Free Think University

View Our Newsroom

Danny Avalon v. Opponents in Free Think University Course on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Industry: Education

New Course Experience titled ‘Should We Ally With Israel?’ Highlights Current Debates Surrounding Heart of Middle East Conflict

Washington D.C. (PRUnderground) March 19th, 2014

The one true ally of the United States since 1948 has been the small Middle Eastern state of Israel. Our news agencies cover the many conflicts that flare up between Israel and its neighbors, but much of the reporting has been unrelated to historical and factual realities. Free Think University’s new course experience “Should We Ally With Israel?” presents the background and current arguments of the Israeli-Palestinian debate, to help thoughtful students form their own conclusions.

The course experience lays out the Muslim view of Israel and an alternative view of the Israeli state in an article from the Kaiser Society. It contends that “Harvard’s Samuel Huntington was surely correct when he said that the West and the Islamic world were engaged in a ‘clash of civilizations,’ and the Middle East continues to be ‘Exhibit A’. This conflict goes to the heart of what it means to be a responsible citizen of the world as well as a person of faith. Not surprisingly, the two competing systems have been at odds since the seventh century, when the newborn Islamic faith first launched invaders toward all points of the compass, to seize Spain, India, the Balkans, and the Upper Nile.”

A series of three videos in the course experience presents the view of Israel’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Danny Avalon.  Avalon explains the history behind the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He presents the case for one party in the debate regarding the West Bank, the peace process, and the refugee issue.

Another video directly responds to and disagrees with Danny Avalon’s video, calling out Avalon’s historical facts as incorrect.

The issues between Judaism and Islam are millennia old.  But both sides continue to win the rhetoric war in popular media.  And both sides still show willingness to come to the table of diplomacy.  Even now the US is brokering another round of talks.

To gain a sense of the immediate situation, a recent NPR segment on these talks reported that Israel has been demanding to be recognized as a Jewish state. The host reports, “The description of Israel as a Jewish state may seem self evident. The population is about 75% Jewish, the flag features the Star of David, the Jewish star, and most people speak Hebrew. But it turns out that description and recognition are very different things.”

“We want to challenge readers to understand this conflict at a much deeper level,” notes Free Think University co-founder Jim Van Eerden. “If you are for or against the U.S. alliance with Israel, do you know why?”

To view the full Free Think University course, click here.  For additional media information, please contact

About Free Think University

Free Think University is where more than 30,000 free-thinking students have joined what Mortimer Adler called “The Great Conversation” – the dialogue of the ages about The Big Questions of our day, and where they participate in one of the fastest-growing independent scholarship funds in America. Submit questions for future courses to For more information go to or follow @freethinku.

Become a Fan

Press Contact

Jim Van Eerden

Image Gallery