The present study examined how Israelis and Palestinians present their narratives related to their conflict in school textbooks used by the state educational system and the ultraorthodox community in Israel and by all Palestinian schools in Palestinian National Territories. The focus was on how each side portrays the Other and their own group. The content analysis was based on a developed conceptual framework and standardized and manualized rating criteria with quantitative and qualitative aspects. The results showed in general that (1) dehumanizing and demonizing characterizations of the Other are rare in both Israeli and Palestinian books; (2) both Israeli and Palestinian books present unilateral national narratives that portray the Other as enemy, chronicle negative actions by the Other directed at the self-community, and portray the self-community in positive terms with actions aimed at self-protection and goals of peace; (3), there is lack of information about the religions, culture, economic and daily activities of the Other, or even of the existence of the Other on maps; (4) the negative bias in portrayal of the Other, the positive bias in portrayal of the self, and the absence of images and information about the Other are all statistically significantly more pronounced in Israeli Ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian books than in Israeli state books.
The Haredi (Jewish Ultra Orthodox) minority in Israel has an increased visibility in Israeli media in recent years. Many of its representations are negative and stereotypical. This article is an analysis of a documentary series about this minority group that the author co-directed also in an attempt to challenge these stereotypes. The article analyses the process of production of the series and the many decisions that had to be taken during it. It explores the difficulties in challenging the key stereotypes, especially in the context of Israeli commercial television.
Almost all developed countries provide some answers for long term care, but only a few countries in the world such as Japan, Austria, Netherlands, Germany, and Israel have implemented Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) based on legislation and entitlement principles. In Israel, community-based LTCI social program has achieved multiple goals and considerably improved the life of frail older people. However, some studies show that despite the rising costs of home care and the mandatory and almost universal nature of LTCI there are still cases where people with AD and other types of dementia or their relatives vacillate or even decline to make use of their rights. We examined the question of whether these patterns may reflect the presence of welfare stigma, i.e., stigmatized views of LTCI, either related to identity stigma of persons with AD or to treatment stigma, usually associated to welfare bureaucracy. Based on a qualitative design, this article uses a methodology of personal in depth and focus group triangulation, by which the views of three groups of stakeholders are explored and compared: persons with AD, relatives and professionals. Findings showed the presence of stigmatic self images among persons with AD or other types of dementia, the absence of such images in relatives’ and professionals’ views of them, and of LTCI. However treatment stigma was found to be primarily associated with eligibility determination procedures. The study concludes that LTCI, even when mandated and almost universal may also generate welfare stigma due to the ways in which it is implemented.
Guetzkow, Josh, and Idit Fast. “How Symbolic Boundaries Shape the Experience of Social Exclusion. A Case Comparison of Arab Palestinian Citizens and Ethiopian Jews in Israel.” American Behavioral Scientist (early view; online first).
Symbolic boundaries, understood as the conceptual distinctions used to demarcate in-groups and out-groups, are fundamental to social inequality. While we know a great deal about how groups and individuals construct and contest symbolic boundaries along lines of class, race, ethnicity, religion, and nationality, less attention is given to (a) national belonging as a component of symbolic boundaries distinct from citizenship and (b) comparing how distinct symbolic boundaries shape individuals perceptions of, and reactions to, instances of stigmatization and discrimination. To examine these issues we compared two marginalized groups in Israel, Arab Palestinian citizens and Ethiopian Jewish immigrants. Analyzing 90 in-depth interviews, we find that exclusion based on boundaries of nationality engenders different ways of interpretating and responding to stigmatizing and discriminatory behavior, compared with exclusion based on racial and ethnic boundaries. While Ethiopians see everyday stigmatizing encounters as part of their temporary position as a recently immigrated group from a developing country, and react accordingly with attempts to prove their worth as individuals and ultimately assimilate, Palestinians view the line between them and the Jewish majority as relatively impermeable and attempts to fully integrate as mostly useless, viewing solidarity and education as a means to improve their group’s standing.
