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P. 1
Proof of Discourse Present in Israel

Proof of Discourse Present in Israel

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Published by Sean Zohar
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Published by: Sean Zohar on Aug 25, 2013
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08/25/2013

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 The issue of Iran and its stated intent to remove Israel’s existence from the“pages of history” has been an issue warranting increased coverage from Israelimedia outlets since early 2003, when Iranian PM Ahmedinajad(need new intro)…Inresponse to this irratic statement the Netanyahu govt initiated an equally powerfulset of political statements, symbols and and discourse concerning the imminenceof an Iranian nuclear threat. Comprehending this unique discourse as well as, thepower-dynamics which have underlied its ability to take route within Israel’s politicalculture, requires an intensified focus on the power of language and the creation of asecuritizing narrative, as defined through the theoretical lens of critical securitystudies. The application of such a theoretical orientation allows for two importantconclusions to emerge. Firstly, that more broadly the Netanyahu administration hasactively constructed the borders of a security narrative which situates Iran withinthe realm of an imminent material and ideological “threat” to Israel’s existence .Secondly, that this narrative has created a split in Israeli civil society, in recievingpartial legitimation through some of Israel’s largest and most widely read newspublications, such as the Jerusalem Post, Yedioth Achronot(Ynet) and Irutz Sheva,yet simultaneously provoking widespread opposition and rejection from variousacademics, politicians and media . This MRP will look to explore why the Israeligovernment’s statements, reactions and policies concerning the topic of animminent Iranian nuclear threat, have provoked such a high and open level of criticism from such actors. The analysis argues that by identifying an escalation inthe type of discourse being espoused by the Netanyahu government, between theyears 2011-13, as well as the varying challenges raised against it within Israel, itbecomes increasing clear that the issue of Iran has developed three major streamsof communication or discourse. The first stream is the
internal discussion
within thestate of Israel, the second stream is the
outward 
or
international discussion
 between Israel and the rest of the international community, and the third stream isthe critical _____________ discussion within the larger Jewish community abroad. Thisanalysis will ultimately suggest that through focusing on the first stream and, inturn, the language within Israeli civil society adamant on rejecting Netanyahu’sIranian threat narrative it becomes increasingly clear that there rests a demand toreject and dispel the dominant set of shared meanings and symbols which restbehind its legitimacy.(Didn’t know if I should put this is?) Increased recognition of a set of perspectiveswhich rest within the first stream of communication, proposed above, and itsuniqueness, as an open form of criticism and condemnation towards thegovernment and its statements, allows for a clear understanding of how thedefiance of such a discourse could lead to substantial political change.Additional questions I will attempt to answer (indirectly through analysis)
1)Critical Discourse Studies
 The link between discourse, framing and public understanding of an issue
 
Has the media or government framed the issue of Iranian nuclearpower in a way that necessitates a restricted set of perceptions concerning its(framing as a necessary part of discourse)How can recognizing language / the power of language and ideas lead toincreased insight intoIsraeli political culture /media with regards to this issueIdentifying & Applying the three streams : first stream is the
internaldiscussion
within the state of Israel, the second stream is the
outward 
or
international discussion
between Israel and the rest of the international community,and the third stream is the critical _____________ discussion within the larger Jewishcommunity abroad
2)IR theory
Why is social constructivism / critical security studies specifically important inthis MRP/for understanding this issue?Short Answer :B/c it understands ecurity as a social construction ; it is a constructed phenomenon ;constructed by individuals/groups with power ; with the construction of whatsecurity means in Israel according to Netanyahu has come a set of symbols imagesand meanings which place Iran into the realm of being an imminent threat – I amnot evaluating how correct or incorrect this is but simply identifying its presenceand arguing that it promotes/constricts ways of understanding securityBecause it helps make clear how a given construction of what security means canbe cemented into general public knwoledge of a problem / or be performative(i.e.lead individual /constrain individual action)DEFINITIONS OF SECURITY AND THREAT ARE CONTESTABLE – CONSIDERABLEIDEOLOGICAL LABOUR IS REQUIRED TO ENSURE THAT PARTICCULAR SECURITYDISCOURSE BECOME AND REMAIN DOMINANT ; POLIT ELITES AND OTHER ACTORSEXERCISE SUCH (I.E. Israel – Netanyahu govt)Why is the concept of securitization specifically important for thisMRP/understanding this issue?3)Ressistance to narrativeFirst stream - the
internal discussion
within the state of Israel
Open and widespread opposition in the context of Israeli civil society
 
Argument – that it is unique for Israel’s ex-heads of its internal security communityto defy the govt so adamantly and openlyWhat does this mean? Populations looking to invite a new discourseWhy this trend defies past trends in communication streams between thegovernment, media and civil society?Whether the major trend in defiance of the government’s political narrativeand discourse on Iran from important actors in Israeli civil society, can lead topolitical change?Argument : Link between discourse and action=way one perceives a problem/thefact that it is a problem at all(problemitization = securitization or the construction of something as a threat….
Implications :
1)Original part of this MRP : Understanding that this issue is one of language/discourse provokes the need for a new dominant set of sharedmeanings symbols etca. Dispelling this set of shared meanings and symbols in favor of a newdiscourseb.developing a relevant analytical framework for discourse is a key firststep in the process of constructing alternative ways forward, includingxy z( A different way of putting it would be to say “there is a discoursethat has emerged in Israeli media & government statements/ analysis—understanding this discourse is a key first step in the process of constructing alternative ways forward, including xy z)i.i.e. Israel loves Iran,ii.-i.e. The implications of discourse analysis for foreign policy decision makingfor conflict resolutionof political rhetoric between the years 2011-13 hold a great deal of relevance giventhe irrefutable link between discourse and eventual decision making or action,How the pratice and use of a specific type of discourse allows for the creation of perceptions about a given social situationHas been defied by central political figuresas well as significant actors within Israel’s security intelligence community

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