Polish perspective

  • Beyond “Recognition”. The Polish Perspectives on Israeli and Palestinian National Identities: Preliminary Assumptions of Research

    The paper aims to provide an overview of the main streams of perception of Israeli and Palestinian national identities by Polish authorities and society, as well as analyze their sources. The study covers the period of time when both of the national identities took shape, that is since the beginning of the mass Jewish migration to Palestine at the beginning of the XXth century until the present time. As the Jews have for a long time been an important part of Polish history and society, Poles have a strong perception of Jewish, and consequently also Israeli, identity. Polish Jews, who played a crucial role in establishing the Israeli state and shaping Israeli national identity, were treated by many Poles as “our Jews”. This perception was conditioned by internal factors, such as social relations, cultural proximity, historical memory or political views. In contrast, a  perception of the Palestinian identity from the very beginning was conditioned externally, because it resulted from international political developments and a narrative imposed by foreign powers. Another special feature of the Polish perception of Israeli and Palestinian identity is the fact that public opinion very often differs significantly from the political position of state authorities.

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