Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

What are the Israeli Settlements? | Settlements Part 1

This video is the first in a mini-series about settlements. It lays down the background of what settlements are, when they began, and what led up to their creation. Begin with this video in order to equip students with the history before delving into the modern-day issues surrounding the much-spoken-about “settlements.” Watch the video and use the prompts below to begin the conversation.

  • Review
  • Discussion
  • Reflection
  • Further Learning
  1. In what year did Israel acquire/liberate/conquer the West Bank?
    • 1937
    • 1948
    • 1956
    • 1967
  2. What is meant by the term “occupation”?
  3. True or false? The West Bank settlements were primarily started by religious Zionists.
  4. What is the Jewish name for the West Bank?
    • Judea and Samaria
    • Golan
    • Sinai
    • Galil
  5. True or false? There was a Palestinian state prior to 1948.
  1. Come up with three reasons it is important to know the full history and backdrop of today’s settlements.
  2. Abba Eban, Israeli foreign minister at the time of the Six-Day War and brilliant orator, stated: “This is the first war in history which has ended with the victors suing for peace and the vanquished calling for unconditional surrender.” How is this comment relevant to the aftermath of the Six-Day War? Do you think it is a fair assessment of the situation?
  3. In 1956, Israel left the territories it conquered, which gave Israel a somewhat quiet period before the 1967 Six-Day War. Should Israel have left the territories like it did in 1956, which gave it 11years of quiet, or did the Israeli leadership make the right decision by leveraging its new-found strength to change the paradigm?
  4. What about uniting Jerusalem and taking over the heartland of the land of Israel was so important that Israel could not give up that opportunity?
  5. Even though Jerusalem came into the hands of Israel after this war, it was decided that the Temple Mount would be under a Muslim Waqf. Read our article on this topic and determine whether Moshe Dayan made the right decision.   
  6. In the aftermath of the war, Arab leaders rejected suggested plans for dividing up the land. Why do you think this is? Where were they coming from? The Jews were more willing to compromise and take what they could get. Why do you think this is? Where were they coming from? How has this shaped the current geopolitical reality?


  1. The Six-Day War was a euphoric time in Israel, as the underdog defeated its many enemies. What might it have felt like to experience this moment in Israel in 1967? Do you have grandparents or family members who remember these events? What was their experience?
  2. Prime Minister Levi Eshkol was reportedly convinced by Menachem Begin to fight for the Old City of Jerusalem. Begin said to him: “The Jordanian army is all but smashed, and our own army is at the city’s gates. Our soldiers are almost in sight of the Western Wall. How can we tell them not to reach it? We have in our hands a gift of history. Future generations will never forgive us if we do not seize it.” In reflecting on this more than 50 years later, do you think Eshkol was swept up by the euphoria of the moment or do you think Eshkol made the rational and correct decision?
  3. An element that arises from this topic is compromise. To you, what does it mean to truly compromise? Is it always virtuous to compromise, or should one hold strong to one’s beliefs? Is there a time in your life when you had to compromise on an issue very dear to you?
  4. Use an exit ticket to articulate two new things you learned from this video and one thing you are left wondering. 
  5. Natan Alterman explained the significance of the Six-Day War and the start of settling the land by saying: “The meaning of this victory is that it erased the difference between the State of Israel and the Land of Israel… The state and the land are henceforth one essence.” Do the one-minute paper, which is a one-minute exercise writing down your thoughts on this quote. Write straight for 60 seconds without over-thinking.


  1. Daniel Gordis, Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn, chapters 12-13
  2. Moshe Dayan, 
  3. Eli Cohen,
  4. Michael Oren, Six Days of War, chapter 11
  5. CAMERA, “The Six-Day War,”
  6. Alma, “What are the Settlements?”
  7. Yehuda Avner, The Prime Ministers, pp. 157-158 
  9. Six Day War Project,

Subscribe to The Weekly

Get practical ways to unpack and teach complex Israeli current events in your inbox each week

By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies. We use cookies to provide you with a great experience and to help our website run effectively.