Based on interviews with Palestinian professionals in Jewish organizations in Israel, this article discloses a distinctive practice of ‘everyday racism’ and microaggression – a language of everyday racism. This ‘language of everyday racism’ refers to Hebrew words and expressions that are routinely used by Jews in their mundane conversations and that include the word ‘Arab’ when describing a deficiency or defect, some sort of unsightliness, filth, or general negativity (as in the expression ‘You’re dressed like an Arab woman’). This article not only describes the language of everyday racism as a specific form of everyday racism and microaggression (national microaggression), it also illustrates how this language activates the Palestinian professionals in a reflexive manner. The discussion section describes how the internal dialectic between structure and agency is critical to understanding the language of everyday racism, which in turn acts as a mechanism of the inequality that underlies face-to-face interactions.
Haj-Yahia, Muhammad M., and Amarat Zaatut. “Beliefs of Palestinian Women From Israel About the Responsibility and Punishment of Violent Husbands and About Helping Battered Women.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence (early view; online first).
This article presents a study that examined beliefs about violent husbands and about helping battered women among Palestinian women living in Israel from the perspective of patriarchal ideology. A convenience sample of 701 married women was obtained, and a self-report questionnaire was administered. The findings reveal that the majority of participants held violent husbands accountable for their behavior; however, the majority of them did not support punishing violent husbands through formal agencies (i.e., the police) or through informal social institutions (i.e., the family). In addition, contrary to expectations, the majority of women perceived wife beating as a social problem rather than as a private one that should be dealt with within the family. Regression and multiple regression analysis revealed that women’s endorsement of patriarchal ideology was found to influence all three above-mentioned beliefs about violent husbands and battered women, over and above the amount of variance in each of these beliefs that could be attributed to the women’s sociodemographic characteristics. The limitations of the study and its implications for future research are discussed.
How do messages from political elites interact with individual traits of citizens to spur intergroup aggression? Building on research in social psychology, we expect that in places of protracted conflict, violent rhetoric from elites will be enough to mobilize antagonism toward an outgroup, especially among those who are generally less apt to be hostile toward the outgroup. We present results from two large survey experiments, the first conducted with young Jewish-Israeli adults across Israel and the second with a nationally diverse sample of adults in India. The results show that mild “fighting” words (e.g. “battle,” “fight”), combined with a reference to the outgroup, provoke significantly greater support for policies that harm the outgroup among some citizens. This effect is largest among individuals low in outgroup prejudice and low in aggressive personality traits, people who are usually less inclined to support policies that hurt the outgroup. Effects of violent rhetoric persist even with policies and rhetoric to help the outgroup. This work highlights the importance of considering both individual traits and contextual factors together to understand their full impact in the study of intergroup conflict.
Hager, Tamar, and Tufaha Saba. “The Language of Racism. Textual Testimonies of Jewish-Arab Hostility in the Israeli Academia.” Ricerche di Pedagogia e Didattica – Journal of Theories and Research in Education 10.1 (2015): 109-29.
The persistent Jewish Arab conflict is present in every aspect of life in Israeli society and its echoes penetrate the everyday reality of higher educational institutions. Feelings of mutual hostility among Arab and Jewish students, faculty and administration are common experiences on Israeli campuses. This article analyzes two textual expressions of this mutual resentment which were circulated in 2011 in Tel Hai College, Israel. One of the texts was produced by Muslim Arab student association and the other by a Zionist Jewish organization. Both groups are present on every campus in Israel. Despite the significant difference of the political location occupied by each organization in the Israeli power structure, we argue that these texts share similar attitudes to the conflict and parallel operational strategies. The paper demonstrates the attempts by these texts to encourage the mutual hostility between Jews and Arabs by employing racist and violent discourse. The article tries to explain the silence of the college administration and faculty in the face of these racist acts, subsequently outlining a vision of a responsible academia which will banish any acts of racism.
