On June 20, 2015, the Center for Palestine Studies (CPS), Middle East Institute (MEI), and the Open University Project hosted 23 teachers for a workshop on Citizenship and Nationality in Israel/Palestine led by Columbia Law Professor Katherine Franke .
The day-long workshop focused on the challenges of establishing a state in 1948 that committed itself to be both Jewish and democratic; the status of the Palestinian minority in such a state; and the critical differences between a "homeland," a "nation," and a "state".
The workshop was based on an Open University curriculum designed by Katherine Franke, Director of the Open University and Professor of Law at Columbia University. Drawing on comparisons with the US legal system and establishment of the United States as a nation-state, Franke provided an overview of the issues at hand, offering teachers tools that will allow them to go back to their own classrooms and teach a unit on Israel/Palestine.
CPS and MEI at Columbia University are committed to offering K-12 teachers and college-level instructors the tools to both understand and teach critical issues of dispossession, belonging, and citizenship in the context of Palestine/Israel. Many of the issues that arise in this context could be productively integrated into the K-12 and college-level curricula.