I took the Israel Inside/Out course and can't really quantify how much I learned from it. As a former journalism student, it was pretty fascinating to watch the video about media bias. I want to believe in journalists' desire to always be accurate and truthful, but unfortunately, this isn't always the case. Seeing fabricated photos documenting alleged Israeli attacks helped me learn that sometimes, media reports are skewed to, in a way, vilify Israel. It was also pretty eye-opening to be reminded how frequently the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is reported on, in comparison to violence in other countries where the number of casualties is much higher.
I really enjoyed watching the film about the Israeli soldiers. It gave me a good idea of how proud Israelis are to defend their homeland and how much they view it as their duty. I don't know much about lone soldiers, so it was really interesting to see their stories being documented. I felt a strong sense of pride when I saw people come to Israel from other countries, such as Switzerland or Ethiopia, because they feel valued and are determined to protect their homeland. The soldiers reiterate the desire to merely defend the country, not seek out more territory. The maturity of these 18-21 year olds amazes me, and I am grateful for their strength and pride in serving.
I think I learned the most from the "A State is Born" and "History of the State" films. While I knew Israel had faced many battles to defend itself, I don't think I realized how many there were. From the Six Day War to the Yom Kippur War to other battles with Lebanon and surrounding nations, the country has been under constant attack, despite Israel's seeming willingness to solve the conflict with diplomacy and treaties. While Israel has constantly been outnumbered, she has been able to come out on top against all odds. This further shows me the strength of the people of Israel and the nation itself.
I am so glad I took this course and gained such a greater knowledge of Israel's history. It has only sought to make me further appreciate the country's strength and Israelis' unbreakable desire to protect their nation and stand up for their right to exist.