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.
Goren, Chen, and Efrat Neter. “Stereotypical Thinking as a Mediating Factor in the Association between Exposure to Terror and PTSD Symptoms among Israeli Youth.” Anxiety, Stress & Coping (early view; online first).
Background and Objectives: The negative impact of exposure to terror on mental health, as well as on the perceptions of each side of the conflict toward the other, is well-documented. However, the association between stereotyping, concomitant with perceived threat, and anxiety, was rarely investigated. The current study examined information processing attributes and exposure to terror as predictors of PTSD symptoms among youth at inter-group conflict, with stereotypical thinking toward a threatening out-group as a possible mediator. Design: Cross-sectional, with exposure to terror, need for cognitive structure (NCS), efficacy at fulfilling the need for closure (EFNC) and self-esteem, predicting stereotypical thinking and PTSD symptoms. Method: Ninth graders (N = 263) from two residential areas in Israel, varying in their degree of exposure to terror, responded to a self-report questionnaire tapping the above variables. Results: Stereotypical thinking was found to mediate the association between exposure to terror and PTSD symptoms, but not the association between the NCS and EFNC interaction and PTSD symptoms. Conclusions: The findings support Terror Management Theory, so that a negative and rigid perception makes it difficult to construct coherent world-view, thus contributing to aggregation of existential anxiety and PTSD symptoms.
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.
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.
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.
The goal of our study was to explore factors that underlie public support for compromise in protracted, asymmetrical conflict. We introduce a gendering for compromise model in which, in line with previous studies (Maoz & McCauley, 2008), support for compromise is determined by perception of threat from the opponent. However, innovatively, our model also presents perception of the opponent as having stereotypical feminine traits as an important predictor of willingness to compromise in conflict. This model was tested in the context of the asymmetrical, protracted Israeli–Palestinian conflict using representative of Jewish–Israeli public opinion polling data (N = 511). In line with our expectations, the findings indicated that Jewish–Israeli perceptions of Palestinians as threatening and Jewish–Israeli perceptions of Palestinians as having stereotypical feminine traits both made significant contributions to predicting attitudes toward compromise.
This article analyzes English textbooks used in Israel to examine whether their cultural content is appropriate for the Palestinian Arab learner. This topic is significant, as the English curriculum in Israel is uniform in all sectors. The article presents a critical discourse analysis of six English textbooks used in Israeli high schools to examine the recurrence of seven discursive devices that might possibly serve as a means for shaping or (re)producing ideological values: (1) culturally distinctive names, (2) pronouns, (3) the passive/active voice when relating to the Other, (4) explicit statements defining the target audience, (5) narratives involving faraway cultures that perpetuate Western stereotypes and exclude the Other, (6) a demand for culturally specific prior knowledge, and (7) discourse constructing identities and collective memories. These devices serve to foster English learners imbued with Western oriented Jewish-Zionist ideology, while reproducing and perpetuating hegemonic ideology. Thus, English textbooks in Israel marginalize the Palestinian Arab minority, its culture and common traditions, thereby engendering a learning environment that creates a negative learning experience for students of this sector.
Mengistu, Germaw and Eli Avraham. “‘Others Among Their Own People’: The Social Construction of Ethiopian Immigrants in the Israeli National Press.” Communication, Culture & Critique (early view, online first).
The article examines the ways in which the national press includes or excludes the Ethiopian immigrants in the Jewish-Israeli collective, and the changes applicable to these inclusion and exclusion practices. The study uses qualitative and quantitative content analysis, with reference to postcolonial theory. The findings of the research show that Israeli journalism tended, on one hand, to include the immigrants within the ancient Jewish collective, while at the same time, treating them as being culturally ignorant. This research provides a complex definition of the boundaries of the others, while also shedding light on an important subject, namely the representation of Ethiopian immigrants in Israeli media, which has been neglected by social science researchers.
Niwa, Erika Y., Paul Boxer, Eric F. Dubow, L. Rowell Huesmann, Simha Landau, Khalil Shikaki, and Shira Dvir Gvirsman. “Negative Stereotypes of Ethnic Outgroups: A Longitudinal Examination Among Palestinian, Israeli Jewish, and Israeli Arab Youth.” Journal of Research on Adolescence (Early View; Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue).
Ethno-political conflict impacts thousands of youth globally and has been associated with a number of negative psychological outcomes. Extant literature has mostly addressed the adverse emotional and behavioral outcomes of exposure while failing to examine change over time in social cognitive factors in contexts of ethno-political conflict. Using cohort sequential longitudinal data, this study examines ethnic variation in the development of negative stereotypes about ethnic outgroups among Palestinian (n =600), Israeli Jewish (n =451), and Israeli Arab (n =450) youth over 3 years. Age and exposure to ethno-political violence were included as covariates for these trajectories. Findings indicate important ethnic differences in trajectories of negative stereotypes about ethnic outgroups, as well as variation in how such trajectories are shaped by prolonged ethno-political conflict.
