Socio-Psychological Barriers to Peace Making: The Case of the Israeli Jewish Society

Daniel Bar-Tal*, Eran Halperin, Neta Oren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


The present article describes the socio-psychological barriers that play a major role in Israeli Jewish society in the attempts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict peacefully. After presenting the general conceptual framework of the socio-psychological barriers, our analysis of Israeli Jewish society focuses on two main aspects: conflict-supporting beliefs that provide well-based arguments that feed the continuation of the conflict, and emotions of fear and hatred that fuel it. Despite major changes in Israeli Jewish society through the years, many of these beliefs and emotions have remained dominant and continue to obstruct possible peaceful resolution of the conflict. They inhibit penetration of new information that could aid in facilitating the development of the peace process. The article presents the obstructing beliefs and emotions in detail, relying mostly on national surveys conducted between 2000 and 2009. Finally, it discusses the implications of the presented data and proposes ways to overcome these socio-psychological barriers.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)63-109
Number of pages47
JournalSocial Issues and Policy Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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