Voicing or Silence: Palestinian Israeli and Jewish Israeli Social Workers' Relationships during Political Turmoil

Neveen Ali Saleh Darawshy, Sagit Lev, Shlomit Weiss-Dagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In this study, we examined Palestinian Israeli and Jewish Israeli social workers' relationships in relation to events in May 2021 that involved serious political violent incidents between Palestinian and Jewish Israelis. The qualitative phenomenology approach was used. We interviewed twenty-five social workers from both groups who work in public social services in six ethnonational mixed Palestinian-Jewish cities in Israel. Participants, who were predominantly female and between the ages of 25 and 55, were recruited using a purposive sampling technique. In-depth interviews, conducted in Hebrew and Arabic, focused on the perceptions, experiencing and challenges in relationships between colleagues during crises. Findings revealed the complexity of relationships amid political violence. Most participants coped by remaining silent on political matters. Three themes emerged: subjects of silence, reasons for silence and instances of breaking silence within WhatsApp groups, staff meetings and private conversations amongst individuals of the same ethnic group. The authors make recommendations for research, practice and training for social workers concerning relationships in the context of ongoing political conflict. It is also important to raise 'social-work-informed conflict awareness' amongst social workers that relates to how political conflicts may influence their behaviours and relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-606
Number of pages20
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Association of Social Workers. All rights reserved.


  • Jewish and Palestinian
  • colleagues' relationships
  • conflict-ridden areas
  • silence
  • social workers


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