Modern Israel is the topic of this third level History Special Subject module, running over two semesters. Contemporary images of Israel are often informed by general political attitudes, and the many – different – realities of life in Israel tend to disappear behind these images. The history of the pre-state Jewish community in Palestine and of the State of Israel has to be seen in a variety of wider contexts: European interests in the Middle East; Jewish life in Europe and the rise of Zionism; the emergence of a Palestinian Arab political consciousness; the British Mandate and the League of Nations; World War I and its impact on the region; World War II and the Holocaust. These contexts will be discussed, but the focus of the course is Modern Israel itself – its history, its political situation, inner-Israeli divisions and the role of historical consciousness. Part 2 of the module will take a closer look at Israel’s cultural history.