After a terror attack: Israeli - arab professionals' feelings and experiences

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This paper discusses the feelings and experiences of Israeli-Arab social workers following terror attacks during the Second Intifada, against the background of two contrasting perspectives: Terror Management Theory and the Contact Hypothesis. The findings, based on in-depth interviews with 25 professionals, show pervasive tension and anxiety following attacks. Consistent with the Contact Hypothesis, however, findings also show that the interviewees' degree of closeness with Jewish colleagues affected both their own feelings and behaviors and those of the Jews they spoke about. Relationships lacking warmth or friendship created distancing after an attack. On the other hand, interviewees with warm and friendly relations with Jewish co-workers reported heightened alertness associated with discomfort following an attack. Findings also show that close relations with their Jewish colleagues could alleviate considerable anxiety and exclusion they felt after terror attacks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-704
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010


  • Contact Hypothesis
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Second Intifada
  • Terror Management Theory
  • co-existence
  • in-group - out-group
  • joint professional teams
  • terror attack


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