Dialogue and ideology: The effect of continuous involvement in Jewish-Arab dialogue encounters on the ideological perspectives of Israeli-Jews

Yiftach Ron, Ifat Maoz*, Zvi Bekerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study explores the impact of continuous involvement in planned intercultural Jewish-Arab encounters on the ideological perspectives of Israeli-Jews. Specifically, we examine the extent to which continuous involvement of Israeli-Jewish group facilitators in encounters with Arabs is associated with reported changes in their attitudes toward the status of the Arab minority in Israel and toward the definition of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. A thematic content analysis of 13 in-depth interviews with Jewish facilitators of major encounter programs in Israel reveals that these facilitators' continuous involvement in encounters is associated, in most cases, with a reported ideological shift. Specifically, the interviewees described encounters as raising their awareness to the asymmetric relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel, and to claims regarding discrimination toward the Arab citizens of Israel. Moreover, the vast majority of interviewed Jewish-Israeli group facilitators described their continued encounter with Arab citizens of Israel as leading them to an increased detachment from Zionist ideology and to a significant decrease in their support of the definition of Israel as a Jewish state.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)571-579
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2010

Keywords

  • Dialogue encounters
  • Ideology
  • Intergroup contact
  • Intergroup relations
  • Israel
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Majority-minority relations
  • Palestinians

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