Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The “Best” Resources For Learning About The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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(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The CBBC Newsround has some materials very accessible to English Language Learners, though some are out-of-date.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 International Herald-Tribune has a series of stories on what is happening in Gaza right now, and it provides audio support for the text. Just click on “Listen To Article.”

The New York Times has a slideshow on the Attacks in Gaza.

MSNBC has an article about the Gaza attacks, and on the same page provides links to a number of slideshows and videos that can help put it into some kind of historical context.

The Washington Post also has an out-dated special feature on the conflict. Some of their features, though, are also relevant today. The two best are an interactive on the history of the conflict, and a series of questions about Hamas answered by both an Israeli and a Palestinian. Those answers can be found on the main page of the feature.

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.

Arte TV has two video portraits — one of a Palestinian living in Gaza and the other of an Israeli living in a town in danger of rocket attacks. It’s all subtitled in English, and it puts a human portrait on what their lives are like. It was made ten days before the truce’s end this week.

MSNBC has what appears to me to be an excellent Q & A: The History Behind Israel’s Gaza Strikes.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation gives a good overview of the conflict, including useful comparative data.

The Denver Post has a regularly updated series of photos on what’s happening in Israel and Gaza.

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 Guardian (UK) has an interactive following the Gaza conflict day-by-day.  The same page has links to several other similar features on other aspects of Israeli-Palestinian history.

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.

The Associated Press has an interactive map showing places in the world where there are protests against Israelis actions.

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.

Updates From Gaza
are photos from The Denver Post.

Gaza’s Old Wounds is a good slideshow from Newsweek recounting the history of the Gaza strip (going back hundreds of years).

The Wall Street Journal has an interactive on the fighting that is updated daily.

The LA Times has a simple question/answer page about the conflict.

Israel Charges Deeper Into Gaza is a series of images from The Sacramento Bee.

The Washington Post has an interactive about Israel’s plan to build a fence on the West Bank.

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.

Locked In Gaza is a New York Times slideshow and Growing Up In Gaza is a Times’ video.

“Israel And Lebanon: Key dates in the Mideast neighbors’ conflicts” is the title of an Associated Press interactive.

“Peacemaking Past” is a Wall Street Journal interactive about past U.S. efforts to help create peace in the Middle East.

West Bank Story is a Newsweek slideshow on the history of the West Bank.

Obama, Netanyahu discuss Mideast peace process is an interactive from The Associated Press.

Palestinian-Israeli Conflict in :90 is from ABC News.

Both the BBC and The Telegraph have good maps of the Israeli and Palestinian “territory.”

Changing map of Israel and the Palestinian territories is from The Guardian.

Israel & Palestinians: Neighbors in conflict is an Associated Press interactive.

Challenges in Defining an Israeli-Palestinian Border is an interactive from The New York Times.

Interactive: Gaza, life under siege is from Al Jazeera.

11 crucial facts to understand the Israel-Gaza crisis is from Vox.

And Vox has created this two minute video explainer:

I’m very interested in getting feedback and additional suggestions.  Please leave them in the comments section of this post.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

4 Comments

  1. Hi Larry! First, I’d like to thank you for the wonderful blog you’ve put together. Awesome! :-)

    Regarding this particular post, however, I don’t think the sources you’ve mentioned are the “best” sources, even though I’m sure you sincerely thought they are.

    Mainly your sources tell the American-government-approved version of the story, which I consider to be highly biased. Funny how those who have all the weapons and are armed to the teeth are always acting out of self-defense or to avoid further bloodshed (killing lots of people but “ultimately saving more lives than were taken”), and those who are actually being killed are always the terrorists and to blame.

    Similar reasons were given for the American government’s bombings of Japan in the World War, and for the more recent killings in Afghanistan and Iraq. But, Larry, the truth is that hundreds of innocent civilians are being killed in Gaza, and the rest are being starved to death. I just don’t see how that can be justified by people who favor peace and understanding.

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  3. Hi Susan, I am in the process of blogging about Israel and Gaza, trying to get Americans to think and talk about what is happening, and take some personal responsibility in deciding what our government funds (eventually, I believe, the citizenry can affect what our government does, but we have to get mobilized on the issue) What resources would you suggest? Before the latest attacks, I was especially interested in the health and nutrition issues in Gaza and the West Bank (esp for women and children), more specific information than I’ve been able to find at the UN or WHO sites. Since the attacks, I’ve been concentrating on getting information out about that. I’m taking a humanitarian approach, because I believe that is what Americans will be most receptive to. Anyway, any help you could give me would be appreciated. Thanks! My email is: [email protected]

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