Micro History Discussion Questions

Categories: Micro History, Micro-History

1917 – Balfour Declaration

  1. The Jews living in the land of Israel while it was dominated by foreign occupiers never gave up hope of being free. What does this say about the Jewish people’s love for Eretz Israel (the land of Israel)?
  2. What role did Arthur Balfour play in the establishment of an independent Jewish state in Israel?
  3. Imagine being a Jew living in 1917. How might you feel about the Balfour Declaration?


The Night of Broken Glass

  1. What role did propaganda play in the massive pogrom now known as the Night of Broken Glass?
  2. If you had been present in Germany on that fateful night, how would you have responded? What would you have done?
  3. How does knowing about events like these, that showcase the evil lengths to which anti-Semites will go to destroy the Jews, affect you?


The Rescue of Denmark’s Jews

  1. What would have happened if more people had been like the Danes during the Holocaust?
  2. Imagine you were a Jew in Denmark during this time. How would you feel?
  3. What if you were one of the Danes? How would you feel, and how might you react to the nationwide effort to protect Danish Jews?


1947 – UN Plan II

  1. What was the UN Partitions Plan? How did the Jews react to the plan?
  2. What was the Arab response to the plan?
  3. What do you think the reason was for the disparity between the two peoples’ reactions?


1948 – Independence

  1. What happened the day after Israel declared its independence on May 14, 1948?
  2. What did achieving independence cost the nascent Jewish state?
  3. How long did the war of independence last, and how did it end?


Eli Cohen, 1924-1965

  1. Which part of Eli Cohen’s story intrigues you the most?
  2. Read CUFI’s primer, “Eli Cohen: Israel’s Greatest Spy.” How do you think Eli Cohen’s early life prepared him for the role he would play as a spy in Syria?
  3. Why do you think Eli Cohen is regarded as a national hero in Israel? What did you find most compelling about his story?


1967 – Six-Day War

  1. What did Israel do when it learned of the intention of five Arab countries to wipe the Jewish state off the map? What was the result?
  2. What significant city did Israel gain two days into the Six Day War?
  3. What did Israel declare regarding the status of Jerusalem after the Six Day War?


1967 – The Three No’s of Khartoum

  1. What territories did Israel obtain as a result of the Six Day War?
  2. Was Israel willing to trade land for peace? What would need to happen for this to be effective in achieving peace in the region?
  3. What was the response of the Arab League to Israel’s offer of land for peace?
  4. What were the Three No’s? Are they still an obstacle to peace? If so, how?


1973 – Yom Kippur War

  1. What is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar? What is this day’s significance?
  2. What happened on Yom Kippur in 1973?
  3. Was Israel’s defense proportionate to its opposition?
  4. What was the US response to the war?
  5. What was the cost of the Yom Kippur War to Israel?


Camp David Accords

  1. What do the Camp David Accords indicate about the possibility of trading land for peace?
  2. What kind of partner does Israel need to achieve peace with surrounding countries in the region?
  3. What land did Israel give up to make peace with Egypt?
  4. Even though the sacrifices Israel made were extensive and painful, do you think Israelis saw them as worth making? Why?


Crisis with Iraq

  1. What intention of Saddam Hussein’s did Israel refuse to ignore?
  2. What was the response of the international community to Israel’s pleas for help against Saddam Hussein’s government? How did the US respond?
  3. Do you think Israel’s decision to destroy the Iraqi nuclear reactor was right?
  4. What was the response of the international community to Israel’s actions? What about the US’s response?
  5. What is now clear about Israel’s actions?


1982 – First Lebanon War

  1. What did the terrorist organization PLO use their position in southern Lebanon for?
  2. Why did Israel send the IDF into southern Lebanon? Was Operation Peace for Galilee successful?
  3. What was the cost of the war for Israel?
  4. What cowardly and immoral tactics did the PLO use in the war?
  5. What organization filled the power vacuum in southern Lebanon after Israel defeated the PLO?


First Intifada

  1. “Intifada” means “uprising or shaking off.” What sparked the First Intifada?
  2. How did incitement to violence by the Palestinian leadership hurt the Palestinian people?
  3. How did the chaos sparked by the Palestinian leadership lead to the rise of Hamas?


Second Intifada

  1. Imagine living in Israel during the Second Intifada. How would you feel? How would this change the way you live your life?
  2. What was one of the key outcomes of the Second Intifada?
  3. Why was the security barrier built? Has it been successful in achieving the goal for which it was built? Why or why not?


Gaza Disengagement

  1. Why did Prime Minister Ariel Sharon choose to withdraw from Gaza, territory that Israel had acquired during the defensive Six Day War?
  2. What did Israel give up by leaving Gaza?
  3. How did Palestinians respond to Israel’s withdrawal? How do you think that impacted the situation in Gaza today?


Operation Cast Lead

  1. What was the goal of Operation Cast Lead? Why was it launched?
  2. How did Israel seek to protect Palestinian civilians during Operation Cast Lead? What does this say about Israel?
  3. Why do you think Hamas continues to launch rockets into Israel?


Operation Pillar of Defense

  1. Why was Operation Pillar of Defense launched? What was the goal of the operation?
  2. What was significant about rocket attacks during Operation Pillar of Defense?
  3. What were some of the effects of the constant barrage of attacks on Israelis? How do you think you would respond to the constant threat of terror if you lived in Israel at that time?


Operation Protective Edge

  1. What do you think of the IDF calling their search for the three kidnapped Israeli boys ‘Operation Brother’s Keeper’? (See Genesis 4.)
  2. What was the Palestinian response to news of the boys’ death? What was the Israeli response?
  3. After Operation Protective Edge, Hamas and Israel agreed to a ceasefire. But Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel to this day. How do you think Israelis feel about this seemingly endless cycle?


Israel’s Sacrifice for Peace

  1. What was the Jews’ response to the various partition plans? What about the Arabs’?
  2. If the Jews had been able to live securely in their own independent state in the 1930s, do you think the Holocaust could have happened?
  3. Since Israel declared independence, what has been the response of Arab nations surrounding her? What obstacles has Israel faced?
  4. What was Mahmoud Abbas’ response to Israel’s offers of land for peace? Why?


Stabbing Intifada

  1. What do you think of PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s accusation that Jews were “desecrating” the Temple Mount with their “filthy feet”?
  2. Do you think it is unlikely or likely that Israel would restrict Muslim access to the Temple Mount? Why?
  3. How did the Palestinian leadership incite terrorism, leading to the Stabbing Intifada?


Operation Good Neighbor

  1. Why do you think Israel chose to aid needy Syrians during Operation Good Neighbor, despite the fact that Israel and Syria are technically at war?
  2. Imagine you were one of the thousands of Syrians helped by Israel during this time. How might your view of Israel change? What effect could that have on relations between Syria and Israel overall in the long run?
  3. If you were one of the Israelis participating in Operation Good Neighbor, how would you feel as you helped needy Syrians?


Israel at 70

  1. What one word would you use to describe Israel? Why?
  2. In what ways do you consider Israel to be a “blessing” and a “light” unto the nations?
  3. What promises has God kept to the Jewish people?