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The Israeli-Arab Conflict Psychological Perspective. Dr. Yaron Ziv, MSW, Ph.D Organizational Consultant, Couple &Family Therapist, “Maof” center for Human Development. www.yaronziv.com. Background on the present conflict. A conflict that goes over a century

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The Israeli-Arab Conflict Psychological Perspective


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the israeli arab conflict psychological perspective

The Israeli-Arab Conflict Psychological Perspective

Dr. Yaron Ziv, MSW, Ph.D Organizational Consultant, Couple &Family Therapist, “Maof” center for Human Development.

www.yaronziv.com

DR YARON ZIV

background on the present conflict
Background on the present conflict
  • A conflict that goes over a century
  • It developed over a territory claimed as a homeland by two national movements: Palestinian National Movement and the Zionism (the Jewish national movement
  • Both sides clash recurrently over the right to self-determination, statehood and justice

DR YARON ZIV

the sad paradox
The Sad Paradox
  • A national survey shoes that on the one hand 70% of the Palestinians and Israelis are ready for far reaching compromises in order to resolve the conflict peacefully

On the other hand 70% of both societies stereotypes the opponent with extremely negative characteristicsand support the use of force against their opponent

DR YARON ZIV

psychological obstacles
Psychological Obstacles
  • Three major psychological obstacles can be identified:
  • Fear
  • Delegitimization
  • Collective self - perception as victim

DR YARON ZIV

slide5
Fear
  • Fearis a primary aversive emotion arises in situations of threat and danger to the organism and or his/her environment and enables people to respond to them adaptively:
  • A) It mobilizes a constant readiness to face

potential danger in an unanticipated threat

DR YARON ZIV

slide6
Fear
  • B) It directs attention and sensitizes to cues

that signal danger and to information that

implies threat

C) It increases affiliation, solidarity and

cohesiveness among society members

DR YARON ZIV

slide7
Fear

D) It mobilizes society members to act on

behalf of the society, to cope with the threat

and to act against the enemy

(Folkman& Lazaus 1984)

DR YARON ZIV

slide8
Fear

The other side of the coin:

Fear can lead to a collective freezing of beliefs,

adherence to certain beliefs about the causes of threat, about the conflict and the ways to cope with it.

DR YARON ZIV

slide9
Fear
  • Maslow (1963): “All those psychological and social factors that increase fear cut the impulse to know”
  • The collective fear orientation tends to limit perspective

DR YARON ZIV

slide10
Fear
  • Fear increases over sensitization and mistrust
  • Fear causes deligitimization of the adversary and prevents rational and creative solutions to the conflict situation

DR YARON ZIV

slide11
Fear
  • Fear leads people to increase ethnocentrism and intolerance towards out-groups
  • A fearful society tends to choose fighting in response to threatening conditions
  • Fixation on a primal survival mode

DR YARON ZIV

delegitimization
Delegitimization
  • Delegitimization is defined as the categorization of a group or groups into extremely negative social categories that exclude it or them from the sphere of human groups that act within the limits of acceptable norms &values

(Bar-Tal, 1989)

DR YARON ZIV

delegitimization1
Delegitimization
  • The use of labels as terrorists, murderers colonialists or fascists categorizes the capacity and the intention of the “other” group to harm the opponent
  • The lack of trust is reflected in the following beliefs: The Palestinian will never honor any agreement

DR YARON ZIV

delegitimization2
Delegitimization
  • The Palestinian don’t really want to recognize the right of Israel to coexist
  • The real desire of the Arabs is to “clean” the middle east from Jews and to leave it as a pure Islamic region
  • Therefore peace process could not be achieved

DR YARON ZIV

collective self concept as victim
Collective self-concept as victim
  • Both sides have strong feelings of victim hood
  • The other side is responsible for the loss of innocent people (women &children)
  • The self concept as a victim gives rise to feelings of anger and wishes for vengeance
  • Being perceived as a victim allows oneself to be

“right” .