This article investigates structural conditions for women’s inclusion/exclusion in peace negotiations by focusing on the linkage between acts of gender stereotyping and cultural framing. Through a narrative analysis of semi-structured interviews with Israeli negotiators and administrators who participated in official negotiations during the Oslo peace process, I link two recent claims about how gender may affect negotiators’ understandings of strategic exchange: the gendered devaluation effect and the gender–culture double bind hypothesis. Building upon postcolonial feminist critique, I argue that narratives about women and cultural difference (a) demonstrate and engage with Israeli essentialist and Orientalist discourses about Arab culture and masculinity; (b) manifest how ideas about strategic dialogue and negotiations are gendered; and (c) convey how policymakers and negotiators may use cultural claims to rationalize women’s exclusion from diplomatic and strategic dialogue. Furthermore, the study implies that dominant framings of Israeli–Palestinian negotiations as a binary East–West encounter need to be replaced by a more nuanced conceptualization of cultural identity that captures contextual aspects of difference, including the existence of military power and masculine dominance.
Based on survivors’ testimonies the article discusses the encounters of Holocaust survivors in Palestine/Israel between 1945 and 1955. After addressing the issues of the historiography of these Holocaust survivors and the value of using their testimonies, it examines the interactions of survivors with official authorities: work, housing, kibbutzim, education, and the pre-military/IDF. It sheds light on the meaning of silence and the manifestation of stereotyping for the survivors themselves, and it assesses the impact of families and creating families. The article also examines the validity of these testimonies by studying some testimonies of Holocaust survivors who emigrated from Israel and those who immigrated directly from Europe to North America. The study concludes that although contemporary collective views influenced survivors’ perceptions, cases of their ill-treatment were not isolated. They were more the result of the attitudes of individuals than the policy of the state. Veteran Israelis’ insensitivity affected survivors. Stigmatizing ostracized them. Lack of empathy and discrimination caused survivors to feel unwanted and lonely, which resulted in many volunteering for the military, or in self-isolation, or in getting married as quickly as possible. Lack of study and job opportunities for women were more difficult to overcome.
Maoz, Ifat. “The Face of the Enemy: The Effect of Press-Reported Visual Information Regarding the Facial Features of Opponent Politicians on Support for Peace.” Political Communication 29.3 (2012): 243-256.
Research in political communication devotes growing attention to the role of visual information relayed through different mediums, including the news media, in forming political impressions, attitudes, and opinions. An increasing body of research indicates that exposure to visual information on the facial appearance of politicians from one’s own state or country affects the favorability of attitudes towards these politicians as well as affecting voting intentions. However, the impact of visual information regarding politicians from the opponent side in a conflict has not been systematically examined. The current study addresses this gap by examining the effect of visual news coverage—regarding the facial features of political leaders from the opponent side in a conflict—on support for peace. In an experiment conducted in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Jewish-Israeli respondents received a news item containing a proposal for peace agreement accompanied by a photograph described as portraying the Palestinian political leader offering the proposal. The photograph included a digitized facial image that was manipulated to appear as baby-faced or mature by altering the size of the eyes and lips. In line with my expectations, the baby-faced Palestinian politician was judged as more trustworthy than the mature-faced version of the same photograph and the press-reported peace proposal received higher support when offered by the baby-faced Palestinian politician. Also in line with my expectations, the Palestinian politician’s perceived trustworthiness was a significant mediator of the effect of the politician’s facial features on support for peace.
Aburaya, Issam; Abu-Raiya, Hisham. “On the Connection between Islamic Sacred Texts and Muslims’ Political Conduct: The Israeli Dominant Elites’ Conception.” Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 5.2 (2012): 101-115.
This essay provides an empirically grounded and theoretically informed examination of Israeli elites’ discourse on Islam, in general, and its conceptualization of the relationship between Islamic sacred texts and the political conduct of Muslims, in particular. It argues that the Israeli elites’ discourse, for the most part, is not only unhistorical and lacking in a sociological basis, but, most importantly, emphasizes Islamic religious texts while reducing their Muslim readers into uniquely choiceless beings. This conceptualization, we contend, leads to unnecessary and unjustifiable theoretical inconsistencies concerning the broader topic of the relationship between human agency and religious texts. We conclude by suggesting that the above mentioned Israeli discourse teaches us less about what Islam and Muslims `really are’ than it does about the Israeli self-idealized image as members of a secular western society and the desires and anxieties this image expresses and represses.