Pathways to Global Justice: Turning Points, Media, and Palestine Solidarity among Diaspora Jews

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Abstract

This article examines the processes by which Jewish Americans become involved in Palestine solidarity activism through a case study of the non-profit organization, Jewish Voice for Peace. This study finds American Jews tend to attribute their support for Palestine to historical events and media rather than planned activities such as interfaith dialogue and awareness-raising initiatives. In addition, despite popular perceptions that understand Jewish Americans’ paths to supporting Palestinians as uniquely arduous, my data suggest that most Jewish activists in the Palestine solidarity movement did not go through major ideological transformations to arrive at their positions. Instead, support for Palestine appears to be more ideologically accessible to Jewish activists than previously theorized. These findings suggest that media can serve as a powerful force to reorganize diasporic commitments and generate transnational support for justice and peace in the Arab world. They also imply that Western support for anticolonial struggles in the Middle East is more likely to be won through accurately reporting on such events rather than more targeted interventions designed to change people’s minds. While many social change organizations devote considerable resources to shifting the thinking of people who oppose their cause, my data suggest that such resources may be better spent mobilizing these groups’ existing bases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalArab Media and Society
Volume2021
Issue number32
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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