My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: VIII. The Palestinians, the Israelis and the Dutch

My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: VIII. The Palestinians, the Israelis and the Dutch


Daniel Weishut, Psy.D.

Much could be written here about interculturality when it comes to Israeli and Palestinian societies, which provide the context of this study. I will suffice in providing a few notes on each of these cultures, fully aware that this does injustice. A more extensive analysis of these cultures is beyond the scope of this study. After that, I will provide some data about interculturality in the Netherlands; Dutch culture is part of my personal background and therefore relevant in this study as well.

The Palestinian Arabs

Hofstede (2001) found that there are differences among the nations within the Arab world, but in general, cultural dimensions were found to be rather similar. The Arab world, which is predominantly Muslim, is highly rule-oriented while inequalities of power and wealth have been allowed to grow within the society. Leaders have virtually ultimate power and authority and there is an expectation and acceptance that leaders will separate themselves from the group. Arab societies do not readily accept change and are risk adverse. They are collectivistic which is manifested in a close long-term commitment to the member ‘group’, that being a family, extended family, clan, tribe or extended relationships. Loyalty in a collectivist culture is paramount, and over-rides most other societal rules.


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About the Author

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Daniel WeishutDaniel J.N. Weishut, born in the Netherlands but living in Jerusalem, is a professional with a diverse background. He holds an MA in Clinical Psychology and an MBA in Integrative Business Administration, both from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a PsyD in Clinical and Organizational Psychology from the Professional School of Psychology (Sacramento). He has about thirty years of experience in consultation and therapy with a wide variety of clients and issues, more than twenty years of practice in group facilitation, and over fifteen years of know-how in governance and management in various organizations.Daniel Weishut offers his services as a "Partner on the Way", while taking a world-view that people are diverse but equal. He works with a variety of clients, but his special interest is in work with those who have found themselves persecuted or otherwise in conflict with their social environment, because of their culture, identity or belief system. For example: migrants, expats, refugees, Holocaust survivors, soldiers, pacifists, and individuals from religious, cultural or sexual minorities. Daniel Weishut is a social activist and in this capacity he volunteers as Chairperson of the Israeli Association of Group Psychotherapy, as Member of the Membership Appeals Committee of Amnesty International and as forensic expert for the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel. He also is involved in raising awareness about the situation of Bedouins around Jerusalem; awareness which led among others to the writing of his dissertation "My friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: Challenges and opportunities in intercultural friendship".

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