From Friends to Foes: The Story of Israel and Iran

Iran used to be Israel’s sole ally in the Middle East, but it now regularly calls for Israel’s destruction. How did these two countries go from being close regional partners to sworn enemies? Find out everything you need to know about this complicated relationship by watching the video, then use the prompts below to learn more and get your students thinking.

  1. Which two countries does Iran sit between?
    • Iraq and Yemen
    • Saudia Arabia and Israel
    • Syria and Afghanistan
    • Iraq and Afghanistan
  2. What is Iran’s ancient name?
    • Babylon
    • Persia
    • Assyria
    • Mesopotamia
  3. What does the word Shah mean?
    • Prince
    • Leader
    • God
    • King
  4. Which of the following facts are NOT true about Israel and Iran’s proxy conflict?
    • Iran supports terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas who attack Israel
    • Israel has carried out airstrikes against the Iranian presence in Syria
    • Israel has assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists
    • Iran and Saudi Arabia have joined forces against Israel
  5. What year was the Islamic Revolution?
    • 1948
    • 1979
    • 1976
    • 1967
  1. After learning about Israel and Iran’s previous positive relations, do you feel more frustrated or more hopeful about the future?
  2. Today, many Iranian Jews living in Israel dream of visiting Iran but they are not allowed to with Israeli passports. If you have family members who immigrated to your current country of residence but weren’t allowed to visit their home country, how do you think they would feel? Explain.
  3. During the Holocaust, Iran accepted Jewish refugees fleeing Europe yet, over the last several years, Iranian leaders have denied the Holocaust and even hosted a Holocaust Denial conference. What does this teach us about history?
  4. The current Iranian regime often differentiates between Jews and Zionists. Do you see these two identities as distinct or overlapping? Can somebody be one but not the other?
  1. Show your students an episode of the show Tehran (available on Apple TV) and ask them to compose three questions about the Israeli-Iran relationship that they have after watching.
  2. Give your students the following article to read and then utilize the classroom tips found near the end of the piece.
  3. Give your students our Kahoot on the Israel-Iran relationship!

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