Sinking into the Honey Trap: The Case of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

by Daniel Bar-Tal 

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Sinking into the Honey Trap: The Case of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict describes how Israeli society has positioned itself in the comfort zone, ignoring the reality in which it exists. It is about the story they tell us, and most of the people accept it. This story shapes the consciousness of the Israeli Jewish society, by explaining the half truth about the past, hiding the present and describing a deceptive vision for the future. It explains the mechanisms that make it possible to ignore the reality and live in a situation that prolongs the conflict with the Palestinians and push the solution to an unseen future with ongoing violence.

It tells what and how political forces pushed Israel to the advancing occupation and settling with Jews the West Bank. The society is paying high prices for the continuation of the situation – not only in life, mental health and economic price, but also in the deterioration of democracy and morality that accelerates the growth of an authoritarian regime with nationalism and religiosity. This process occurs also in other places engulfed in intractable conflict like Turkey, Russia, India, or Rwanda. That is, the societies are sinking in the honey trap.

Daniel Bar-Tal is Professor Emeritus at the School of Education, Tel Aviv University. His research interest is in political and social psychology studying socio-psychological foundations of intractable conflicts and peace building. His most influential theoretical contribution is the development of a systematic and holistic theory of the dynamics of interethnic bloody and lasting conflicts: how they erupt, escalate and possibly de-escalate, are resolved peacefully and even reconciled. In addition, he is an authority on the Israeli-Arab/Palestinian conflict, suggesting a comprehensive interdisciplinary analysis of its foundation, continuation and maintenance. He has published over twenty-five books and over two hundred and fifty articles and chapters in major social and political psychological journals, books and encyclopedias. He served as a President of the International Society of Political Psychology and received numerous awards for his academic achievements.