Dr. Oliver F. Schmitdke, Departments of Political Science and History
Co-Supervisor or Departmental Member
Dr. Martin Bunton, Department of History
Dr. Greg Blue, Department of History
Dr. Matt James, Department of Political ScienceThis thesis contends that from the inception of Zionist ideology until theformation of Israel, the Zionist leadership, through the skillful use of narratives and theprocess of articulating a specific position and constraining opposing narratives, hasbeen highly effective in creating and molding the historic perspectives and collectivememories which have shaped, and continue to shape, Jewish identity and experience inPalestine. This study argues that the Israeli
Declaration of Independence
of May 1948formalized core Zionist narratives and national myths within Israeli national self-identity, while simultaneously promoting their acceptance among world Jewry and theinternational community. This paper also maintains that these key narratives were usedto legitimize the attitudes and actions of the early Zionists, and later Israelis, towardsthe indigenous (and surrounding) Arab populations. The impact of these narratives andnational myths on the Palestinian Arabs, the effects of which continue to reverberate,is particularly addressed.