This study addresses the question of majority-minority relations in situations of intractable conflict (Bar-Tal 2000). The study focuses on processes involved in the majority Jewish group’s construction of images of the Palestinian minority group, all citizens of Israel, while participating in a structured dialogue encounter conducted at Tel Aviv University in Israel. In this dialogue, it was observed that negative inhumane images that the Jews have of the Palestinians were notably expressed by the Jewish group in three situations: to cope with distress when their morality was challenged by the Palestinian group; to preserve the Jewish group's superiority and hegemony in Israel; and to preserve or restore the Jewish group's power. The study also examines the gradual processes of change that the Jewish group experienced while becoming aware that dehumanization strategies are practices that preserve dominance. This study contributes to a better understanding of the importance of addressing the iconic representations and images that majority groups hold of minority groups, and suggests the need to challenge the practice of power through the use of these representations and images when facilitating group encounters.
Sonnenschein, Nava and Bekerman, Zvi
"Who is More Humane? An Ethnographic Account of Power Struggles in Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue Encounters,"
Peace and Conflict Studies: Vol. 17
, Article 2.
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/pcs/vol17/iss2/2