Activists in Israeli radical peace organizations: Their personal stories about joining and taking part in these organizations

Meytal Nasie, Daniel Bar-Tal, Orit Shnaidman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study aims to examine the personal stories of activists in radical peace organizations to understand their prejoining socialization experiences, their perception of the conflict and the changes they are trying to make, as well as the meaning of the activism for them. In-depth interviews with 16 female and male activists in 4 radical peace organizations were conducted in Israel, within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian intractable conflict. A qualitative content analysis of the interviews revealed that radical peace activists share certain prejoining socialization experiences that account for their collective activity. These include socialization in the family, social and political activities, exposure to alternative information about the conflict, and crucial life experiences. In addition, the activists share a common perception of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They see it as an issue which has been repressed and disregarded by Israeli society. They share the common goal of solving the conflict peacefully and, therefore, they try to raise awareness in society of the conflictive reality. We observed that joining radical peace organizations provides activists with a new collective arena with which they can identify and in which they can act to express their unique values and beliefs, and finally adopt a new, distinctly activist identity. The findings contribute to a better understanding of peace activists' collective action, undertaken with the knowledge that peace activists are at the forefront of attempts to make meaningful societal change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-329
Number of pages17
JournalPeace and Conflict
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Collective action
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Peace activists
  • Radical peace organizations

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