(This post was originally published during the 2008 Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip, but it includes broader resources on the conflict and is regularly updated, including the 2014 conflict)
I’m emphasizing the quotation marks surrounding the word “Best” in the title of this post. In light of what is happening in Gaza and Israel right now, and its potential for even greater violence, I thought I would begin to put together some resources that would be handy when we go back to school in a week.
I’ll certainly be adding more to this list as time goes on, but at least it’s a start.
It’s not that easy finding good material out there that’s accessible to English Language Learners, which is a requirement for anything to be included in a “The Best…” list or, in fact, for pretty much anything that I post about here. I’m hopeful of finding better, and more up-to-date, resources as time goes on. It’s especially difficult to find accessible materials that provide some kind of historical context for the conflict. It’s complexity, and its potential for controversy, probably doesn’t make it that attractive a subject for many of the usual “current events” providers of content to younger readers.
You might also be interested in The Best Web Resources On The Iraq War.
Here are my picks for The “Best” Resources For Learning About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (not in order of preference):
The CBBC Newsround has some materials very accessible to English Language Learners, though some are out-of-date. The resources are about what is happening now as well as what has happened in the past.
The New York Times has a slideshow on the Attacks in Gaza.
CNN also has a map and photos about the present Gaza attacks. It also shows the situation from various points of view. They also have an update where they include a good background piece.
The Guardian has an interactive graphic titled The Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Brief History.
The Council on Foreign Relations has an interactive Crisis Guide: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, but it’s probably only accessible to advanced English Language Learners.
Why Israel Attacked Gaza is an article from TIME magazine that is accessible to high Intermediate ELL’s.
USA Today’s interactive graphic/map about the history of the Middle East conflict ends at the beginning of 2002, but it’s an exceptionally accessible piece of work.
The Peace Research Institute In The Middle East (PRIME) is an organization comprised of Israelis and Palestinians who have developed high school materials on the Middle East that are used in both communities. As a Newsweek article explains, each page is divided into three: the Palestinian and Israeli narratives and a third section left blank for the pupil to fill in. “The idea is not to legitimize or accept the other’s narrative but to recognize it..”
All the PRIME materials can be freely downloaded from their site. They are far too advanced for English Language Learners, but the idea can used with modified materials about the Middle East conflict. In fact, I think it would be fairly easy to do so with some of the resources already on this list.
The Big Picture has, as usual, an excellent photo collection and accessible captions in their feature on Israel and Gaza.
TIME Magazine has a slideshow on the ground invasion of Gaza by the Israeli army.
Timeline: Israel and Hamas comes from The New York Times.
Heartbreak In The Middle East is a slideshow from TIME Magazine.
This United Nations infographic on living conditions in Gaza is about three years old. However, it’s probably safe to say that things have been getting progressively worst since that time.
CBS has a Middle East Conflict interactive that has a lot of background information.
The Big Picture has another edition of photos from Gaza.
The Wall Street Journal has an interactive on the fighting that is updated daily.
The BBC has a regularly updated feature on the Middle East conflict. It has many multimedia resources.
Israel and the Palestinians comes from the CBC in Canada. It was published in 2006.
CBS News has another interactive on the conflict.
Palestinian-Israeli Conflict in :90 is from ABC News.
Changing map of Israel and the Palestinian territories is from The Guardian.
Challenges in Defining an Israeli-Palestinian Border is an interactive from The New York Times.
Interactive: Gaza, life under siege is from Al Jazeera.
And Vox has created this two minute video explainer:
The Crisis In Gaza is an interactive from The Washington Post.
I’m very interested in getting feedback and additional suggestions. Please leave them in the comments section of this post.