Comfort Zone of a Society in Conflict
Daniel Bar-Tal and Amiram Raviv
One of the central questions that preoccupies scholars studying interethnic or inter-ideological intractable conflicts, as well as politicians, practitioners and peace activists, and in fact, all people whose lives are plagued by violent conflict is: why many of the bloody and protracted conflicts are not resolved peacefully despite their heavy toll for the participating societies, for so many years, in different areas?
This book tries to answer this key question by focusing on one prototypic intractable conflict, namely, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The analysis thus serves to illuminate this bloody and protracted conflict and to shed light upon the socio-psychological dynamics of other lasting and violent conflicts. Specifically, it describes and analyzes the mechanisms and the processes taking place in Jewish Israeli society that construct the view of the conflict, maintain it, routinize it and eventually serve as barriers to their peaceful resolution.
The chapters in the book address the socio-psychological dynamics by focusing on processes that began with the establishment of the state in 1948. But the main thrust of the book centers on the years following the escalation of the conflict in the year 2000, which in our view marked the turning point in Israeli-Jewish attitudes and orientation. It was at that point that the conflict began to re-intensify and Israeli Jewish society became radicalized regarding the conflict, the Palestinian people as adversaries and other issues related to the socio-political life in Israel.