The Palestinian Nakba in the Israeli Public Sphere: Formations of Denial and Responsibility
علاء حليحل
Institute for Palestine Studies
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This research focuses on the systemic structuring of doctrines and conceptual approaches concerning the Palestinian Nakba within Israeli collective consciousness as reflected in Israeli media discourse. It aims also at determining the extent of Israeli admission to, or negation of, the Palestinian Nakba, and the various forms presented by admissions of responsibility for the Nakba’s occurrence. Examining different types of admissions, negations and outright denials of the Nakba (including denials of any - and all - responsibility for its occurrence) may help us understand how Nakba is conceived within Israeli public space, and how much Nakba – and its memory – constitute two crucial elements shaping Israeli public opinion during the past few years. This project reveals that the most prominent doctrine in Israeli popular discourse towards the Nakba can be illustrated by way of three interconnected claims: denying the very occurrence of the Nakba, treating it as a threatening heresy aimed at destroying Israel’s legitimacy, and denying all responsibility for it. This general attitude matches the official Israeli position of refusing to show any readiness to settle with the memory of the Palestinian Nakba while denying its very history.


Amal Jammal, lecturer in the Faculty of Political Science in Tel Aviv University, and General Director of  I’lam Center, the Arab Center for Media, Freedom, Development and Research in Nazareth. He published a number of studies on Israeli and Palestinian thought and policies published in local and international journals, as well as numerous books in Arabic, English and Hebrew.

Samah Bosool, is a media professional who worked as an assistant researcher and facilitator of training sessions within a social development division within a media center. Bosool Holds a BA in Comparative literature and is preparing her MA in Cinema studies. She is currently working as an advisor in educational and therapeutic cinema and as a group leader in the Human Rights domain.