Israel is only 70 years old, but it has had an eventful history, and it is the continuation of the 3,000-year history of the Jews. This two-week course, led by historian Martin Kramer and security expert Michael Doran, will explore the modern history of Israel – from its hopeful beginnings through the wars with its Arab neighbors, and its rise as a first-class technological power and free-market economy geared toward growth. Along the way, students will encounter decisive battles, grand arguments, great leaders, and moments of decision. They will come to a better understanding of a nation unique among nation-states, a critical U.S. ally in the Middle East, and a pillar of order in a region otherwise in disarray.

Image courtesy Government Press Office

Martin Kramer on Israel's Founding Fathers


Michael Doran

Michael Doran, an expert in U.S. policy toward the Middle East, radical Islam, and the Arab-Israeli conflict, is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute. He has also held a number of senior U.S. government posts related to Middle East policy and strategic communication.

Martin Kramer

Martin Kramer teaches Middle Eastern history at Shalem College where he was the founding president and is The Washington Institute’s Koret Distinguished Fellow. He is the author of The War on Error (2016).

Preview the Syllabus by Week/Session

Other Courses You Might Be Interested In

The Yom Kippur War: A Case Study in Strategy, Power, & Character

Explore the Yom Kippur War, one of the great understudied hinge points of history.

National Identity & Why It Matters

Explore the idea of national identity and its role in maintaining a successful political order.

Great Figures: David Ben-Gurion

Assess the visionary leadership of David Ben-Gurion, founding father and first prime minister of Israel.

Is Israel Alone?

Explore the past, present, and future of the America-Israel strategic relationship.

The Challenges of the Middle East

Understand the Arab Spring and how, together with its aftermath, it has changed American priorities and strategies.

Statesmen & Philosophers

Examine two ways of life – the philosophic and the political – through close readings of Aristotle and Shakespeare.