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

As regarding forms of communication, Arabs were described as making use of expressive body language and relatively loud in their speaking. In business, they may tend to a coercive style of interaction with subordinates. Furthermore, Arabs allow for relatively much bodily contact between individuals of the same sex, whereas public contact between individuals of the opposite sex is in many Arab societies not well accepted. Although Arab gender roles are changing, men are generally viewed as superior, and women in need of protection and guidance (Samovar et al., 2009).

Let us now take a closer look at the Palestinians. Palestinian Arabs live for the most part in the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and Israel, though substantial numbers live in Syria, Lebanon and other countries. In the context of the present study, I will refer only to those living in the Palestinian Authority. The population of the Palestinian Authority consists primarily of Muslims; Christians and others comprise less than two percent of the total population (Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 2009). Palestinian culture is seen as an honor culture (Baxter, 2007; Robinson, 2008). The centrality of honor seems part of the Palestinian social unconscious. When honor is at stake, other options of experience, perceiving or coping may be overlooked.

For the Palestinian Arabs, enduring forms of violence, trauma and resistance became central aspects of daily life and culture. (Allen, 2008) wrote as follows about life in the Palestinian Authority:

The second Palestinian intifada against Israeli occupation, which began in September 2000, saw Palestinian areas repeatedly invaded and shelled by Israeli forces. […] Commemorative cultural production and basic acts of physically getting around that became central to the spatial and social practices by which reorientation and adaptation to violence occurred in the occupied Palestinian territories. […] Memorialization that occurs in storytelling, in visual culture, in the naming of places and moving through spaces is one way in which this happens. The concept of “getting by” captures the many spatial and commemorative forms by which Palestinians manage everyday survival (p. 453).

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About the Author

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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