Self-othering to power: vilification, ridicule and moral claims in the Israeli right ‘underdog’ discourse

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Although the Israeli right holds an equal–if not superior–position of power within the Israeli bi-polar political cleavage, its leaders and spokespersons continue to nurture a group identity of an excluded, marginalized and oppressed ideological movement. This study examines the discursive practice of ‘self-othering’ in Israeli right-wing discourse. Focusing on a particular case study–op-ed articles and commentaries published by right-wing opinion makers during the military crisis of summer 2006–the study analyzes the Israeli right’s rhetoric of polarization in terms of movement-countermovement competitive framing process. Drawing on frame theory and historical discourse approach, the analysis shows how victimage discourse is employed by the Israeli right to delegitimize the left as being an oppressive elite, and to frame right-wing affiliation as a social identity of a popular movement whose members are mobilized to a continuous struggle against the ‘hegemonic control’ of the left.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-172
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Multicultural Discourses
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022


  • Victimhood
  • framing processes
  • polarization
  • political cleavage
  • populist discourse
  • self-othering


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