My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin:  X. Intercultural Friendship

My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: X. Intercultural Friendship

Daniel Weishut, Psy.D.

Friendships were described as serving diverse individual and social purposes, and referred to as both interpersonal and cultural enactment (Rawlins, 1989). Although friendships in its various configurations link people and communities together in some sort of reciprocally beneficial association that forms societies (Devere, 2010), people have a tendency to look for “their own sort”. For example, students in the United States were found to be racially homophilic and befriend people of the same race (Wimmer & Lewis, 2010). Close intercultural relationships are often perceived negatively and they receive significantly less social support. They are filled with contradictions, and they require giving up on individuality in order to bond into an entity and participate as such in society. Moreover, they involve ongoing dialectics between the personal and the societal aspects of the relationship, regarding the degree of openness both within the relationship and with the environment, and concerning autonomy as opposed to interdependency (Chen, 2002)
Following, I will relate to the development of intercultural friendship. This will be followed by a description of cultural differences pertaining to friendships, after which I will discuss specifically relationships between Israeli Jews and Palestinians.


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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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