chapter  23
21 Pages

The Story of the Communication Field in Israel: Nation Building, Personal Transfer, and Growth

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem was founded in 1925 by the Zionist movement on Mount Scopus campus, and is Israel’s second-oldest university, after the Technion in Haifa. The founders’ twofold vision was to establish a university equal to the best universities in the Western world, as well as to establish a national university-the university of the Jewish people. The Zionist ideology, which emerged in Central and Eastern Europe at the end of 19th century, both engendered and fueled a national movement that supported the notion of creating a Jewish homeland in Palestine, historically defined by the Jewish tradition as the Land of Yisrael (Eretz Yisrael). Since its foundation, and especially after World War I, the Zionist movement was in conflict with the Arab national movement and Pan-Islamic movements; the roots of the modern Israeli-Arab conflict may be traced to that early period (Kimmerling & Migdal, 1999). This conflict accelerated with the Jewish immigration to Israel between the two world wars and reached one of its peaks in 1948, when in the wake of World War II and the Holocaust, the United Nations’ Security Council decided to divide Palestine/Eretz Yisrael between the Jews and the Palestinian Arabs. The Arab leadership rejected the notion of division (Hahaluka) of the land. Having declared its independence, the Jewish Yishuv (Settlement) in Palestine fought against a coalition of Arab countries. Israel’s War of Independence (Milkhemet Ha’atzma’ut) is known in Arabic as al-Nakba (“The Disaster”). Notwithstanding its military victory and rapid economic development, the Israeli state and society remained under a state of siege by hostile neighboring countries and a large Arab minority within the new state. Throughout its existence, there has been an ongoing conflict between Israel, several Arab countries, and the

Palestinians. Since the 1948 war, when the Mount Scopus campus was captured by the Jordanian army, the Hebrew University’s departments have been scattered in different locations in Jerusalem until the completion in the early 1960s of Givat Ram campus in western Jerusalem. After the Six-Day War in 1967, the campus on Mount Scopus was reopened and expanded, and the Faculty of Social Sciences, along with the Humanities, was moved to the renovated campus.