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Learner Reviews & Feedback for The History of Modern Israel - Part I: From an Idea to a State by Tel Aviv University

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About the Course

How did the State of Israel come to be? How is it that an idea, introduced in 19th century Europe, became a reality? And how does that reality prevail in the harsh complexities of the Middle East? Presented by Professor Eyal Naveh, with additional units from Professor Asher Sussers' "The Emergence of the Modern Middle East" course, This course will take you on a journey through the history of Modern Israel. In this 1st part of the course we will explore: How did the 19th century idea of a Jewish state become a reality? So the next time you hear about Israel in the news, you will be informed enough about the history of this area to comprehend the many sides and narratives that interact to shape the complex reality of Israel today. Please note that there is a second part to this course "The History of Modern Israel - Part II: Challenges of Israel as a sovereign state" which is a direct extension of this part. We highly recommend to continue to the second part after you finish this one ( In order to receive academic credit for this course you must successfully pass the academic exam on campus. For information on how to register for the academic exam – Additionally, you can apply to certain degrees using the grades you received on the courses. Read more on this here – Teachers interested in teaching this course in their class rooms are invited to explore our Academic High school program here – * This course is a joint effort of Tel Aviv University & Israel Institute ( * This course uses media material from various archives, courtesy to Yad Vashem Archive for their help. * This course is self-paced. Once you register, you can participate in the course anytime, as often as you wish and over any stretch of time...

Top reviews


Sep 26, 2019

"The History of Modern Israel – Part I: From an Idea to a State" is a time demanding course for all of us nowadays to know the real history of modern Israel. Thanks Coursera for the such opportunity.


Sep 29, 2020

It gave me more insight for me about Israel history. The tutors explained it in a simple way, although some parts of the materials were a little bit difficult to understand

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1 - 25 of 225 Reviews for The History of Modern Israel - Part I: From an Idea to a State

By Ahmed A A S

Aug 26, 2018

The lecturers didn't stand in a neutral space, regarding the Zionist presence in palestine. Israel's presence today in the Middle East is part of the process of European colonization, This is the truth that this course didn't say.


Sep 6, 2016

This course has valuable information, but it is ultimately political. The professors don't even disclose that there are two opposing historical schools: "New Historians," whom Palestinians reference; and traditional historians, favored by most Israelis. Which version is followed here? The answer is a mix, without identification. This is not the same as "balance," which would entail each side laying out its key points and evidence. As others note, there is zero reading material. One wonders if this is because to choose a historian is to choose sides--that is how divisive this topic is. The discussion forums are also poorly monitored, unlike other Coursera courses; which does not advance understanding.

"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing" unfortunately applies to this condensed intro course. And contrary to expectations for an offering from Tel Aviv U., most Israelis would likely be offended by some of its assertions/omissions. For example, Israelis recall that Palestinian founding father Haj Amin al-Husseini was a Nazi agitator in Europe and bequeathed an anti-Jewish ideology (Netanyahu even made a speech about this in 2015 that was covered internationally). Yet in this course, you will be told simply that al-Husseini was a "man of religion."

By Alexander S

Feb 9, 2016

Really enjoyed the information and perspective from the course. The only issue is that everything is from the Israeli point of view - the course would benefit from some discussion/inclusion from other perspectives. Still, it gave me a good background on the issues, and I would take more classes from the same institution.

By mthetheleli K

Sep 9, 2016

I have learnt a lot how modern present day state of Israel came into being dating back from the first foundations laid out by Theodore Herzl who had this vision of creating a Jewish state through the his establishment of the Zionism movement which paved a way for the Jewish community scattered all over the world who faced social problems and fragmentation to migrate back to Israel because of Antisemitism and to the creation of the treaties such as the Balfour declaration and the role played by Baron Edmund De Rothschild who was a Jewish philanthropist who helped the ideas of Zionism and i have gained insight and an overview of the Jewish and the History of Modern Israel.


Jul 3, 2020

Excellent, interesting online course touching upon various aspects of Israeli History. Happy to recommend this course for all interested in History, Political Science and Sociology.


St.Joseph's College, Bangalore, REPUBLIC OF INDIA

By Divyansh A

Jun 5, 2016

Very bogus and boring content. The monotonous voice gets me!

By Elia L

May 5, 2019

Learned an amazing amount about Israel. The interviews complimented the lectures very nicely and provided an even greater narrative/

By Roman G

Mar 2, 2016

Firstly i think for a coursera course it is not Long enough at all. There are not enough assignments which motivate studying and fixing the newly learned things in the memory. There are neither required nor recommended readings at all. For me reading is a very good Addition to the Videos so that you can slowly think about the thoughts and arguments. Especially in a topic which is undoubtly very controversal in public as in academia like especially the history of Israel and Palestine from the 30s onwards it is important to give different narratives of history to the students. There are no narratives critical to british colonialism at all mentioned, instead of the White paper of 1939. After all the course represents a very one sided an biased narrative which is presented to a global audience of students. Even if a certain narrative is preferred by the teaching scholars, which is completely acceptable and natural, not just in the field of history, it nevertheless is important to cover different narratives fairly and as neutral as possible, which does not happen in this course. When mentioned other narratives are quickly downplayed or denied, and repeatedly dichotomies like the "inferior" arabs, the "ferocity" of the arab oposition and so on are mentioned or cited without beeing problematized at all. Nevertheless the Course was a reminder of many Things I learned before, and brings up some interesting historic connections and key points.

By Ariel

Jan 29, 2016

In the end it is a good course. The videos might seem short, but are filled with tons of information. It has guest professors who were very interesting, and I hope they could have give their perspective on the subjects as well.

