The Israeli national identity. Media content analysis of the public opinion in Israel regarding the Armenian genocide, 2000s - 2010s
Weenen, E. van
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This thesis examines to what extent the Israeli public opinion complies with the Israeli foreign policy during the 2000s and 2010s regarding the Armenian genocide. The research is carried out by means of media content analysis, using news and opinion articles published by the Jerusalem Post. The time frame was chosen because of the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010, which caused the relationship between Turkey and Israel to deteriorate. It was found that the Israeli policy on the issue, which entails non-recognition, could be convincingly explained by the balance-of-threat theory since Israel views Turkey as a necessary ally in a predominantly hostile environment. By means of the media content analysis it was discovered that the Israeli national identity played a large role in the shaping of the public opinion regarding the Armenian genocide and with respect to the policy of the Israeli state. The collective memory of the Holocaust and the significance of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were both of critical importance in shaping the public opinion. When comparing the 2000s with the 2010s, it was found that after 2010 the frame used by the Jerusalem Post was more in accordance with the public opinion than with the policy of the state whereas this was not the case before this period. Overall, the analysis showed that the Israeli public opinion did not comply with the foreign policy. The credibility of the findings is however limited by the time frame and due to the sole use of the Jerusalem Post as a source for the media content analysis.