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Abstract

This study examines psychological correlates of Jewish-Israeli support for post-conflict political reconciliation with Jordan. An analysis of data from a public opinion survey conducted with a representative sample of Israeli-Jews (n=1000) indicated that appraisal of outgroup collective threat, as well as hatred and (lack of) sympathy towards Jordanians, predicted Jewish-Israeli decreased support for peaceful reconciliation with Jordan. Our findings point to the crucial role of threat perceptions in hindering post-conflict reconciliation and to the importance of sympathy towards the other side in increasing support for such reconciliation.

Author Bio(s)

Ifat Maoz, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, has been a visiting scholar at the Psychology Department, Stanford University and at the Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict, University of Pennsylvania. Her studies on cognitive-perceptual mechanisms in conflict and negotiation, media effects and media perception in conflict, psychological bases of political preferences, and communication processes in conflict resolution have been published in academic journals including Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Negotiation Journal and the Journal of Social Issues. Email: msifat@mscc.huji.ac.il

Jacob Shamir is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism and senior research fellow in the Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Since July 2000 he has co-directed, together with Khalil Shikaki, the Joint Israeli-Palestinian Poll (JIPP). His research interests include public opinion, political communication, and conflict resolution. His research has been published in international journals such as Communication Research, Journal of Peace Research, Political Communication, Political Psychology, and Public Opinion Quarterly. His recent books are The Anatomy of Public Opinion (University of Michigan Press, 2000, with Michal Shamir) and Palestinian and Israeli Public Opinion: The Public Imperative in the Second Intifada (Indiana University Press, forthcoming, 2009, with Khalil Shikaki). Email: jshamir@mscc.huji.ac.il

Gadi Wolfsfeld holds the Danny Arnold Chair in Communication and has a joint appointment in Political Science and Communication at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has served as chair of the Political Communication section of the American Political Science Association and as chair of the Department of Communication at Hebrew University. His major research interests center on the role of the news media in political conflicts and in peace processes. Professor Wolfsfeld's most recent book was published by Cambridge University Press and is entitled Media and the Path to Peace. Email: msgadi@huji.ac.il

Shira Dvir is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Communication, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her main research interests are public opinion and the psychological effects of media usage. Email: sdvir@mscc.huji.ac.il

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