“The Israeli Collective Memory of the 1948 Palestinian Exodus (1949-2008)”

Dr. Rafi Nets-Zehngut
Doctoral Fellow, The Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mt. Scopus, Israel

Discussion will be moderated by Robert Jervis
Adlai E Stevenson Professor of International Politics

This event is free and open to the public. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The talk addresses the way in which the causes for the Palestinian exodus (e.g., willing flight or willing flight with expulsion) were presented in Israel between 1949 and the early 2000s in the publications of seven Israeli-Jewish institutions: three state institutions – the IDF, the national Information Center and the Ministry of Education, and four societal institutions – the academy, newspapers, 1948 war veterans memoirs and peace NGOs. In addition, the discussion will include the reasons for the way the causes were presented, and provide findings of a public opinion survey among a representative sample of Israeli-Jews about their memory of these causes. In this framework the talk will include a discussion of the psychological determinants of holding certain narratives about these causes (e.g., values, openness to new information and socio-demographics), and the psychological consequences of holding them (e.g., in terms of emotions toward the Palestinians, memory of anti-Semitism, and support for resolution of the conflict). 

Rafi Nets-Zehngut is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Leonard David Institute for International Relations at the Hebrew University, and previously a predoctoral fellow at Yale and Columbia Universities. His research studies the psychological aspects of ethnic/cultural/societal conflicts, with the main focus being their collective memory. Additionally, his research addresses the reconciliation and healing processes in the wake of the destructive aftermath of these conflicts. Regionally he focuses on the Israeli-Arab/Palestinian conflict. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.