Is the Palestinian-Arab identity warlike

Violent Conflicts and Identity in Palestine & Israel


I) introduction

II) Theoretical conception of conflict and violence
1. Conflict
2. Violence

III) Theoretical conception of identity and identity formation

IV) Violence and Identity in Israel / Palestine
1. Israeli identities
1.1 Zionism and the 'new Jew'
1.2 The War of Independence - Identity and Violence
1.3 Guiding principles of Israeli identities
1.4 Israel's Military - Male Identity Formation
1.5 Differentiation - New self-view and identity crisis
1.6 Contemporary Israel - Identity Pluralism
1.7 New existential threat - old leitmotifs
2. Palestinian identities
2.1. The Palestinian national identity
2.2. al-Nakba
2.3. The Palestinian Resistance Identity
2.4. Failed peace and radicalization
2.5. A third intifada?

V) Actors in Conflict: Identity in Conflict
1. Hamas (Palestine)
1.1. Hamas as a political organization
1.2. The religious fundamentalist ideology of Hamas
1.3. Violence and Identity at Hamas
1.4. Dichotomized identities: Hamas ’relationship to Jews
1.5. The resistance struggle for a, better ‘world
2. Gush Emunim (Israel)
2.1. Gush Emunim as a political organization
2.2. Gush Emunim's relationship with the State of Israel
2.3. The religious fundamentalist ideology of Gush Emunim
2.4. Violence and Identity at Gush Emunim
2.5. Dichotomized identities: the relationship to non-Jews
3. Neve Shalom / Wahat al Salam
3.1.Neve Shalom / Wahat al Salam - the peace village
3.2. Identity through encounter
3.3. The project identity in Neve Shalom / Wahat al Salam
3.4. The ideology of dialogue

VI) Analytical-comparative comparison
1. Israeli and Palestinian identities
2. Hamas, Gush Emunim and Neve Shalom / Wahat al Salam

VII) Closing words: A multidimensional peace process


Chronology of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict maps

List of abbreviations List of terms

Bibliography Internet sources

I) Introduction

The Israeli-Arab conflict has been unresolved for decades and has repeatedly escalated into crises and wars. The last of these wars, the July / August 2006 Lebanon War, ended a few weeks ago with an uncertain ceasefire. For some actors, as I will show, this conflict even goes back to biblical times. But for most, the conflict began with the immigration of Jewish settlers to Palestine at the end of the 19th century. No conflict is as strongly represented in the media as this one, because although geographically the conflict only affects a comparatively small region, it has global dimensions and effects.

Previous efforts to pacify the region in the long term have all failed. Peace treaties came about only between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Jordan. The Oslo peace processes of the 1990s, in which so much hope was placed, ended in the second intifada, which was marked by suicide bombings by the Palestinians on Israelis and harsh military measures by the Israelis against the Palestinians. The main goal of the establishment of the State of Israel, to provide the Jews with a safe home in which they can live free from persecution and murder, tragically seems to have not been achieved. On the contrary, at the moment there is no place in the world where Jews have to fear for their lives more than in their own state, which should be a refuge for them. On the other hand, the Palestinians feel homeless, displaced, oppressed and betrayed by the world. Nowhere do they seem welcome, not even in neighboring Arab countries. They want a state in which they can live freely and with dignity. At the same time, they seem to be very far from fulfilling this longing.

In this work I do not presume to offer a solution to the conflict, but I would like to introduce a new, different perspective on this conflict. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is studied mainly by political scientists; From an ethnological point of view, it has so far only been edited to a limited extent. But although I consider the political science perspective to be very important and instructive, I believe that other approaches also deserve attention. The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is a political conflict of interest, but it takes place in a space, in a context that is deeply shaped by culture, religion, ideology and history. In my work I would like to present the ethnological perspective on this conflict.

What is the connection between identity formation and violent conflicts in Israel / Palestine? This is the question that I will pursue in this paper. I will show the formative cultural concepts and structures of societies, the ideologies, ideas, symbols that work in societies and that are decisive for the construction of identities and for conflict behavior. It will be investigated to what extent the collective experience of violence has contributed to the construction of identity in both societies and to what extent the different identity constructs have a moderating or escalating effect on the conflict. In doing so, I distance myself from the culture-struggle approach that Samuel Huntington used1 has shaped. I will show that both societies are heterogeneous and that different and contradicting ideologies and concepts are represented within the societies. Different groupings in a society construct different identities. In my opinion, there is no such thing as the culture of a society. Because I don't understand culture as a closed, coherent system, but more as a process that includes different and opposing concepts that are in competition with one another. In addition, culture is in constant exchange and interaction with the environment and its practical constraints as well as with other societies and their concepts. Culture is also closely interrelated with power-political and material interests. Furthermore, there are internal conflicts in societies, a struggle that not only takes place between societies, but also within societies. The simplistic approach of the Clash of Civilizations Huntington's disease does not do justice to the complexity of societies.

In my work I would like to try to take the different perspectives of the societies I study. I strive to understand the emic concepts of a society; H. about the internal perspective of the people in the respective society. Therefore, I often use terms in my work2that are used in societies to describe certain phenomena and facts, although I myself would often use other, more neutral terms.

I will start with the theoretical presentation of the three main concepts of my work: conflict, violence and identity or identity formation. I will go into further theoretical concepts and arguments in the course of my analysis, in the context of the respective society or group. In addition, I will keep coming back to the theories on conflict, violence and identities in my work.3 After the theoretical presentation of the guiding concepts, I introduce the two societies Israel and Palestine with their different identities. I will also go into the changes that the various identities and cultural concepts have undergone in the historical course and in the present, and I will describe how the conflicts and wars have shaped these societies and their identities and how, in turn, the self-conceptions themselves have affected the conflicts. I will then examine three actors in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. First, Hamas, the radical Islamic resistance movement of the Palestinians, which has been in power since 2006, is described. In doing so, I will first deal with Hamas as a political organization and party, as well as its development and role in the conflict, and then deal with the various ideological concepts and ideas that are intended to clarify the identity of Hamas and its understanding of the conflict, as well as the connection between the two . I will then analyze Gush Emunim, a religious fundamentalist settler organization. The structure is similar to that of my study of Hamas: first, Gush Emunim is portrayed as an organization and political actor. I will also go into Gush Emunim's relationship with the State of Israel. This is followed by the investigation of Gush Emunim's ideological constructions and the connection between their identity construct and their understanding of conflict. Finally, I would like to use the third actor to show a counter-model. I present a village in Israel in which Israeli Jews and Israeli Palestinians consciously live together and look for a solution to the conflict together or work towards a peaceful solution to the conflict. Here, too, after portraying the village as a political actor, I will shed light on the ideology of this peace project, the identities and the understanding of the conflict that arise on the basis of this ideology, as well as their mutual interaction.

Finally, I would like to give a brief, summarizing comparison of the societies and actors presented, whereby the most important similarities and differences should become clear.

II) Theoretical conception of conflict and violence

1. Conflict

My starting point is the conflict concept of Georg Simmel and Max Weber, who both understood the conflict - even in violent forms - as a social act, as an expression of a social relationship. Weber defines social action as action

"Which, according to the sense intended by the agent, is related to the behavior of others and is oriented towards this in its course" (Weber 1980: 1).4 Weber describes a social relationship as a "mutually adjusted and thus oriented behavior of several" (Weber 1980: 13). Weber and Simmel's understanding of conflict is in the tradition of structure-functionalism; both see the conflict , which also has a positive effect on socialization5 can have an impact than inherent in functional and social structures (Schmidt & Schröder 2001: 1), e.g. B. as a catalyst of change, as a dynamic instrument for shaping the social world (Köhler 2005: 78). In the further course of the argumentation of this work it will be seen that conflicts can also have a constitutive function, i.e. that a group gains a self-image through a conflict. Conflicts are not exceptional, but universal, and consequently present in every society. "Anthropologists have long noted that because social life invitably entails frustration and incomepatibilities between individuals and groups, conflict is a basic form of human interaction that occurs in all social systems" (Sluka 1992: 19).

