Construction of the Israeli-Jewish conflict-supportive narrative and the struggle over its dominance

Neta Oren, Rafi Nets-Zehngut, Daniel Bar-Tal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Societies involved in intractable conflicts form a conflict-supporting master narrative that provides justification and explanation of the conflict as a whole as well as narratives about its specific events and relevant persons. Both types of narratives fulfill important functions in satisfying the basic sociopsychological needs of the individuals and the collectives involved, as well as in maintaining a positive image of the society in the international community. In order to fill these needs, the narratives tend to be selective, biased, and simplistic. Moreover, because these narratives are so functional, societies go to extraordinary lengths to maintain their dominance among their own people and internationally. The present article analyzes the specific case of the Israeli-Jewish narrative of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with regard to the methods that are used in the narrative's construction and the ways through which formal authorities strive to preserve its dominance in Israel and in the international community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-230
Number of pages16
JournalPolitical Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • Collective memory
  • Culture of conflict
  • Ethos of conflict
  • Intractable conflict
  • Narratives


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