This study investigates empathy toward Israeli Arabs among Jewish students in Israel. Our model shows that elevated levels of attachment-related anxiety are associated with greater personal distress elicited by Arab suffering. Perceptions of the national narrative as traumatic had a negative effect on empathy toward Arabs, while attachment-related anxiety and perceptions of the national narrative as traumatic were positively linked and empathy and personal distress toward Arabs were positively linked. Political views mediated the link between perceptions of the national narrative as traumatic and empathy toward Arabs. We propose that diminishing the traumatic intensity of the Jewish national narrative may serve to increase intergroup empathy.
SARIT ALKALAY is a licensed educational psychologist and a lecturer for the MA program for Educational Psychology at Jezreel Valley Academic College in Israel. She formerly managed the public Educational Psychology Services of Beit Shean and the Misgav regional council in the northern region of Israel, and was the deputy regional chief psychologist for the northern region at Israel's Ministry of Education. Her research areas include empathy and pro-social development, attachment, and the integration of technology into psychological services. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ANAT ITZHAK-FISHMAN is an educational consultant at Jezreel Valley Academic College. She is a lecturer for the MA programs in Educational Counseling at three academic institutions in Israel: Jezreel Valley Academic College, the University of Haifa, and Sakhnin Teacher Training College. Her research deals with Jewish-Arab relations in Israel with a focus on empathy and traumatic perceptions of collective narratives. E-mail: email@example.com
OHAD MARCUS is a social and medical psychologist, a senior lecturer for the MA program in Educational Psychology at Jezreel Valley Academic College, and the former chair of the College's Department of Behavioral Sciences. He is also a volunteer firefighter and an aerial support officer in the Israeli Fire Department. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org