The burden of history(?): Remembering the Holocaust and Attitudes toward Asylum Seekers in Israel

Gal Ariely


Two connected studies examine how universalist and particularist views of the Holocaust influence Israeli Jews’ attitudes toward asylum seekers. Study 1 (N = 500) investigated the degree to which universalist and particularist perceptions of the “lessons” of the Holocaust correlate with exclusionist views toward asylum seekers. It was found that a universalist perception of the “lessons” of the Holocaust was negatively related to exclusionist attitudes, and a particularist perception positively related to exclusionist attitudes—even after controlling for religiosity and political affiliation. Study 2 comprised three survey experiments (N = 298, 280, and 320, respectively) investigating whether presentation of universalist versus particularist texts about the Holocaust would impact exclusionist attitudes. It was found that exposure to a universalist text reduced negative attitudes toward asylum seekers and increased support for treating wounded Syrians in Israeli hospitals. Exposure to a particularist did not increase exclusionist attitudes.


Holocaust; rememberance; attitudes towards asylum seekers; Israel

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DOI: 10.4119/UNIBI/ijcv.423

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