Cohen, Shuki J. “Breakable and Unbreakable Silences: Implicit Dehumanization and Anti-Arab Prejudice in Israeli Soldiers’ Narratives Concerning Palestinian Women.” International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies 12.3 (2015): 245-77.
This paper illustrates an empirical paradigm for a minimally-biased characterization of the internal representations of female enemy members by male soldiers in the context of a military occupation. Using a combination of psycholinguistic and psychoanalytic tools, the study examined the associative structure of the language that was used by Israeli ex-soldiers in a large corpus of verbatim testimonies detailing their service in the Palestinian occupied territories. Since explicit dehumanization is rare in Israeli official discourse and in media- and political correctness-savvy occupying forces worldwide, this study examined implicit dehumanization through the non-conscious use of spontaneous linguistic choices. Using both computerized and quantitative linguistic analyses, this study tracked a particular pattern or word choice, presumed to capture implicit dehumanization based on a trans-disciplinary definition of the construct. Furthermore, to mitigate the potential confound between fear of the enemy and its dehumanization, this study focused on anecdotes concerning Palestinian women, as they pose less realistic threat to Israeli soldiers. Consistent with this study’s formulation of implicit dehumanization, Israeli soldiers tended to describe Palestinian women’s mental state in situational and behavioral terms (e.g. scream, make a mess, piss her pants, had a heart attack, etc.). In contrast, empathic inference – whereby the narrator extends their emotional understanding of themselves and other humans to the person whose emotional state they attempt to describe or understand – was often reserved in the testimonials only to the narrator and his fellow comrades. This evidence for implicit dehumanization is then discussed as a borderline-level defense mechanism within the larger context of both individual- and national-level anti-Arab prejudice in Israel.
Buchbinder, Eli, and Nisreen George Karayanni. “Rejection and Choice: Arab Battered Women Coping with Stigmatization After Leaving Battered Women’s Shelters in Israel.” Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work 24.3 (2015): 235-50.
In the collectivist Arab society, intimate partner violence (IPV) is considered to be a personal and a family problem. Arab women who seek refuge in shelters for battered women are perceived as violating a cultural norm. This study focused on how Arab women cope with living independently in the community after spending time in a shelter. In this qualitative study, 12 women between the ages of 25 and 42 were interviewed, after having spent six to 30 months in the shelter. Since then, they had been living in the community. Analysis of the interviews revealed that the women described their independent lives as positioned between two poles: On one pole, they experienced stress and rejection from the family and society, which caused them pain, anger, and loneliness. On the other pole, the women experienced strength that enabled them to find meaning in their right to choose. The discussion of the study findings focuses on the dialectical relationships between the social stigma of rejection and the women’s self-transformation toward an empowered identity in the context of a collectivist-patriarchal community.
Walther, Joseph B., Elaine Hoter, Asmaa Ganayem, and Miri Shonfeld. “Computer-Mediated Communication and the Reduction of Prejudice: A Controlled Longitudinal Field Experiment among Jews and Arabs in Israel.” Computers in Human Behavior 52 (2015): 550-558.
The promise of computer-mediated communication (CMC) to reduce intergroup prejudice has generated mixed results. Theories of CMC yield alternative and mutually exclusive explanations about mechanisms by which CMC fosters relationships online with potential to ameliorate prejudice. This research tests contact-hypothesis predictions and two CMC theories on multicultural, virtual groups who communicated during a yearlong online course focusing on educational technology. Groups included students from the three major Israeli education sectors—religious Jews, secular Jews, and Muslims—who completed pretest and posttest prejudice measures. Two sets of control subjects who did not participate in virtual groups provided comparative data. An interaction of the virtual groups experience × religious/cultural membership affected prejudice toward different religious/cultural target groups, by reducing prejudice toward the respective outgroups for whom the greatest initial enmity existed. Comparisons of virtual group participants to control subjects further support the influence of the online experience. Correlations between prejudice with group identification and with interpersonal measures differentiate which theoretical processes pertained.