The dialectics of the securitization and desecuritization of African asylum seekers discourse in Israel

Elie Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study engages in an analysis of the media discourse regarding African asylum seekers in Israel, examining how populist and elite Hebrew language news websites utilize securitized and desecuritized discourses to depict asylum seekers in both a period of perceived acute threat (2011–2012) and a period in which the perceived threat has dissipated (2018–2019). Utilizing a Dialectic Discourse Analysis approach, this study aims to disclose how similar discursive resources and societal values can be dialectically employed to advance both securitized and desecuritized migration discourses. Specifically, the study illustrates how paradigmatic lexical choices, collective memory narratives, religious values, and vox populi discourses can be utilized to advance both securitized and desecuritized approaches to asylum seekers, with no significant different between the two periods studied. The study posits that by appropriating central societal values towards each position, the discourse become fixed in opposition, as neither side is able to engage in a constructive dialogue with the opposing side. The discussion suggests a possibility for engaging in a productive discourse which shifts beyond fixed oppositions with respect to asylum seekers and other perceived threats to the ontological security of a society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-60
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Multicultural Discourses
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

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  • Discourse analysis
  • asylum seekers
  • desecuritization
  • migration
  • securitization


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