In the sense of Simmel, conflicts are a form of socialization, they are even the primary form of socialization (Stark 2005: 85). But there are a multitude of forms of conflict that have different productive or destructive effects on societies, depending on the conflict resolution mechanisms. Also, conflicts are only rarely accompanied by violence (Sluka 1992: 19 f.). This type of conflict, violent conflict, is examined in this work using the example of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In contemporary social science, the structural-functionalist view is also supplemented by emphasizing the process character of each conflict.

"In the process approach, the emphasis is on dynamic political phenomena - on processes on conflict and cooperation, such as competition, factionalism, struggle, conflict resolution, conflicts of interest and values, the pursuit of public goals, and the struggle for power - rather than on structure and function "(Sluka 1992: 27).

The synthesis of both approaches would be: "Conflict involves both structure and processes, relationships and actions, and one must consider both" (Sluka 1992: 28).

In modern, sociological conflict research, a threefold perspective on conflicts has become established: the operational approach, the cognitive approach and the experiential approach (Schmidt & Schröder 2001: 1), whereby all three levels are closely linked and interact.

The operational approach, a more political science approach, analyzes external reasons for the antagonism, i. H. its material and political factors, e.g. B. the Israel / Palestine conflict is a struggle for territory, for water as a resource6 and political recognition as states. Most conflicts have a material or power-political basis. Conflict situations usually arise from a state of competition for mostly limited material, social or political resources (Schmidt & Schröder 2001: 7). However, competitive situations do not necessarily lead to violence as a means of conflict (Schmidt & Schröder 2001: 2 f.), Numerous other factors come into play here, some of which, especially the socio-cultural ones, are discussed here.

The cognitive approach, which is particularly used in ethnology, regards conflicts, violence and wars as a socio-cultural construction . As a social interaction, the conflict is necessarily cultural7 Are defined. The ethnological approach thus interprets the conflict in terms of norms and values8, Ideologies, world views of those involved (Sluka 1992: 25), aspects that also play a decisive role in the construction of identity. The situation, the conflict, the violence are perceived in a socio-cultural frame of reference (Schmidt & Schröder 2001: 17). In the present work I will focus on this perspective without wanting to deny the importance of the other perspectives. For Georg Elwert, conflicts are always "embedded social action". The social order shapes the forms of conflict resolution more decisively than z. B. the technologies. By embedding, Elwert means “the ensemble of moral values, norms and institutionalized arrangements that limit certain types of action and at the same time make the result of this action predictable” (Elwert 2004: 29). However, social embedding is not a static state, because “normative embedding changes, and with them the forms of conflict regulation” (Elwert 2004: 10). Change is made possible through experience with new behavior patterns, e.g. To be appropriated partly in other life contexts and to conceive new ethical norms The direction of such a change of social and normative embedding patterns is open. There are no automatisms that z. B. lead to the pacification of a society (Elwert 2004: 10 f.).

Various factors can lead to the “unbundling of violence”, such as a significant conflict issue, the existence of violent actors, the recognition and legitimation of violence, a perforated monopoly of violence, a culture of impunity and dichotomized identities (Eckert 2004: 12). “Most of the time, disentangling does not mean a complete disregard of the conflict resolution, but a transformation of the rule system with regard to the normative evaluation of individual behavioral patterns that characterize the conflict resolution between different groups or within them” (Elwert 2004: 14). The elimination of rules usually gives rise to new rules relating to smaller units that are not transferred to other groups, and new controls. The risk of disentanglement is also increased in phases of rapid institutional change, including due to increased competition in standards, procedures, rules and institutions (Zürcher 2004: 109). A conflict must always be analyzed within the framework of cultural systems of meaning. Meaning arises on the basis of past experiences on the one hand, which are stored as objectified, sociocultural collective knowledge, as well as on the basis of the cultural value system. Sociocultural collective knowledge is an ensemble of ideas in which collective experiences find their perspective and stereotypical expression. They are historically and socially bound objectifications of contexts of experience that can only be recognized by the observer in their historical constitutional context. However, collective memory itself is “unhistorical”. It works with the help of categories instead of events, archetypes instead of historical figures (Jung 1995: 100). The cultural value system defines the value of the material and social resources that are being fought for, gives the violent confrontation a permanent, meaningful meaning and thus also offers motivation and incentives for the members of a society beyond individual interests9to actively participate in the conflict (Schmidt & Schröder 2001: 4 f.). But since culture is “only homogeneous and undisputed under very special integration and control conditions” (Eckert 2004: 10), it always offers the possibility of resolving the conflict either non-violently or by force. Culture and values ​​are constantly in competition10 about hegemony11 and are often instrumentalized according to the interests of those in power, who then emphasize and emotionally charge those cultural patterns of orientation that serve their purposes. For

Weber means power every "chance within a social relationship to enforce one's own will against resistance, regardless of what this chance is based on" (Weber 1980: 28). Power is an asymmetrical structural feature of human relationships. It is an expression of the nature of the compulsions that interdependent people exert on one another. The foundation of power, however, is the disposal of physical violence as well as material and ideal means of social reproduction, as Norbert Elias states (quoted from Jung 1995: 92). Dietrich Jung also differentiates between power and domination, because domination is based on the ruled identifying with the will of the ruler. "The acquisition of the will of others is a prerequisite for the relationship of domination," said Karl Marx (quoted from Jung 1995: 104). Culture is often the most important domain of rule (Nordstrom & Martin 1992: 19).

Conflicts trigger strong feelings in situations that are often characterized by strong contradictions and unstructuredness; here the interpretation as a component of the conflict is very important. Different groups do not always agree on what is the subject of the conflict, when the conflict started and who is involved. In addition, every conflict has a history (Ross 1990: 65). Common interpretations within a group that is in conflict with another group alleviate the fear and inconsistency of the situation and load conflicts with intense social and political meanings . Common patterns of interpretation provide orientation for behavior and are at the same time often the source of cognitive misinterpretations because the desire for certainty is stronger than the need for accuracy (Ross 1990: 51 f.). This makes the dialectical exploration of conflicts in ethnology clear: both the ideas and representations, i.e. H. how a conflict is thought and interpreted, as well as the execution of the conflict are analyzed. Conflict behavior is interpretive, not least because of situational ambiguity. The contradiction is particularly great when the meaning of the behavior or the intention of the opponent is unclear. Interpretations are social; H. acquired in a collective process that combines individual experience with the group. Society offers social legitimation and support for certain interpretations of events, while other possible interpretations are suppressed (Ross 1990: 178 f.). But even this is not coherent. Different actors within a society also interpret the conflict differently.

The experiential approach describes a more psychological approach and examines the individual and subjective level or what the conflict does with people as subject and individual. Marc Howard Ross points out that one should not forget the specific situation that may lead to the use of force, e.g. B. when institutional strengths are weak, no clear predictions can be made and the stress factor is very high (Ross 1990: 67 f.). I only deal with this perspective in passing in my work, because the empirical approach is mainly represented in psychological research, even if it was partly taken up in postmodern ethnology research (Schmidt & Schröder 2001: 7).

In principle, social science research assumes that there is a negative relationship between external and internal conflicts, including: for strategic reasons. But Ross suspects that external conflicts can also trigger internal ones, and vice versa, for example when a society is heavily militarized due to external conflicts (Ross 1990: 114 ff.).

A special form of violent conflict is war, i. H. a conflict that has escalated into a long-term, antagonistic relationship between collectives with decision-making power among those in power in society. It is a state of confrontation in which the possibility of violence is always present and appears legitimate to the parties (Schmidt

& Schröder 2001: 4 f.). Margaret Meads defines war as an invention, part of the knowledge that is passed on in a culture. War is a social invention that gives people the idea that war is a way of dealing with a particular situation. It is a collectively learned behavior. Mead & Rhoda Metraux justify this with the ethnological observation that although no society is known that does not know violence, there are societies that do not know war (Mead & Metraux 1965: 130).

If you want to interpret the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians as a war, you have to note that it is an "asymmetrical war", but between "one of the strongest military apparatus in the world" and various "liberation groups", some of which use guerrilla tactics also do not shy away from terrorist attacks on the Israeli population (Zuckermann 2002: 17).

