Volume 9, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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This article offers a preliminary and partial mapping of some cultural misconceptions inherent in the Israeli peace discourse. It focuses on one of the central mythic metaphors belonging to this discourse: “We extend our hand in peace.” First articulated in “The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel” (1948). After more than six decades of endless repetition in speeches made by Israeli political leaders, the metaphor has become a fertile arena for learning about Israel’s cultural codes and cultural heritage relating to peace: While expressing the sincere will to make peace, use of the metaphor simultaneously demonstrates moral superiority, feelings of deprivation, latent threat, and recognition of its efficiency for creating a positive image abroad. A discursive analysis of the metaphor reveals four barriers to the effective continuation of a peace process: Images of the Arab opponent, Israel’s self-image, relationships between opponents in addition to the opponents’ readiness to achieve peace.


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