Swords or plowshares? : Holocaust collective memories and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict / Cristina Andriani
Bibliography: leaves 144-154
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I researched the mutual impact of Holocaust collective memory and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on Jewish-Israeli understanding and experience of past and present. Two key questions I sought to answer were: How does meaning-making of past Holocaust collective memory affect Jewish-Israelis' current understanding and experience of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? And, how do personal experiences of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict affect Jewish-Israelis' meaning-making of Holocaust collective memory? I chose a mixed methods approach to both obtain breadth and depth in the answers of Jewish-Israelis residing in Israel. I conducted an online survey both in Hebrew and English to gather a spectrum of perspectives from 328 participants. I then traveled to Israel and carried out face-to-face in depth interviews with 35 Jewish-Israelis with a wide range of demographic backgrounds: from settlements, kibbutzim and cities; politically left and right wing; dovish and hawkish; religious and secular; male and female; ranging in age from early twenties to mid eighties; survivors, descendants of survivors and participants who's families were not affected by the Holocaust. Findings from hierarchical multiple linear regressions and binary logistic regressions supported the association between political orientation (hawkishness/dovishness) and lessons drawn from the Holocaust (particularistic/universalistic). Support was found for a relationship between universalistic lessons and agreement with compromise policies as a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, however, not for particularistic lessons and right-wing policy of transfer of Palestinians. Finally, there was support for a connection between dovishness, the duty to care for others as a result of the legacy of the Holocaust, and between hawkishness and the duty to ensure the continuity of the Jewish people and culture. What emerged from an analysis of narrative interviews was a dialectical pattern of thought in which hawks and doves carried mixed and contradicting beliefs of both Holocaust lessons and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. These contradictions were found to be mutually inclusive such that it was possible for individuals to both believe in particularistic and universalistic lessons of the Holocaust, and to feel conflicted about both wanting to protect themselves as a group, while wanting to care for the outgroup (Palestinians).
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