Looking Backward to Move Forward: Effects of Acknowledgment of Victimhood on Readiness to Compromise for Peace in the Protracted Israeli–Palestinian Conflict

Boaz Hameiri, Arie Nadler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Two large-scale surveys conducted in Israel (Study 1A) and the Palestinian Authority (Study 1B) show that the belief by group members that people in the “enemy” group acknowledge their victimhood (i.e., Holocaust and Nakba for Jews and Palestinians, respectively) is associated with Israeli-Jews’ readiness to accept responsibility for Palestinian sufferings and offer apologies. For Palestinians, this belief is linked to a perceived higher likelihood of a reconciled future with Israelis. Three field experiments demonstrate that a manipulated high level of acknowledgment of Jewish victimhood by Palestinians (Studies 2 and 4) and of Palestinian victimhood by Israeli-Jews (Study 3) caused greater readiness to make concessions for the sake of peace on divisive issues (e.g., Jerusalem, the 1967 borders, the right of return) and increased conciliatory attitudes. Additional analyses indicate the mediating role of increased trust and reduced emotional needs in these relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-569
Number of pages15
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume43
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • competitive victimhood
  • intractable conflict
  • needs-based model
  • psychological barriers
  • psychological intervention
  • victimhood acknowledgment

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