‘The Palestinian Threat’: A Study of Israel's Contemporary Security Discourse in a Human Rights Context
This thesis is a case study of how Palestinians are depicted as a threat in Israel's security discourse. Applying Securitization Theory, a broad definition of security is adopted, whereby what may constitute an “existential threat” depends on the referent object which is purported to be existentially threatened. Apart from exploring the process of how Israel depicts Palestinians in its security discourse, the study aims to understand the implications of this broad security perspective for the human rights of Palestinians, in particular with regard to the right of self-determination. The study was carried out on the basis of speeches held by the Prime Ministers of Israel in the period of 2005-2014. Having collected and analyzed the data, one thing appeared to be abundantly clear: Israel’s securitization with regard to the Palestinians is multifaceted. This means that there is a variety of ways whereby certain objects are presented as being existentially threatened, and where the Palestinians, as a whole, or parts thereof, are portrayed as the existential threat. Dominating the discourse of existential threats is a non-imminent non-military demographic Palestinian threat. On the one hand, this result lends empirical support to strengthen the relevance of Securitization Theory. On the other, it suggests dire outlooks for the realization of the Palestinian right of self-determination.