The Israeli Collective Memory of the Israeli-Arab/Palestinian Conflict: Its Characteristics and Relation to the Conflict
chapter In: K. Sharvit & E. Halperin (Eds.), The Israeli/Palestinian conflict: A social psychology perspective – Celebrating the legacy of Daniel Bar-Tal (Vol. II), 49-60. New York: Springer.
21 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2017
Date Written: June 15, 2016
The dynamics of the Israeli-Arab/Palestinian conflict are highly influenced by its collective memory among Israeli-Jews. This umbrella category includes several main types of memories: popular memory (that of the society at large), official memory (that of the state), autobiographical memory (that of the direct-experience people, for example, war veterans), historical memory (that of the academia) and cultural memory (e.g., of the media and cultural channels). The Israeli collective memory (and its various sub-types) has changed over the years. Initially, after 1948 when the State of Israel was founded, it was highly distorted and biased in favor of the Israeli-Jews. As time passed, however, mostly since the 1970s, this memory has changed, to become less biased as well as more accurate and critical. This process took place in a larger context of the Israeli-Jewish repertoire of the conflict, which includes, aside from the collective memory - the ethos of the conflict and its collective emotional orientation. Largely, the characteristics of these two other components of the repertoire have been similar to those of the collective memory, i.e., - initially more negative and biased and later, less so. This chapter reviews the process that the Israeli-Jewish collective memory went through over the years. It describes the process’s characteristics, determinants, reciprocal influences between the ethos and the collective emotional orientation, and the phenomenon of self-censorship, one of the mechanisms that inhibited the aforementioned change of the Israeli CM prior to the 1970s. It also discusses the impact of this memory on the continuation or resolution of the conflict and the impacts of the Palestinian and Israeli CMs on each other.
Keywords: Collective Memory, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, popular memory, official memory, cultural memory
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