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America at a Crossroads: Campus Battleground

Campus Battleground, a special in the America at a Crossroads series, focuses on the University of California-Berkeley and Columbia University in New York where, in the spring of 2006, pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian students struggle over the competing claims of Zionism and Palestinian nationalism. Since the 1960's, the American university has often been less a free marketplace of ideas than a combat zone where partisan groups forcefully and sometimes fiercely argue their positions on national and world affairs. In recent years, no issue has been more contentious than the conflict in the Middle East. In this film, students debate over what history teaches and whether absolute demands can ever lead to honorable compromise. This seemingly intractable conflict half a world away has forced these students to think about allegiances to family, ethnicity and religion, and above all about the need to take a stand that will define them and their ideals. The one-hour documentary airs nationally on PBS Monday, November 26 at 10 p.m. ET (check local listings).

Campus Battleground is one of the wide array of documentaries commissioned as part of the celebrated America at a Crossroads series. This initiative, created by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and produced under the aegis of WETA Washington, D.C., was designed to create an in-depth, provocative series of films exploring the challenges confronting the world post-9/11. The first 11 films in the series aired on PBS April 15-20, generating a strong audience response and critical acclaim.

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Pro-Israeli students demonstrate at Columbia University in New York in a scene from "Campus Battleground," a special in the "America at a Crossroads" series.

Credit: Courtesy of Quest/Argus/Free Productions