Narratives & Realities: Inside the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict


  • Gain a foundational understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • Understand the clashing narratives and interpretations at the core of the conflict.
  • Consider the realities of life in disputed territory.
  • Explore political efforts for peacemaking and the possibility of coexistence.

This course provides unique insight into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by exploring a range of narratives and perspectives through both academic and personal lenses. By visiting key sites and undertaking dialogues with regional leaders and experts, you will acquire a broader understanding of the conflict’s complexity – and possible solutions. This course is offered as part of the nine-credit Coexistence in the Middle East Program.

Your understanding of the conflict will move beyond theoretical knowledge as we meet and interact with a diverse selection of speakers who represent a range of perspectives and disciplines. We’ll also visit significant places to further understand the reality of the topics we are studying. Among the topics we will explore are the deviating Israeli and Palestinian narratives; borders and settlements, Jerusalem, refugees, and security; realities from the West Bank between settlers and Palestinians; diversity, democracy, and politics; peace processes and conflict resolution; and Hamas and Gaza’s disengagement.

Course Components 

  • Site visits and field trips
  • Meetings and conversations with key regional actors, including diplomats, government officials, religious leaders, NGO activists, and academic experts
  • Class readings and discussions
  • Final term paper

Professionals who are not interested in the academic credit may opt out of submitting the final paper and receive an audit grade (Active Participation grade) but must still attend all classes and field trips, and complete any assignment throughout the course. This option is also possible for students who are not interested in academic credit.

View the syllabus

For more information, see the brochure or sign up for updates with the Coexistence program.

Please note that academic field trips vary in length as well as levels of accessibility. For field trip-related questions and more information please do not hesitate to contact us.

You’ll be invited to participate in a wide array of trips, tours, and activities offered by the Office of Student Life. From a tour of the Old City to a trip to the Dead Sea to checking out the local festivals, you’ll build your own unique impressions and memories of Jerusalem and Israel. While residing in HebrewU dormitories with other international and Israeli students, you’ll have a chance to form new friendships and get involved in campus life. A team of multilingual Israeli students, called madrichim, is also there to help you adjust to your new surroundings and give you tips on things to do. Learn more about student life at HebrewU.

“I never thought a simple university course abroad could have such a powerful emotional, educational, and spiritual impact on a person. The diverse insights and knowledge brought to the table by our wonderful professors and now friends, as well as the many field trips taken and impressive selection of guests, presenters, and officials, were simultaneously captivating, surprising, intimidating, and touching.”
Hana Kokanovic
M.A., Public & International Affairs, University of Ottawa, Canada

“It [the program] offers an invaluable opportunity to travel all over the country guided by academic staff and professional tour guides. Our visits to the Golan Heights, the border with Lebanon, and an Israeli military base near Gaza all stand out. Furthermore, the program had access to a huge range of interesting people – Israelis, Palestinians, people from peace initiatives, etc., but also an Egyptian diplomat, a spokesman at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the rabbi of the Western Wall, and the Islamic cleric of Jerusalem.”
Dougal Robinson
B.A., Government, University of Sydney, Australia

Dates & deadlines: TBD

Application fee: US $120

Tuition fee: TBD

Housing: TBD*

*Depending on availability

The Coexistence program is offered in collaboration with Israel Beyond the Headlines (IBH).

Tuition, for both Summer and Winter sessions, is to be paid in two separate payments to Rothberg International School and IBH.

Learn more about fees, cost of living, and paying for the program.

For more information on Israel Beyond the Headlines’ method and terms of payment, please see here. For Rothberg International School financial information, see here.


A limited number of scholarships based on demonstrated need or merit are available.

Learn also about financial aid offered by IBH

This course is open to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as to mature learners with an academic background. You must be currently registered at or have been accepted to a recognized college or university or have successfully completed at least one year of study at an accredited institution of higher education. English-language fluency is also required. 


We’re pleased you’re applying to join us in Jerusalem. You can choose to take this course together with one of the other two courses in our Coexistence in the Middle East Program:

Taken together, these courses offer a more complete and valuable experience. To apply to the program, please select any or all of the courses from the list of “Summer Courses” in the online application. See our application guidelines.

Please note:

  • You may switch from a summer course to this program until up to two weeks before the summer course/ program begins.
  •  See here for more information about visas.

Look here for the 2024 Summer Courses Schedule:


We’re happy to answer any questions you might have – or to chat for a bit to help you choose the right course or program.

Email Us
Call us: +972 2 588 2602

Find More Summer Courses

Please note that HebrewU reserves the right to cancel courses for which there is insufficient registration.

If you would like to take a Coexistence or an InnovNation course together with our regular summer courses, please contact us.

Fast Facts


Narratives and Realities (SPME209/48779)

Program Director:

Mr. Javier Gelbwaser

Teaching Faculty:

Dr. Gershon Baskin

Language of Instruction:



Academic hours: 45
Credits: 3

Course Dates:

Dates TBD


Undergraduate and graduate students; mature learners with an academic background

Application Deadline:




Relevant Academic Fields:

History, sociology, politics, philosophy, international relations, conflict resolution

Take a look at our pages for prospects, students, faculty and staff, alumni, and parents – or contact us!

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Pre-Semester Program: “Encountering Jerusalem”
Practical Hebrew Beginners4 credits
Modern Standard Arabic Beginners 5 credits
Jerusalem: A Journey Through Time and Space3 credits
Pre-Semester Program: “Encountering Jerusalem”
Practical Hebrew Beginners 4 credits
Israeli Society3 credits