Article Code : 139508171055175002415

Article Title : The Role of Academic Discourse in Shaping US-Israel Relations

Journal Number : 22 Summer 2015

Visited : 406

Files : 578 KB

List of Authors

  Full Name Email Grade Degree Corresponding Author
1 Mohammad A. Mousavi Assistant Professor PhD
2 Elham Kadkhodaee Post Graduate Student PhD


Highlighting the need for a more nuanced and multidimensional approach to understanding the relationship between America and Israel, the current article suggests constructivist international relations as a theoretical framework that has the capacity to explain such complexity through the concept of collective identity. According to Alexander Wendt’s version of constructivism, in a Kantian culture of anarchy, states can become friends rather than rivals or enemies, meaning that the security and interests of the Self and Other become identical. In such a situation, a collective identity is formed between the two entities, leading to a friendship that involves not only governments but also the societies, and includes cultural and psychological dimensions as well as geopolitical ones. The current article argues that non-governmental entities such as the academia can play a significant role in constructing such a collective identity. Pro-Israel scholars actively promote a collective identity by producing output that clearly define Israel and America as the Self, and Arabs/Muslims/Palestinians as the Other or the dangerous common enemy. To remain more focused, Holocaust and anti-Semitism are selected as specific fields of study through which formation of the Self/Other dichotomy in academic discourse is studied. A critical discourse analysis of texts authored by Alvin H. Rosenfeld, Andrea Markovits and Josef Joffe will be carried out to demonstrate the themes through which this binary is established. The identification of these themes, and the overall endeavor of pro-Israel scholars to construct American identity in a pro-Israel manner, is necessary for understanding the ideational basis of American relations with Israel.