2. Violence

The following is about politically motivated violence, not interpersonal violence. For it is undisputed that the violence between Palestinians and Israelis is primarily politically motivated. Political violence is defined by Purnaka de Silva as a process in which an organized group that sees itself as a political unit deliberately uses violence to kill, injure or destroy people, property and interests assigned to a political group , to cause. De Silva describes the injury as both a physical and a psychological injury. B. psychological trauma, fear etc. - understood (de Silva 2002: 217). When asked what makes violence such an attractive tool, John Vasquez argues that violence is an instrument to escape from a situation of interdependence of decision-making, i. i.e., a situation of interdependence in which no decision can be made without the others. Political violence is consequently a form of coercion and the exercise of power in order to be able to make and enforce unilateral decisions (Vasquez 1993: 35 f.). Violence as a form of conflict resolution is seldom assigned a productive function for social change (Eckert 2004: 13). According to David Riches, violence is an act of physical harm that is considered legitimate by its perpetrators and illegitimate by its victims (Riches 1986: 8). This definition can be supplemented with Heinrich Popitz's understanding of violence, according to which it represents an action of power and the violation occurs intentionally (quoted from v. Trotha 1996: 14). In his definition, Riches refers to the performative character of violence, which consists of three categories of actors: perpetrator, victim and spectator12 (Schmidt & Schröder 2001: 5). Pamela Stewart and Andrew Strathern point out that these categories are fluid; H. Spectators can become victims or perpetrators, perpetrators can become victims, etc. (Stewart & Strathern 2002: 4). The term violence is always integrated into an ideological system, so it should be examined who describes an act as violence (Riches 1986: 4). The aspect of what constitutes violence can also be controversial. Nonetheless, violence is usually unmistakably recognized and understood as such by the actors - also from different cultural backgrounds - and is accordingly also such an effective ‘means of social communication (Riches 1986: 10). Violence, especially political, must be legitimized. Legitimation is the "subjectively believed conviction of validity of the legitimacy of rule, so it is based on an order that is considered valid" (Jung 1995: 104). The legitimation of an act of violence is, however, controversial: the perpetrator will argue about the legitimacy, while the victim mostly perceives the act as illegitimate and the witness will probably support one side or the other. Both sides will invoke social rules and values ​​and claim that their behavior was legitimate. For the other side, however, the legitimation of the violence appears to be inadequate. The inevitability or prevention of an act of violence by the victim is cited as a possible justification (Riches 1986: 5). But legitimacy can itself become the content of a conflict (Stewart & Strathern 2002: 9). Violence is a cultural construct, and since violence is always related to legitimation, it is linked to cultural values, norms and the worldview of society. The practices of violence themselves are also products of cultural history. Violence is never meaningful or meaningless for the actors and thus always has a symbolic dimension (Schmidt & Schröder 2001: 3, 6 and 18). In this context is the link between violence and religion13 Interesting. Religion can play an important role when it comes to enduring and processing violence, especially since trust in law and politics is usually lost after experiences with violence (Stewart & Strathern 2002: 169 f.). But religion not only serves people to cope with violence, but is also often used to legitimize violence. Religious fundamentalist people can develop a sense of mission that leads them to believe that their religion requires them to eradicate the "evil" in this world. The "evil" is often associated with a group with which one is in political confrontation. The opponent is demonized and thus delegitimized, and one's own actions against him are legitimized (Stewart & Strathern 2002: 179). Violence is often an expression of instrumental rationalism , an instrumental rational strategy to transform the social environment in the competition for resources (Riches 1986: 10 f.). For underprivileged or oppressed groups in particular, violent confrontation with those in power can be significantly more effective in gaining their starting point - e. B. for negotiations - to improve or generally to initiate a change than the way through institutions by means of complaints or peaceful demonstrations (Sluka 1992: 30). But Stewart and Strathern point to the limits of the supposedly instrumental rationality of violence, because violence very often has consequences that were not intended. On the contrary: the fact that evident negative consequences of violence, such as its escalating character, are not taken into account, rather testifies to its irrationality (Stewart & Strathern 2002: 7). Violence can also become normality, a tradition and a legacy, shaped by a social memory of intense experiences of violence and terror. The meaning of violence can gradually settle in people's minds and becomes part of tradition. Stewart and Strathern also speak of a tradition of violence.

"Such a combination of extreme social breakdown, unbridled gang activities, imputations of ideological differrences as constitutive of identity and ritualized patterns of killing that suggest an aura of sacrifice, certainly adds up to a situation in which violence, while still experienced as abhorrent and traumatizing 'has become' normal '”(Stewart & Strathern 2002: 160 f.). lwert names three motives for violence: honor, power and material gain (Elwert 2004: 33) I am of the opinion that these motives are among the most important, but cannot explain every act of violence. Often the motivational situation is also more complex; Striving for power and ideology z. B. can represent a very strong link between two motives, whereby the gain in power should primarily serve to enforce one's own view of the world. The prevailing worldview, in turn, often hegemonic secures one's own power. A similar

Linkage between material gain and ideology is conceivable. Vengeance and honor are often closely related as motives. Revenge is not an archaic holdover, but a phenomenon that is being reconstructed in new political contexts. Revenge can be an ideology and a practice because it is a way of pursuing one's own interests and exercising power (Stewart & Strathern 2002: 12 f.). The idea of ​​vengeance is closely related to the idea of ​​justice (Stewart & Strathern 2002: 109). Revenge can also be perceived as a sacred duty (Stewart & Strathern 2002: 172). To kill a person then means honor. Because if the killing or dishonoring of a loved one is not retaliated, shame arises. Vengeance removes this shame and restores honor (Elwert 2004: 33).

In principle, violence is not an isolated act , but is to be seen in the context of historical processes. The act of violence is the link in a “chain of a long process of events” - events that can often go back a long way, but symbolically they can still play a very important role (Schmidt & Schröder 2001: 3 and 7).

In dialectical analysis, violence also has a cognitive level of imagination. There are three strategies of representation for ideas of violence: narrative (i.e. in narrative form by individual subjects), performative (i.e. in the form of public rituals, e.g. military rituals) and inscriptive (e.g. through the media) (Schmidt & Schröder 2001: 10). People on both sides construct narratives14that convey meanings and then use them to interpret each other. These competing narratives are constantly checked on the basis of events and reinforced, smashed or renewed (Stewart & Strathern 2002: 16 f.). The notions of violence are characterized by a Wirsie dichotomy as in nationalism or in religious fundamentalism, whereby the own group pursues the 'good' goals and wants to ensure the survival of its own members, while the actions of the opponent are mostly totalitarian and malicious interpreted, i.e. always interpreted as a threat. Ideas of violence are often totalitarian when there can only be one absolute victory or one absolute defeat (Schmidt & Schröder 2001: 11).

Another factor that is central to intergroup violence is the question of power. Popitz defines the power to act as the power to hurt. "That is the root of power: people can exercise power over other people because they can hurt others" (Popitz 1992: 24 f.). The increase in the power to injure, the complete power, would then, in Popitz's sense, be “being in control of life and death” (Popitz 1992: 53). This means that violence can always become a political calculation (Stewart & Strathern 2002: 11 f.). Whereby the interests of those in power are usually coded in a moral idiom, based on socio-cultural representations such as B. Defense of religion, obligations of vengeance or the good of the group. They define violence as an appropriate act, often give it a deeper meaning in the given situation and can also provide incentives for the use of violence in the form of a reward (Schmidt & Schröder 2001: 4 f.) Or punish it if that Subordinates refuse to use violence. This brings me to “instrumental power” (Popitz 1992: 26). People can be used as instruments to exercise violence. The actor15 always remains the fighter, but his actions can be significantly guided by a strategist who plans in advance, who himself or through others puts the fighters in a state of readiness for violence (Elwert 1996: 87). The individual use of violence by the individual actor is stabilized by the establishment of a second level of motivation, which often extends beyond the lifetime (Elwert 1996: 99), such as a promise of paradise, for example.

It should be noted that there are also forms of structural violence in Israel / Palestine16 are to be found. For Johan Galtung, structural violence is violence without an actor and rather means a social relationship of violence, with regard to particularly pronounced inequality in access to material and social resources as well as with regard to unequal decision-making power. Exploitation, structural disadvantage, social oppression are examples of structural violence (quoted from Bonacker & Imbusch 1996: 79 f.). Social structures are the way in which people relate to one another according to generally accepted rules. Structural violence is thus related to these rules, which are represented in the individual and collective, psyche ‘. The relationship between the culture that codes the rules and structural violence is therefore also very close. Since these rules are learned by all members of a society, structural violence tends to reproduce itself (Gregor & Marcial 1994: 47).Structural violence can turn into actual violence, with additional factors.