DR YARON ZIV

psychological diagnosis
Psychological Diagnosis
  • Both sides are still fixated in the infantile Phase which is led by impulses and emotions rather than rational thinking.
  • Both sides act out of a PTSD syndrome.
  • The Israelis have the Post Holocaust Syndrome
  • The Palestinians have The Post Fantasy Syndrome

DR YARON ZIV

psychological diagnosis1
Psychological Diagnosis
  • Both sides have inside deep lack of trust
  • Both sides continue to live with a great dissonance between understanding and feeling
  • Both sides are immature emotionally

DR YARON ZIV

psychological diagnosis2
Psychological Diagnosis
  • Both sides are afraid to take risks and to let go of the survival mode
  • Both sides are driven from religious forces which do enhance the emotional factor. (the Jerusalem Question)

DR YARON ZIV

psychological diagnosis3
Psychological Diagnosis
  • Both sides have a “dramatic” component embedded in their culture that does enhance crisis and prevents from a rational logical way of dealing with conflict

DR YARON ZIV

psychological factors for de escalation
Psychological factors for de-escalation
  • Legitimization
  • Equalization
  • Differentiation
  • Personalization
  • Reduction of negative effect
  • Induction of hope and acceptance

DR YARON ZIV

psychological factors for de escalation1
Psychological factors for de- escalation
  • Legitimization
  • allows viewing the opponent as belonging to an acceptable category of group behaving within the boundaries of international norms.
  • Recognition of the legitimate existence of the other group with its differences.

DR YARON ZIV

psychological factors for de escalation2
Psychological factors for de- escalation
  • Acceptance of the elected leaders of the rival group as legitimate partners in the peace process, as such it provides the basis of trust which is an essential condition for conflict resolution process

DR YARON ZIV

psychological factors for de escalation3
Psychological factors for de-escalation
  • Equalization
  • Relate to your rival group as an equal partner without superiority and then treat them accordingly.
  • Allows meaningful relations between past adversaries.

DR YARON ZIV

psychological factors of de escalation
Psychological Factors of de-escalation
  • Differentiation
  • It enables a new perspective of the rival, previously regarded as a uniformly hostile entity

DR YARON ZIV

psychological factors of de escalation1
Psychological Factors of de-escalation
  • The new perception implies that the rival group includes various sub-groups that differ in their views and ideologies
  • It provides more human view to the opponent group and does more justice to it’s complex structure

DR YARON ZIV

psychological factors for de escalation4
Psychological factors for de-escalation
  • Personalization
  • Allows people to view the rival group as made up of individuals with ordinary human characteristics , concerns, needs and goals.
  • It allows seeing members of the rival group as human beings who are also victimsof the conflict and likewise have just claims and moral justifications for their demands

DR YARON ZIV

reduction of negative affect
Reduction of negative affect
  • It includes the cognitive elements of visualizing and expecting as well as of feeling good about expected events
  • The development of hope involves higher mental processes of vision, imagination, goal setting, planning and considering alternatives

DR YARON ZIV

reduction of negative affect1
Reduction of negative affect
  • Openness
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility

DR YARON ZIV

psychological prognosis
Psychological prognosis
  • Acknowledging – understanding, admitting and owning that the conflict has two partner that are equally involved
  • Taking Responsibility owning the problem and have an agreement to turn the frustration into a solution

DR YARON ZIV

psychological prognosis1
Psychological prognosis
  • Seeking solutions- executing actions to improve the situation
  • Maturity - realizing the difference between reality and fantasy and having the willingness to act accordingly

DR YARON ZIV

psychological prognosis2
Psychological prognosis
  • Frustration leads into motivation and willingness to change
  • The million dollar question: Is the frustration enough to say and act like “enough is enough”
  • Let’s hope that we come to the time which is mature enough to say “enough is enough”

DR YARON ZIV

thank you
Thank You
  • Thank you very much for attending
  • Dr Yaron Ziv
  • www.yaronziv.com

DR YARON ZIV