The Israeli-Jewish Collective Memory of the Israeli-Arab/Palestinian Conflict – Findings of a Representative Public Survey Regarding 23 Major Topics
Published in: Rafi Nets-Zehngut (2017). Israeli and Palestinian Collective Memory of Conflict, pp. 14-50. Germany: Lambert Academic publishing.
37 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2017
Date Written: August 8, 2017
Popular memory is important because it influences the psychological reactions of people and consequently their behavior. The importance of popular memory is further enhanced in conflict situations. Despite this, the Israeli-Jewish (Israeli) popular memory of the Israeli-Arab/Palestinian conflict (“conflict”) has never been researched in an inclusive manner via a public opinion survey. This method is unique because it allows reaching a representative sample of the population. Actually, as far as is known, an inclusive survey as described here has never been done regarding other conflicts worldwide as well. This chapter aims to deal with these lacks. It explores the Israeli memory regarding 23 major events/topics (“topics”) about the conflict ranging from the late 19th century to present times. These topics address, for example, the quality of relations between the Zionist pioneers and the local Palestinians in the Land of Israel (“Palestine”), the causes for the eruption of various wars, the causes of the 1948 Palestinian exodus and for the establishments of the settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the sincerity of parties in peace negotiations and Israel’s purity of arms in the battle field. Moreover, the chapter offers the first index of the Israeli popular memory of the conflict. This index, composed of the results of the average memory regarding 23 conflict topics, was found to be situated on point 2.4 in a narratives’ spectrum. In this spectrum point 1 represents the Zionist narrative (presenting Israel very positively and/or the Palestinians very negatively), 3 represents a critical/post-Zionist narrative and 5 – the Palestinian narrative (a mirror image of the Zionist narrative). The article also discusses the correlation between this index and various approaches of the interviewees about the conflict, their socio-psychological characteristics and their memory of the Holocaust.
Keywords: popular memory, collective memory, survey, social memory, cultural memory
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