Finally, David Parkin speaks of another form of violence, of sacred violence, if z. B. holy places are desecrated (Parkin 1986: 204 f.).

III) Theoretical conception of identity & identity construction

When analyzing identity, my starting point is Manuell Castells' identity concept. He emphasizes that the search for identity for social development can be just as powerful as technical, economic change (Castells 2002: 3). Especially in the modern age, characterized by globalization, the question of identity is often even more urgent: "We cooperate with others, exchange goods, services and messages, become more and more interdependent but wish to distinguish ourselves from others by cultivating our symbolic identity, by emphasizing differences between ourselves and the others ”(Mach 1993: 19). Castells defines identity in relation to social actors as a "process of constructing meaning on the basis of a cultural attribute or a corresponding set of cultural attributes that are given priority over other sources of meaning" (Castells 2002: 8).17 Identity is thus the source of meaning and experience for people.

The definition of oneself is only possible within a social framework, even if it is in an extremely negative way. “Identity is a relation that first has to be established, is something that is not so easy to have, but rather what is first produced in something that can be called a constitution of identity‘. […] This 'production' takes place in an interplay of interactive, reflexive, retrospective and projective processes ”(Zimmermann 1994: 67 f.). In these interactions, identities are also mutually assigned (Zimmermann 1994: 68).

In this work, personal identity or ego identity always means a social identity. People construct and experience themselves through social interactions with other people. "The individual experiences himself - not directly, but only indirectly - from the particular point of view of other members of the same social group or from the generalized point of view of the social group as a whole to which he belongs" (Mead 1968: 180). Thomas Luckmann also speaks of an interaction: "[...] that the self is constituted in the world just as it constitutes the human world" (Luckmann 1983: 68). He also emphasizes that personal identities are “temporal structures”, i. H. not closed and definitive (Luckmann 1983: 73 f.). Since identity is tied to the social framework of a society, it must also be recognized by it. Identity is thus also linked to social appreciation (Zimmermann 1994: 73). Meyer Fortes emphasizes that identity cannot be adequately experienced without being objectified, i.e. H. without giving anything in a social space. Identity is therefore always linked to the urge to express oneself (Fortes 1983: 391). A person only knows that they are someone by showing it. Rituals are performed and taboos are observed. People show their identity through clothing,

Behavior etc. but they always show it in an objectified, visible way (Fortes 1983: 395). Another important factor is the transcendence of personal identity. The individual life is related to something that transcends the individual human life and thereby gives life a "higher" meaning. Usually it is a social unit, e.g. B. family, lineage, class, nation, religion, ideology, etc. This makes it possible that one is even willing to sacrifice one's life for the higher-order cause in order to give one's own life a special meaning and value (Luckmann 1983: 86). This willingness also opens up the possibility of instrumentalization of people for those in power, because transcending one's own life corresponds to the second level of motivation that I spoke of in the chapter on violence (cf. chapter II. 2, p. 12).

Collective identities always arise in a process of closure, of demarcation from other groups and options for action in the area of ​​tension between global power structures and local cultural concepts (Schröder 1998: 4). Ideas that define a community in relation to other spaces and groups are reified to the extent that they often appear to people to be more real and more constitutive of action than the real world.18 and their objective power structures. Social boundaries are often constructed as dividing lines between polar, stereotypical entities, of "good" and "bad", "primitive" and "civilized", "progressive" and "reactionary" (Schröder 1998: 12). Zdzislaw Mach emphasizes that both forms of identity, personal and collective, work similarly: “[…] in both cases identity is formed in a force field of integration, adaptation and conflict and because in both cases identity is of a sujective and symbolic character ”(Mach 1993: 4). Here, too, it is important to emphasize that identities must always be thought of as social relations; they are social relationships with other people, with groups, with symbols within a social context. But with this, identities are often linked to conflict, as conflict in general is a crucial form of social relationship. Constructions of identity are conflictual, associated with values ​​and cultural meanings to which they refer and which, within a society or within a context with several societies, meet other, competing values ​​and claims that are often in contradiction to one another. Also since identities are always constructed to distinguish them from other identities, conflicts can develop, especially when people are confronted with negative elements of their own identity that they are assigned in delimitation processes (Mach 1993: 9 and 11). Mead and Rhoda Metraux see violent conflicts as a social construction, made possible precisely by separating one's own from one another

Strangers, from the enemy, from the other, through a feeling that one's own is threatened by the presence of the other (Mead & Metraux 1965: 130).

Internal conflicts within a society often go hand in hand with identity conflicts. But Mach emphasizes that the distinction between identities alone does not lead to conflicts; these only arise in the event of social or economic inequality, different distribution of power and perceived injustice, humiliation or devaluation (Mach 1993: 20 f.).

A given individual or collective actor can have multiple identities. Elwert thinks that groups and individuals could simultaneously refer to different sources of identity; Depending on the situation, one or the other identity could be emphasized more strongly (Elwert 2002: 39). Identity is context sensitive, i. H. it is integrated interactively. Depending on with whom one interacts and with what goals a different identity can be placed in the foreground (Zimmermann 1994: 68). But in addition to different identities to which one can refer, one of the identities can also be changed or replaced by another. A sudden change of identities is possible by switching from one reference system to another. Under certain circumstances, the boundaries of the group can be redefined. If the limits are retained, the reference content will be redefined. This brings new actors and resources into play. Tensions in the socio-political context, redefinition as a marginalized group in order to sharpen differences and to separate oneself more strongly, or in order to incorporate other groups, are causes for a change of identity. Identities are changed when new goals become more important than those that stabilize the routine. Disadvantaged groups will also tend to change their identity in order to have better access to social and material goods (Elwert 2002: 36 ff.). But the change of identity has limits and cannot take place at will, because it would have to be supported and recognized by society as a whole. In addition, it often cannot be carried out due to unequal access to material and social resources. Furthermore, the change of identity is limited, since it can only refer to already existing symbol systems. Changing identities is therefore rather an exception. In the case of deeper change, or if marginalized groups want to conquer a central position, a core norm is often defined and every behavior is measured against it. The leading persons and groups define their own point of view as the starting point, as the yardstick, as the core norm (Elwert 2002: 43 f.). Culture is then only 'raw material' for the politics of identity and power, which makes selective use of history and culture or redefines them (Schlee 2002: 9). Identity should therefore be viewed in terms of hegemonic concepts and ideologies, because it often builds on them or arises in resistance to these prevailing patterns of orientation.

"On the level of larger groups and their interactions, only some members of these groups actively engage in identity discourses" (Schlee 2004: 137). Even fewer are involved in the manipulation of collective identities, for example by narrowing or expanding membership, i.e. (re) defining the boundaries of the group. The question is what advantages and disadvantages does the expansion and narrowing of an identification bring for those who decide and for those who are affected by the decisions (Schlee 2004: 137). The decisive persons, however, do not have complete freedom, since they too are positioned within certain identities and are subject to certain practical constraints and socio-cultural orientation schemes (Schlee 2004: 138). Identities are created in the field of tension between action and structure (Schlee 2004: 143).

"Identity and differences should, therefore, not be considered as resulting from certain criteria, namely the presence or absence of certain markers, as factors on their own, which can generate hostility or cohesion. These markers should rather be seen as the raw material for political rhetoric, which can be used selectively to pursue goals of inclusion or exclusion "(Schlee 2004: 144).

Categories, classifications, ties, etc. are relevant depending on the situation or are ignored depending on the situation (Schlee 2004: 146). "[...] cost-benefits calculations, [...] and social structures and their cognitive representations, play a role in processes of identification: the latter form the matrix, so to speak, within which decisions about identification are made" (Schlee 2004: 147). Social structures are not rigid, however, they can be changed and are themselves objects of ideologies (Schlee 2004: 147).

In a political context, identity is usually on the defensive: one's own identity is perceived as threatened and this requires measures to protect or restore it. In current political debates, identity is constructed as a value, as something positive, something functionally necessary to which every person, every group has a right. Any change in identity is therefore assessed as negative and viewed as alienation. Within a political context, identity demands political action. It is not just there, it has to be created (Zimmermann 1994: 64).

