Diasporas as Audiences of Securitization

Jewish American Diaspora and BDS

in Israel Studies Review
Author:
Ronnie Olesker St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York rolesker@stlawu.edu

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Abstract

This study conceptually develops and analytically examines the role and function of diasporas as audiences in the securitization process by examining the American Jewish Diaspora in Israel's securitization of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). It argues that Israel's use of antisemitism as a metanarrative for the securitization of the BDS movement incorporates diasporic Jews as internal audiences in the securitization process. Audiences, however, are not monolithic. While homeland Jews, including both elites and the public, tend to support Israel's securitization process, American Jews are split; the elite support the process but public opinion is far less sympathetic to Israeli constructions of BDS as a threat. The disparity between audiences’ reactions weakens the support for Israel's counter-BDS policies and undermines its securitization process.

Contributor Notes

RONNIE OLESKER is the Michael W. and Virginia R. Ranger Professor of Government at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, where she teaches courses on interntional relations, Middle East politics and popular culture. Her research focuses on securitization in Israel, US-Israeli relations, and more recently, popular culture and international affairs. She is the author of Israel's Securitization Dilemma: BDS and the Battle for the Legitimacy of the Jewish State (2021). E-mail: rolesker@stlawu.edu

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