There is no reading material, which is kinda sad. And it's naturally a little partial in favor to jews, but that's only natural. Prof. Susser, though, seems a lot more objective.

I thank very much the professors for this course.

By Aghed S K

Jan 20, 2019

der Kurs verarmt auf die Ehrlichkeit und Distanzierung

افتقر الكورس الى الصدق والحياديه

By Karam E

Mar 17, 2019

you can get an overview of the events not a balanced details about the is bias and hold false preconceptions.

By Mihaela D

Feb 9, 2021

I appreciate some of the information provided during this course. I disliked the way it was presented, not very appealing and without teaching skills. I hated the final exam, very difficult to pass with absolutely no helpful feed back in order to improve yourself.

By Mary E

Dec 19, 2020

I have completed (by audit) both Intro to Holocaust I&II as well as this course. I am not Jewish but have visited Israel in the 1985's when there was some similance of peace.

Learning more about the plight of the Jews as a whole as well as persecution of Jews throughout history has solidified my opinion of the justification of establishing Israel as the homeland of the Zionist movement.

I believe partly that the world owed the establishment of Israel as a homeland since little was done by the entire world to prevent The Holocaust. These courses have really opened my eyes to the suffering of the Jews throughout history. The world owes the establishment of Israel to the Jews.

By charles w

Dec 5, 2022

I grew up Christian and my sister-in-law is an Israeli American. Her family is from the 5th wave of immigration. We had an argument about Israel 6 weeks ago and this lead to my desire to study Israel's early history, the fact that my business partner is also Israeli and I could share my newly possessed knowledge with her made this course especially pleasant. I really enjoyed all the professors and guest lectures. Israel's history is complex and I am deeply grateful to learn more about the origins and struggles of Zionism. I would highly recommend this course.

By Max K

Jun 13, 2020

Informative. Interesting. Historic.

The only issue I had was calling the British Mandate of Palestine, "Palestine" throughout the course. I think this confuses a lot of people. But here's some side knowledge for those who don't: Palestinians never called themselves "Palestinians" until 1964. Until then there were Arabic tribes that lived on British land, who used British minted coins, etc. Nothing about them was "Palestinian." They had nothing connecting them (i.e. national animal, flag, etc.)

By Simon E C

May 9, 2020

Insufficient reading material and the each section was truncated and brief.

I understand that time is of the essence in these courses but perhaps a summary of the seminal writings during the period would be helpful as well as the provision of a reading list

I do not think it is appropriate to have some of the presentation in Hebrew even though there are course notes attached.

The presenters are knowledgeable which adds to the enjoyment of the course.

By Jacqueline S

May 2, 2020

As I love history, this gave me more knowledge the life and perseverance of Jewish people before and even after Israel was founded. I thann Professor Eyal and Professor Asher who made this course possible for us who wants to broaden more of our knowledge in history. I like also the interview part of Professor Moti and Professor Anita, I find it very interesting regarding her perception about the Sabres. Again, thank you so much for the great effort.

By Ragnar T

Dec 2, 2017

This is a very good course, very informative and the Professors are very good lecturers. Only one thing that could be better and that is to have the course material on pdf so one would be able to read as well. I went in November for the first time to Israel and fell in love with the country and enormous history it has to offer. So I decided to deepen my knowledge and find an online history course which was The History of Modern Israel.

By Antonia T B

Apr 28, 2018

An excellent course. I enjoyed a lot and learnt a lot. The lectures were very clear and super interesting. Professor Eyal Naveh is amazing and professor Asher Susser too. I missed a bit of more different interviews, but overall the course is excellent. I wish everybody would take this course for having a more clear picture of what happens in Israel today. 10/10. Thanks a lot.

By Michael W B

Feb 4, 2016

Although this course serves as a broad overview, the average student will come away with more knowledge than they had going in. Professors and guests were all knowledgeable and easy to understand.

The only exception: two videos are spoken in Hebrew and a bit distracting ... even with subtitles on. What worked for me was muting the sound, and simply reading the text.

By Roy S I

Jul 13, 2016

Fantastic course that gives a quick, yet thorough survey of Modern Israeli history. The primary professor may be one of my favorite professors I've ever heard in my life. His passion when talking about the Holocaust is especially evident. I would recommend this course to any history "buff" or lay person looking to increase their knowledge about modern Israeli

By kouassi n c

Jul 10, 2017

I have always wanted to know the true story of the Israeli people, I never wanted to listen to what television or some newspapers tell about this people and today I am satisfied with what I learned through this course I agree that all peoples must have their own land despite the fact that we are in fact all brothers and sisters in the background.

By Olga D

Aug 26, 2016

The course is very interesting! I would recommend it to anyone interested in the subject.

However, the English subtitles are far from perfect! Quite often, they interfere with the understanding because they substitute the words of the lecturer for other words, sometimes quite ridiculous! The English subtitles definitely need to be proofread!

By Samuel

Mar 9, 2016

I am proud of learning a course about the History of the modern state of Israel beginning from Zionism Ideology till the state of Israel was born.

This is the History of the Jewish people and the fulfillment of the Biblical Prophecy for the Jews to inherit the Promised Land which foretold by the prophets before 2000 years ago.

By Marcos V M d S

May 2, 2018

Excellent course. I learned a lot about the formation of the State of Israel.

The course is very well assembled and addresses issues in an academic way without preconceived concepts. It is an essential course to better understand what Zionism was, its origins and especially the creation of the Yishuv and the State of Israel.