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

See all articles by Rafi Nets-Zehngut

Rafi Nets-Zehngut

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Daniel Bar-Tal

Tel Aviv University - Department of Child Development and Education

Date Written: August 8, 2017

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Nets-Zehngut, Rafi and Bar-Tal, Daniel, The Israeli-Jewish Collective Memory of the Israeli-Arab/Palestinian Conflict – Findings of a Representative Public Survey Regarding 23 Major Topics (August 8, 2017). Published in: Rafi Nets-Zehngut (2017). Israeli and Palestinian Collective Memory of Conflict, pp. 14-50. Germany: Lambert Academic publishing. . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3015455 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3015455

Rafi Nets-Zehngut (Contact Author)

Hebrew University of Jerusalem ( email )

Israel

Daniel Bar-Tal

Tel Aviv University - Department of Child Development and Education ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
Tel Aviv, 6997801
Israel
972-3-6408473 (Phone)
972-3-6409477 (Fax)

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