(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The CBBC Newsround has some materials very accessible to English Language Learners, though some are out-of-date.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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.