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October 21, 2023

Building Historical Context: Understanding the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Use this list of free educational resources to explore comprehensive ideas and strategies for teaching about the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


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Read the companion blog, “Resources for Teaching About the Israel-Hamas War” here.

Teaching about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be challenging for grades 9-12 educators and higher education faculty, given the complexity and sensitivity of the conflict. It’s important to approach the topic in a comprehensive way so students can develop a well-rounded understanding of the complex history and current events.

With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of resources to help teachers address this topic in the classroom. These resources have been selected for their accuracy, cultural sensitivity and balanced perspective, providing educators with the tools to guide their students in forming informed opinions on the issue.

Note to Educators

  • Ensure a Safe Space: Remind students to respect differing opinions and to approach the discussion with an open mind and empathy.
  • Facilitate Respectfully: Be mindful to navigate the discussion in a way that honors all perspectives and avoids perpetuating stereotypes or biases.
  • Support and Resources: Be prepared to provide additional resources or support for students who may find the discussion emotionally challenging.
  • Reflect: Allow time at the end of the discussion for students to share their reflections and learnings from the conversation.
israeli palestinian conflict timeline

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Timeline

In this CFR Education resource from World101, students will explore the history and important events behind the long-standing Middle East conflict between Israel and Palestine from 1947 to today.

Access this resource here.
israelis and palestinians speak

Understanding Perspectives in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Help students recognize and understand both sides of a painful conflict by seeing how a civil, meaningful conversation can help make progress instead of causing harm.

Access this resource here.
un security council

Global Governance: What is the UN Security Council?

In this CFR Education resource from World101, students will learn about the United Nations’ most powerful body and whether it can respond to today’s toughest challenges.

Access this resource here.
how is conflict changing world 101

How Is Conflict Changing?

In this CFR Education resource from World101, students will explore why tensions, violence and war break out and the consequences for the world.

Access this resource here.

10 Ways to Have Conscientious Conversations on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict activates strong emotions and differences of opinion and perspective for many people. These disagreements are heightened in times of crisis. Here are 10 suggestions to use when having conversations about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, from ADL.

Access this resource here.
map of israel and gaza

Conflict in Israel and the U.S. Response (2021)

This news lesson from Close Up is focused on the 2021 conflict between Israel and Palestine. Students can learn to critically assess their own understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the role of the United States in international conflicts, and to evaluate the complexities and nuances in political statements and positions regarding global issues.

Access this resource here.

Resources on Antisemitism and Islamophobia

antisemitism and addressing hate

Antisemitism and Addressing Hate

This curated collection of lesson plans, activities and resources for K-12 educators and parents can help address hate, racism and antisemitism and provide the background knowledge students need to understand and challenge these issues, empowering them to make a positive change in their communities.

Access this resource here.
girl with flag

Islamophobia in the United States

Muslim students throughout the United States have been forced to deal with the effects of hateful, anti-Islamic rhetoric that has been increasing among politicians and the media. Young people are particularly alienated and marginalized in the face of bullying, hate speech and narrow-minded peers. Use this resource to provide all students with an understanding of Muslims in the United States and the discrimination they can face.

Access this resource here.


The Israeli-Palestinian conflict highlights humanity’s often repeated failures in resolving disputes peacefully. The echoes of similar struggles throughout history are stark reminders of the shortcomings that exist in human nature when coexisting in our shared home.

As educators, we must equip future generations with the requisite knowledge and critical-thinking skills to grapple with such consequential global issues. By doing so, we can pave the way for more peaceful resolutions in the future. In the wise words of Mahatma Gandhi, “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” With this in mind, we hope for a swift end to the hostilities in the region.


This blog was last updated on November 30, 2023.

Andy Kratochvil

Andy Kratochvil is an SML team member who loves hiking, scary books, Mexican food, and finding great content for the Share My Lesson community.He studied political science and French at California State University, Fullerton and received his Master’s in International Affairs from American University

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