New academic course for international students.

Tel Aviv University is offering the first academic course on the Israel-Hamas war that began on Oct. 7th, 2023. Targeting international students, the course was launched as early as the first semester of the current academic year. TAU officials explain that to offset the distorted, simplistic picture of the war currently presented on many campuses worldwide, the course aims to present an accurate, fact-based, and complex perspective on the conflict.

Thousands of students from all parts of the world study at TAU Lowy International School, from North and South America, Europe, India, China, Australia, Africa, and elsewhere. Now, for the coming academic year, TAU has initiated a new academic course led by top experts, on the Oct. 7th war. The course will review the background to the war, as well as its immediate implications for both Israel and the world at large, in different areas including conflict management, Middle East studies, economics, international law, security studies, national resilience, trauma studies, and more. In this way TAU aims to raise the international students’ awareness of the war’s causes and impact, in the hope that they will portray a more complex and accurate picture of it in their own countries. 

Prof. Milette Shamir, TAU’s VP International: “The horrendous statements heard on many campuses around the world, especially in North America and Western Europe, are often a byproduct of blatant ignorance coupled with the consumption of information from dubious sources on social media. As a counter measure, we offer students from all over the world an opportunity to learn about the war through exposure to well-founded facts, responsible research, and a complex ways of thinking. This is the appropriate response of academia to the venom propagated on campuses and in the social networks.”

Dr. Nimrod Rosler, Head of the International Program in Conflict Resolution and Mediation: “The horrors we experienced on Oct. 7th and afterwards underline the need for a deep understanding of the dynamics of violent conflicts. Such an understanding can be obtained from the academic knowledge and experience of the prominent lecturers who will teach in the course, providing   participants with tools for dealing constructively with the war now and with its consequences in the future. Positive ways for coping with the horrors are the key to resilience and hope for a better future.”

The new academic course follows another initiative of the Lowy International School: a taskforce initiated by international students to assist Israel’s national effort to tell the war’s true and tragic story to the world. Participating students conduct dialogues on the social networks with people in other places in the world, providing them with materials and information that present Israel’s narrative from the perspective of international students in Israel.

Prof. Ronen Avraham, Head of the Lowy School’s Parasol Foundation International LL.M. Program: “This task force is a moving initiative of students, and I am proud that TAU provides it with logistical backing. We have already reached 1.3 million people and have thousands of followers worldwide. The events of Oct. 7th will enter the history books, not only of Israel and the Palestinians, but also of the entire world. We will not give up our efforts to spread the truth, for the benefit of both our contemporaries and future generations.”