Klaus Zimmermann further differentiates between reconstructed and projective identities. Reconstructed identity is a mostly embellished identity based on the past. The projective or prospective identity refers to the ability of humans to plan their own development, to aim at an identity and to carry out corresponding actions in order to achieve it (Zimmermann 1994: 67 f.).

Identities are inextricably linked with social contexts, they arise and change in interactions and relationships. Therefore, a violent conflict in which violent relationships are dominant will have a strong impact on identity formation. Identity will also have an impact on the conflict, because identity is reflected in behavior. Identity formation and a violent conflict are therefore necessarily very closely related. This is a phenomenon that can be observed very clearly in the two societies of Israel and Palestine, as I would now like to show.

IV) Violence and Identity in Israel / Palestine

1. Israeli identities

1.1. Zionism and the, new Jew ‘

A separate state of Israel was the goal of an ideology that emerged in the 19th century in Jewish communities, mainly in Eastern Europe, and still has the ideology of Zionism today19 have a significant impact on policy-making and identity formation in Israel. Especially since Zionism “had a clear cement function within the Israeli society, which is made up of extremely different population groups and is only gradually emerging” (Klein 2001: 12). Before I go into Zionism in more detail, the concept of ideology should be briefly explained, because ideologies are often a foundation for identity construction, as they give people meaning and meaning. Ideologies are a way of constructing social reality, a way that is particularly useful in times of conflict. They answer all questions, give absolute answers, offer categories for the other, the stranger (Mach 1993: 53 f.) And thus also delimitation mechanisms for the construction of identity. Through the construction of ideologies, the schemata for ideas about social life, man turns himself into a 'political being'. Ideology is often a response to stressful social conditions. It is the loss of orientation that makes ideologies soar; an inability to understand the world due to the lack of useful models. This often happens when societies undergo profound, rapid change. Ideology tries to give meaning again to social situations that have become incomprehensible, to reconstruct them in order to make it possible to act appropriately within them. Ideologies are primarily explanatory models for the problematic social situation and matrices for the construction of collective consciousness and collective identities (Geertz 1975: 218 ff.). But ideology can only exist and function if it is maintained and communicated through constant indoctrination, through mood-building, influencing feelings and confirming beliefs through festivals, national celebrations, public rituals such as parades, etc. For this ideology needs symbols that reflect its values to express, e.g. B. mythical models that list the ideological reality (Mach 1993: 54 ff.).

Zionism developed mainly as a reaction to the pogroms against Jews in Russia in the years 1881-1884 (Morris 2001: 15). A distinction is made between two main Zionism ideologies: political Zionism, e.g. Partly supplemented by worker Zionism20 and cultural Zionism, which, however, could not prevail and which I will not go into further here.21 Although political Zionism is secular, it still relates heavily to religiously Jewish motives, such as the biblical, God-promised land of Israel. "Political Zionism emerged from the reaction to the rationalism of the Enlightenment and liberalism in the period after the French Revolution" (Finkelstein 2002: 46). It also ties in with the national ideologies of Europe.22 The starting point was that there are “organically connected communities” that would have to be endowed with their own state (Finkelstein 2002: 46). It was not about fighting anti-Semitism - that was considered hopeless - but rather about finding a way to live with it. For this it was necessary to form a Jewish nation with its own state. However, in order for a Jewish state to emerge, a demographic Jewish majority had to be formed in Palestine (Finkelstein 2002: 47). Secular or political Zionism was decisively shaped by Theodor Herzl (1860-1904). He was convinced that anti-Semitism could not be solved by assimilation, but that the Jews need their own state and pleaded for a settlement in Palestine (Finkelstein 2002: 47).

Territory is an important aspect of any national identity, and it is often a mythological concept of fatherland and “promised land” at the same time; a land that God gave to the particular community. This concept is accompanied by emotions that convey the idea that the community only belongs here, it is only at home in this country (Mach 1993: 173). Mythology describes the origin of the land as an act of God who created the land and gave it to his people. Even when the group is separated from their country, there often remains a strong attachment to the country that becomes an integral part of the collective memory and identity of the community.When a group is expropriated from their land, the image of the home country and the emotional attachment to it become the basis of a return ideology and a strong drive to regain sovereignty over the country. It becomes the most important and sacred goal and duty of the community to retake the land. The community regains fame and honor when it can reappropriate the land (Mach 1993: 173 f.). "The historical awareness of the Jews to be the" Chosen People "in the" Promised Land "was maintained in the diaspora for over two thousand years" (Nocke 1998: 39). Since the destruction of the temple in 70 AD by the Romans and the subsequent diaspora, the “longing for Zion”, the hope of a return to the “promised land”, lived on (Nocke 1998: 39). Many Zionists believed they had a right to Palestine. Because for many Jews, Palestine had been that for millennia Eretz Israel23, the sacred land that God gave to his chosen people - d. H. the ties of many Jews to the country were deeply anchored (Finkelstein 2002: 55 f.).

Another central ideologue of Zionism was the “negation of the diaspora” (Klein 2001: 12). Leo Pinsker, a Russian Jew, spoke of “auto-emancipation” in this context, because the Jews, he said, could not save themselves individually, but only as a collective through the exodus and concentration in their own homeland (quoted after Morris 2001: 16). The "new Jew" (Hebrew: Chaluz) come to fruition. The concept of “Muscle Judaism” as a contrast to “Diaspora Judaism” emerged (Morris 2001: 20 f.). The “new Jew”, the pioneer, was supposed to free himself through hard physical labor in Palestine; unlike the Jew in the ghetto, who was supposedly passive and weak (Klein 2001: 57). “Agricultural work and defense both symbolized the new self-image” (Klein 2001: 90). Death, robbery and rape should no longer be endured without resistance. The Jews' experience of violence made it necessary to reconstruct their identity (see Chapter III, p. 15). The previous impotence should be replaced by energy and self-defense (Morris 2001: 25). The concept of "Muscle Judaism" is linked to Jewish traditions and myths, e. B. Shimon Bar Kochba, a hero who knew no defeat and when he could no longer win, he would rather die than surrender (Klein 2001: 59). Bar Kochba, who led an uprising against the Romans in AD 132, is the ideal of political Zionism, the model of a Jew fighting honorably. In political Zionism, the necessity was seen to tie in with the “tradition of the sword, while the tradition of the book24 - so Berdichesky - is the reason for the evil of the Jews ”(Klein 2001: 63 f.). In a speech, David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister of the State of Israel, establishes a clear connection between Bar Kochba and the soldiers of 1948 who fought for Israel's existence: “The chain that was used in the days of Shimon Bar Kochba [...] was interrupted, has been restored in our day. The Israeli army is ready again for the struggle in its own country for the struggle for the freedom of the state and the homeland ”(quoted from Klein 2001: 66). In this way a reconstructed identity was formed, an identity linked to a glorious past of struggle. So the new identity should also be a combative one. Bar Kochba is an example of a biographical model. Biographical models can be found in all societies and they are the basis for the individual design of one's own life, for planning, evaluating and interpreting one's own life (Luckmann 1983: 87). They give your own life a clarity and contour (Luckmann 1983: 89). If the biographical models refer to myths from the past, a continuity is created that suggests a higher order. The myths are to be understood as narratives that serve to understand the present from the past, to legitimize a dominant ideology and to reconstruct a collective memory (Klein 2001: 108). In order to inspire a national renaissance, historical events that countered the history of the persecution of the Jews and thus contributed to the development of national dignity were collectively remembered. In this counter-story, rebels and militant heroes played a decisive role (Klein 2001: 62 f.). Myths can represent a message from the past, which in turn legitimizes the normative structure of society, codes its values ​​and way of life, and shows a path to salvation. They always have a hidden symbolic dimension and a very strong appeal to people. Although the myth was formed on the basis of real, historical events, this level has a secondary meaning. What is important is the symbolic message, i. H. the hidden symbolic dimension (Mach 1993: 58 f.). Muscle Judaism was reinforced by the Holocaust.

