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


  • Gal Ariely Ben-Gurion University of the Negev



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.

Author Biography

Gal Ariely, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


Political Scientist






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