of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in which each student will portray a key character in the drama, and write a research paper on their character.