"[...] Holocaust, [...] evoked irrational yet strong feelings of shame. Why did Jewish men allow themselves and their families to be led to the slaughter? […] The vast divergence between biblical narratives that depict Jewish men as militarily heroic, […] and the historic reality of Jewish victimization continues to shape Jewish male conflict over violence ”(Rosenberg 2001: 34).

The contradiction, however, is already anchored in the "inconsistency" of the Hebrew scriptures. There are biblical passages that refer to violence and to 'holy war' (Hebrew: herem) call, "which orders the total annihilation of Israel’s enemies" (Rosenberg 2001: 34). Furthermore, mythical heroes such as David, Samson and Joshua serve as role models for men who achieved fame through violence. But there are also biblical stories and rules that proclaim a counter-message, such as the commandment of Moses: You shall not kill (Rosenberg 2001: 35 ff.). Culture is not coherent, as I pointed out.

Overall, the Zionist ideology can be seen as a struggle for the creation of the Israeli state and as a struggle for recognition, based on Axel Honneth's concept. Honneth's basic view is that “subjects (including collective subjects, editor's note) owe their identity to the experience of an intersubjective recognition”. A positive identity based on self-esteem and self-esteem is always linked to recognition by others. Honneth understands recognition as "any kind of mutual respect at the same time for particularity and equality" (Honneth 2000: 175). Honneth distinguishes between three ratios of recognition (Köhler 2005: 323). In this work, however, only moral respect (2nd recognition ratio) and social appreciation (3rd recognition ratio) are of importance. Moral or cognitive recognition is about respecting the egalitarian rights of the other or the other group. This form of recognition corresponds to respect for human dignity.

If a person is valued socially, he is said to have good and valuable skills with which he can make a positive contribution to society (Honneth 2000: 187 ff.). Appreciation is related to the status or social position of the person or group (Honneth 2003: 166).25

With the forms of recognition, the forms of disregard can also be named complementarily, including physical abuse or experiences of violence of any kind. They are the first form of disregard. The second form is a legal and socio-political disregard, in which people or groups are viewed as underage. The subject is denied certain rights; it is cheated, deceived and disadvantaged. The third form of disregard humiliates people and deprives them of any appreciation. This can lead to stigmatization or even dehumanization. The reactions to these forms of disregard, all of which attack personal and collective identity, can be defensive or offensive (Honneth 2000: 182 ff.).

The Jews experienced all three forms of disregard and humiliation, and Zionism was a form of resistance. "Auto-emancipation" is to be understood in this context. Through increased collective will, through “auto-emancipation”, the Jews had to re-create a Jewish nation; only then would one also be respected by other societies (Morris 2001: 16 f.). “Auto-emancipation means: Equal rights for a people who work with their hands to make this earth richer and more beautiful; Freedom for a people who have shown through their struggle that they prefer death to slavery ”(Arendt 1989: 174). In the course of this emancipation, the extremely broken identity - the identity of the 'Diaspora Jews' - that was linked to the experiences of disregard had to be replaced by one that was to find respect and respect. 1.2. The War of Independence - Identity and Violence

After the state of Israel was proclaimed, it was attacked by several Arab states. The Jews had a real fear that they would be defeated and that the new state would be dissolved again. The first Israeli-Arab war was a war that decided the existence of the Jewish state and it is mostly referred to by Israelis as the war of independence (Morris 2001: 217). The War of Independence can be seen as a kind of transition into a new existence, as an identity-creating process. According to Carl von Clausewitz, a particularly existential experience becomes possible during war. The war becomes a "medium of self-enhancement of the human being, in which he overcomes the egoism of his everyday life [...] in which a political body becomes aware of his identity" (quoted from Münkler 1992: 104). For Clausewitz, war is a process of existential importance through which “the people [...] come to themselves. An act not to force the opponent to fulfill his own will, but to prove his own will to himself in order to assure himself of his ability to have a will ”(quoted from Münkler 1992: 106). Violence is thus one of the most powerful factors that can create or reconstruct a we-group (Elwert 2002: 46). Frantz Fanon attributes emancipatory, integrative, therapeutic and educational functions to violence and expects it to restore self-confidence to the resigned oppressed who are plagued by “inferiority complexes” (Fanon 1966: 72 f.). This existential experience is particularly asserted for national revolutionary liberation movements, which first constitute the nation in the struggle (Fanon 1966: 53 f.). I. E. the war-waging subject is only created or at least transformed by the war (Münkler 1992: 109 f.).26

“That after almost 2000 years of persecution and humiliation and after the greatest mass murder in modern history, the Jews had the strength to take up both the political and the armed struggle for a state of their own, that they attempted to change from being an object to being the subject of their history , was a tremendous act of collective emancipation ”(Broder 1989: 224).

But in order to become an actor in history and thus to redefine themselves, ‘the Jews had to go through a war. "Once we know who we are, we can form a more peaceful relationship to the world" (Rosenberg 2001: 44 f.). Serving as a soldier in 1948 meant the reversal of Jewish history, the first active defense in over 2000 years of exile and victim existence (Klein 2001: 123). The change of identity to the "new Jew" was carried out during the War of Independence and through violence. Here the close connection between violent conflicts and identity formation becomes very clear. The example of the War of Independence also shows to what extent conflicts, violence and wars are socio-cultural constructs, as the cognitive approach suggests (cf. Chapter II. 1, pp. 5 f. And Chapter II. 2, p. 9 f.). In this context, a religious concept was transformed: from the traditionally Jewish idea of kiddush haschem - the willingness to die for the sanctification of God's name - became the secular-nationalist ideal of self-sacrifice for the nation and the state of Israel (Klein 2001: 117). In the chapter on identity formation I discussed the transcending of identity. For many Jews, the Jewish nation transcended their life and thereby gave it a "higher" meaning. People were ready to give their lives for this (see Chapter III, p. 13 f.).

Within the framework of Zionism and through the creation of the State of Israel, a positive self-image developed. The Israeli Jews saw themselves as the "New People", born again through the war in the land of Israel (Bar-Tal & Oren 2000: 13). But the pride and positive elation that followed the War of Independence were quickly subdued. Many Jews saw themselves parallel to the positive self-image, still as victims - now in the new context as victims of the Middle East conflict (Bar-Tal & Oren 2000: 13 f.).

1.3. Leitmotifs of Israeli identities

After the War of Independence, many Israelis felt vulnerable surrounded by states that were hostile to Israel. With the ideology of the "new Jew" and the negation of the "Diaspora Jew", most Holocaust survivors were also able to get along with each other27 not befriend. "[The] five thousand year old Jewish culture could not simply be replaced by the present [...]" (Nocke 1998: 42). The repressed past, especially that Shoah, caught up with the Jews and forced them to search for their identity again. The traumatization28that caused the disregard experiences - especially the Holocaust - turned out to be too strong and was constantly updated by new disregard experiences in the Middle East. Israeli society was unable to come to terms with past traumatization completely and constructed collective representations of itself as victims of past losses and humiliations. An important aspect of Israel's collective identity is formed around historical humiliation and is passed on to future generations in the form of powerful narratives. Violence, persecution and disregard were the narrative context of Israeli identity. This partly led to the fact that the next generation felt compelled to use violence and harshness in order to overcome the feeling of past weakness and helplessness and thus the collective trauma (Suárez-Orozco & Robben 2000: 23)29. Israel's struggle for recognition as a sovereign state and as a nation with a legitimate right to exist in the Middle East continued and is still fought today. The disregard experiences from which one had fled from Europe continued in the form of wars and later in the form of terrorist attacks. Violence and conflict are not isolated, but always have a historical dimension (see Chapter II. 2, p. 11). The dichotomy in Israeli society between a deeply felt sense of victimization and a pronouncedly aggressive sense of defense - i.e. a refusal to be a victim - has not yet been overcome.

Since the establishment of the Israeli state, Israeli society has been shaped by two leitmotifs: “never again be defenseless” and “there is no choice” (Klein 2001: 112). The leitmotif “never be defenseless again” corresponds to the negation of the diaspora, linked to the myth of Bar Kochba. “Masada” is also a myth that is directly related to the leitmotif “never be defenseless again” (Klein 2001: 113). It is the story of Jewish besiegers of the Masada Fortress - the last bulwark against the Romans - three years after the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple. They committed suicide collectively so as not to fall into the hands of the Romans. Today Masada is a place of ceremonies and pilgrimage. It also symbolizes the isolation that the Jewish people feel in the world (Klein 2001: 113 f.). The Holocaust reinforced the image of the isolated Jewish people against the rest of the world. In the concrete political context, the eternal hostility of the non-Jews towards the Jews is projected onto Arab societies, especially the Palestinians (Klein 2001: 115 f.). The second leitmotif “there is no choice” ties in with the myth “David versus Goliath”, with the juxtaposition “we” the few and the weak and “they” the many and the strong. The connection to biblical myths gives the current struggles the “aura of a cosmic, eternal confrontation of the forces of light (the few) and darkness (the many)” (Klein 2001: 116). The polarization between light, which is associated with one's own group and darkness, to which all opponents belong, is a dichotomous delimitation mechanism that I described in Chapter III (see Chapter III, p. 14).This dichotomization is constantly reproduced by the violent conflict and in turn exacerbates the violent conflict. Every current political conflict becomes another episode in the history of the eternal persecution of the Jews. Through these myths, the public is sworn to a "necessity to be able to fight, which is of course embodied by the Israeli military" (Klein 2001: 116).

The State of Israel was founded in a war and the mindset has been imprinted that wars in Israel are beyond human control and are a necessity of Israeli history. There is no option, no choice. A “siege mentality” was created; Uta Klein also speaks of the "Masada syndrome" - the deep conviction that the world is against the Jews and that no one would try to save them if a catastrophe occurs (Klein 2001: 117).

After the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel first went into a triumphant frenzy, gained self-confidence and especially the religious Zionists, which I will discuss in more detail in the chapter on Gush Emunim, spoke of a redemption of the Jewish people: “[…] the ancient lands (The West Bank or West Bank, Golan Heights and Sinai, note; the author) of Israel had been restored to God's people ”(Morris 2001: 329). But during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel suffered bitter losses. The myth of the invincibility of the Israeli army was badly tarnished and many Israelis once again felt threatened and isolated by the entire world (Nocke 1998: 103).

1.4. Israel's Military - Male Identity Formation

Israel was greatly shaped by the wars it waged. They established a common fate for the Israelis and thus achieved a certain cohesion of society. The “siege mentality”, a feeling of constant threat, was a condition for strengthening internal cohesion (Klein 2001: 243 f.). There was a common goal - survival - for which the entire collective had to fight (Klein 2001: 244). The real threat to Israel since the founding of the state, but also the ideological leitmotifs of never being defenseless ‘and, there is a choice, gave security top priority. Since the existence of Israel, society has experienced constant militarization30. All social problems are subordinate to the primacy of survival (Broder 1989: 226) and many Israelis believed that only the military could ensure the survival of the Jews. In Israel, a “combination of prominent ideology, high political power of the military and high military professionalism” can be observed. “The combination occurs in societies that are exposed to constant threats to their security and whose ideology regards military values ​​as positive” (Klein 2001: 25). Key positions in politics and business in Israel are very often occupied by former officers (Klein 2001: 29) and Israel describes itself as a “democracy under arms” (Klein 2001: 28). The high reputation of the military is also associated with the victories of the Israeli army in the first Israeli-Arab wars in 1948, 1967 and 1973 (Klein 2001: 29). Although women, like men, have to do military service, the military in Israel remains a male-dominated institution based on an essentialist perspective. Men are associated with aggression and struggle and are considered the nation's protectors, while women are considered peace-loving. The association of violence with masculinity is a widespread cognitive level of representation of violence (see Chapter II. 2, p. 11). In Israel, women are therefore not sent on combat missions. You also don't have to do reserve duty like men do every year.31 Klein interprets military service as a "rite-de-passage"32. Through military socialization, gender and social identity are constructed. Military service represents a “transition to the male adult world” (Klein 2001: 191). First, the candidates are separated from their familiar surroundings. In the second phase there is the actual transition, accompanied by instructions, tests and borderline experiences. After the reintegration of the person into society - the third phase - the ritual of passage is completed. The person then enjoys a higher status, combined with more rights and obligations. In many societies, male initiation rituals are associated with pain and violence, which tears men away from the "world of the feminine". The military service of men must not be the same as that of women, because otherwise a separation of the "male" from the "female" sphere would not be complete. ; Masculinity ‘must be fought for and must be tested, d. H. it has to be proven by e.g. B. confronts the enemy and subdues them (Klein 2001: 191 f.). Male identity is therefore placed in an explicit connection with violence. This goes hand in hand with the social construct of the man, who is coded with fearlessness, heroism and superiority (Klein 2001: 193). Military service in Israel is strongly linked to social acceptance and recognition and is therefore absolutely natural for most young people, especially since the law does not provide for the option of conscientious objection and is only tolerated in very few exceptional cases (Klein 2001: 189). This ideal of the Jewish fighting man is in Israel has a legitimizing character. According to Castells, the "legitimizing identity" is introduced by the "ruling institutions of society (the military in this case, note; the author) [...] in order to expand and rationalize their rule over social actors" (Castells 2002 : 10). The “legitimizing identity” creates a civil society in the Gramsci sense, which on the one hand extends the dynamism of the state and its institutions and is at the same time rooted in the people (Castells 2002: 11).

1.5. Differentiation - New Self-View and Identity Crisis

While the wars were largely shaped by consensus among the Jewish Israelis up to 1973, critical voices rose to a greater extent during the Yom Kippur War. The first beginnings of a peace movement in Israel emerged. In the 1982 Lebanon War, the consensus finally broke completely. The legitimacy of this "war of aggression" was strongly questioned within society, because critics no longer saw this war in connection with the threat to Israel's existence (Klein 2001: 244 f.). In Chapter II. 2 I showed that violence is always linked to controversial legitimacy (see Chapter II. 2, p. 9). The legitimacy consensus that had existed up to that point had largely united Israeli society, and the question of legitimacy has now sparked an internal conflict (see Chapter II. 1, p. 8). The first Intifada finally exacerbated the moral problem. Some Israelis warned that the occupation33 of the West Bank and Gaza could lead to a “brutalization of society” (Klein 2001: 268 ff.). The subsequent Oslo Process in the 1990s found massive support among the Israeli population (Warschawski 2004: 89). A large part of society said goodbye to the idea of ​​a Greater Israel and recognized the right to exist of a Palestinian state (Bar-Tal & Oren 2000: 19). The view of the Arabs also became more differentiated. The homogeneous enemy image gave way to a perception of different Palestinian groups with different goals and ideologies (Bar-Tal & Oren 2000: 21 f.). The self-view also experienced a change. The idea of ​​being a chosen people gradually disappeared among secular Jews, preferring to see Israel as a normal nation-state and the Israelis as a nation comparable to others (Bar-Tal & Oren 2000: 22). The “new historians” were also decisive for the critical reflexivity and the changes in Israel (Klein 2001: 121). The new historians and sociologists questioned the view that the establishment of the state of Israel was exclusively just and humane. They continued to work out the contradictions in Israel and showed that Israel is not a homogeneous one

Society is, rather, deeply divided (Klein 2001: 121 f.). The post-Zionists, as the new historians and sociologists were also called, demanded a redefinition of Israeli identity, a "commitment of Israel to a state of all its citizens" instead of a purely Jewish-Zionist Israel (Nocke 1998: 92). This change in self-view and identification had decisively favored the peace course in Israeli politics - it had a pacifying influence on the longstanding violent conflict. The left saw the demythification of Israeli history as a necessary step in one

"Maturation process", a necessary liberation from outdated ideologies and dogmas and a prerequisite for a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict. But the new self-view met with fierce resistance from those sections of the population who “see Israeli particularism as creating identity” (Nocke 1998: 93). The new identification not only had a pacifying effect on the conflict, but also unsettled and radicalized certain groups within society. The right saw the revisionist trend as a "heretical undermining of the state-based value system, a weakening of the ethos and thus an approaching inevitable catastrophe" (Nocke 1998: 92). They called a rabbinical Fatwa against Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin and declared that anyone who surrendered part of the homeland to non-Jews would be punished with death (Warschawski 2004: 90). This split between left and right with regard to a new self-image also went hand in hand with the split between supporters and opponents of the Oslo Accords (Nocke 1998: 86). The murder of Rabin by Yigal Amir was an expression of this deep split and was perceived as a catastrophe that plunged Israel into a deep crisis of meaning and identity (Nocke 1998: 74). "The dissolution of the fratricide taboo and the destruction of inner-Jewish solidarity, which allowed the Jewish people to survive in the diaspora for two thousand years, were the real moments of shock" (Nocke 1998: 130). The common "enemy" - the Arabs - which had lost its absolute status for a short time during the Oslo trials, soon returned with suicide bombings (Nocke 1998: 84). Disappointment with the peace process and anger spread among the Israelis. The terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians embittered them (Primor 2002: 10). At least since the outbreak of the second Intifada in 2000, the mood shifted and the people in Israel saw themselves forced into a "war of defense" (Primor 2002: 12). Since the late 1990s and until the summer of 2006, the fear of armed violence has shifted away from the country's borders and into the interior, where Palestinian suicide bombers terrorize everyday life in Israel. In Israel there was an alienation from everyday normality. “Once everything is subordinate to the needs of war, then survival itself is no longer worth fighting for; it becomes distorted and begins to appear pointless ”(Nocke 1998: 97).

1.6. Contemporary Israel - Identity Pluralism

The state of Israel is characterized to this day by "the lack of a constitution, unclear borders of the state, the non-existent separation between religion and state and an ethnic foundation of the state" (Klein 2001: 34). There are fundamental inequalities between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel34 z. B. with regard to land acquisition, but also with regard to social and economic support (Klein 2001: 35). Israel is a highly heterogeneous society with immigrants from over 80 different countries (Nocke 1998: 78). Israeli society is deeply divided along ideological-political, but also along national, ethnic and religious lines of conflict. T. already became apparent. After the division of society into numerous groupings with their own ideologies and identities, Israel is now looking for a unifying factor, says Nocke (Nocke 1998: 22). Nocke and many Israeli historians, such as Moshe Zimmermann, see the need for a new ideological system “that brings together the old partial identities and the various areas of modern society”; only such “can prevent further intra-Israeli diffusion and the existence of the state secure "(Nocke 1998: 159). As in any society, most Jews have multiple identities that are context sensitive (see Chapter III, p. 15). But these different identities are often conflictual (see Chapter III, p. 14). An ethnic split e.g.

B. occurs mainly between the Ashkenazim (dt: European Jews) who form the elite and have the power to make decisions and Mizrahim (dt: oriental Jews), who were often excluded from key social positions (Klein 2001: 36). Ashkenazi With the help of a continuity construct, Israelis tried to create a unifying we-feeling, a common, binding identity on the basis of a supposedly common past. (Nocke 1998: 45). But the only thing in common with the past of Jews all over the world was the diaspora, although life in the diaspora in Europe and the Orient was very different. In particular, Oriental Jews were not affected by the Holocaust. However, this served many secular Jews in the 1970s and 1980s as a decisive factor in Israeli identity (Nocke 1998: 46). Currently the divide between the Ashkenazim and the Mizrahim. But the split between religious, especially fundamentalist-religious and secular Israelis is deepening. In 1977 the right-wing Likud Party won the government elections and for the first time since the founding of Israel ousted the Labor Party from politics. With this event the end of classical Zionism is often heralded, because as a result there is a “reinterpretation of liberal Zionism through traditional, sacred and territorial values” (Nocke 1998: 70). The “post-Zionist myth revision” created an ideal vacuum35 and secular Jews in particular were hit by a crisis of values. Fundamentalist groups36 - which I will go into in more detail in the chapter on Gush Emunim - filled the vacuum with religion or messianic ideas (Nocke 1998: 141). The majority of Jews in Israel and abroad are secular and Judaism37 is no longer defined solely by membership of the Jewish faith, as there are many secular and atheistic Jews. However, the Jews find it difficult to find a religion-independent definition that could encompass all Jewish groups in the world (Much & Pfeifer 1999: 22). Despite all the controversies, there is "only one valid definition of being a Jew in the modern State of Israel, and that is that according to Halachic law38". This law states that anyone born to a Jewish mother is a Jew (Nocke 1998: 75). But this definition is highly controversial and there are loud demands for a new, secular definition of a Jew (Nocke 1998: 77).

In Israel there is a multilayered left, from which mainly the peace movement emerged (Klein 2001: 289). The left and the peace movement include staunch Zionists but also Jewish anti-Zionists, secular and religious Jews. The lowest common denominator of the peace movement since the first Intifada has been the demand for an end to the occupation. Only a few more radical groups call for refusal to serve in the military in the occupied territories. B. Yesh Gvul (Eng .: There is a limit). There is no broad pacifist or anti-militarist movement in Israel (Klein 2001: 275). The anti-Zionists in the Israeli peace movement believe that the injustice against Palestinians that arose from the establishment of the State of Israel, they believe, cannot be redressed by a two-state solution. The non-Zionists among the peace groups criticize the basic positions of the State of Israel, its ideology and its values. A Palestinian state should be built, but the state of Israel should also continue to exist. In any case, the Zionist peace movement wants to maintain the Jewish character of the State of Israel and otherwise represents the Zionist ideology. However, consideration is being given to how Zionism could be reconciled with the Palestinians' claim to a state of their own. The Zionist left wants Israel to return to the

"Real, humane Zionism" returns (Klein 2001: 287 f.). The second intifada crippled many Israeli leftists and social pressure on them grew.Critical voices that deviated from the consensus were often sharply attacked (Warschawski 2004: 112). When examining the Neve Shalom / Wahat al-Salam project, a group of the peace movement in Israel / Palestine is examined in more detail.

Israeli society is very heterogeneous, as I have tried to show, and it includes many different identities that conflict with one another, among others. strongly delimit them by their own interpretations of the Arab-Jewish conflict. This conflict serves as one of the identity markers.

1.7. New, existential threat - old leitmotifs

During the, war years ‘2000-2004, Israel often found itself disoriented, unable to make political decisions in order to advance in conflict resolution. During this time, however, a large, silent majority has matured, says Ari Shavit, who understand that the conflict will not end any time soon and at the same time understand that the occupation is “a permanent danger to Israel, both morally and morally in demographic and political terms ”(Shavit 08/17/05: It is this silent majority that forced Sharon to build the "security fence" and evacuate settlements in Gaza. The majority wanted the “separation” because only this, according to the Shavit “will free Israel from the colonialist syndrome and the Palestinians from their victim syndrome” (Shavit 08/17/05: 2005/08 / majority.htm). Many Israelis wanted to withdraw from the autonomous areas, to free themselves from the "disturbing Palestinians", "to be able to lead a normal life withdrawn behind safe borders" (Sahm 07/19/06: .htm). An evacuation of 70% of the West Bank would have met with considerable resistance from the national religious. Society would have had to endure an acid test between national-religious or messianic-Zionist and secular realpolitical groups, but a large part of the Israeli population was convinced that it was going the right way.


1 See S. Huntington (1996): Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order. New York: Simon & Schuster

2 In some cases, these terms are placed in single quotation marks to make it clear that they are borrowed from the respective society and do not correspond to my choice of words.

3 The reference to theories already explained will be made clear by the chapter number of the paper and the page number, e.g. B. (Chapter II. 2, p. 9).

4 Dietrich Jung emphasizes that social action is composed of "objectively given conditions and subjectively related decisions" (Jung 1995: 207). In doing so, he tries to connect free will with context. However, Jung sees the intentionality of the agent in the context of references (Jung 1995: 207). Pamela Stewart and Andrew Strathern also see the individual as an agent between the two poles of individuality and a member of a social col-collective that constitutes the individual socially (Stewart & Strathern 2002: 154).

5 When using the term "Vergesellschaftung" I am referring to Simmel, for whom society was a constant process of interactions and interactions between people in order to express the dynamic character of society, Simmel spoke of Vergesellschaftung (Nedelmann 2003: 136).

6 Almost a third of the water used by Israel comes from the West Bank, which is the basis for Israel's demand that it definitely want to keep control of the water potential in the West Bank. Less than 20% of the West Bank's water potential is consumed by the Palestinians, over 80% goes to Israel or is used by Israeli settlers (Baumgarten 1991: 271 f.).