Arabic in Israel: Language, Identity and Conflict, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Arabic in Israel

Language, Identity and Conflict, 1st Edition

By Muhammad Amara


208 pages

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In Arabic in Israel, Muhammad Amara analyses the status of Arabic following the creation of the State of Israel and documents its impact on the individual and collective identity of Israel’s Palestinian Arab citizens. The interplay of language and identity in conflict situations is also examined. This work represents the culmination of many years of research on Arabic linguistic repertoire and educational policy regarding the language of the Palestinian citizens of Israel. It draws all of these factors together while linking them to local, regional and global developments. Its perspective is interdisciplinary and, as such, examines the topic from a number of angles including linguistic, social, cultural and political.

Table of Contents

List of tables, figure, pictures and mapsPreface


Chapter 1 Language, identity and conflict


1.1 Introduction


1.1 Identity and identities


1.1.1 Conflicting identities: Palestinian-Jewish relationships inside Israel


1.2 Language and social identity


1.2.1 The Arabic language and social identity


1.2.2 Language and identity in Israel


1.3 The vitality of Arabic in Israel


1.4 Language and conflict


1.4.1 The role of language in the Arab-Israeli conflict


1.5 Conclusion

Chapter 2 Internal and external challenges of the Arabic language


2. Introduction


2.1 Internal challenges


2.1.1 Diglossia: old and new challenges


2.1.2 Modernization and the Arabic language


2.2 External challenges


2.2.1 Colonialism, globalization and the Arabic language


2.3 Policy towards Arabic in the Arab world: .encountering challenges


2.4 Conclusion

Chapter 3 Internal and regional contexts and the Arabic language in Israel 

3. Introduction  

3.1 Internal contexts 

3.2 Regional contexts 

3.3 Conclusion

Chapter 4 The status of the Arabic language in Israel 

4.1 The linguistic situation in Israel

4.2 The status of Arabic in Israel 

4.3 Conclusion

Chapter 5 Features of the Arabic language in Israel

5.1 Introduction 

5.2 Arabic in Israel

5.2.1 Is there a unique variety of Arabic in Israel? 

5.2.2 Influences from other Arabic varieties

5.3 Conclusion

Chapter 6 Arabic in the shadow of Hebraization


6.1 Hebrew is the dominant language in Israel


6.1.1 Building the new Jewish Israeli identity


6.1.2 Putting Hebrew on the national agenda


6.1.3 Teaching Hebrew


6.1.4 Hebraization consequences


6.2 Ideologized Hebrew and its teaching to Palestinian pupils in Israel


6.2.1 Attitudes towards teaching Hebrew to Palestinian Arabs


6.2.2 The Policy of teaching Hebrew: goals and curricula


6.2.3 A new curriculum


6.2.4 Textbooks and contents


6.2.5 Consequences of Hebraization for teaching


6.3 The penetration of Hebrew into the ‘heart of Arabic’: borrowing


6.3.1 Introduction


6.3.2 Culture contact and its linguistic reflections


6.3.3 The importance of the study of Hebrew


6.3.4 The knowledge and use of Hebrew


6.3.5 Borrowing lexical items from Hebrew: integration and diffusion

6.3.6 Borrowing and its linguistic characteristics


6.3.7 The consequences of Hebraization on borrowing

Chapter 7 English in the Palestinian linguistic repertoire in Israel


7.1 Introduction


7.2 English teaching in the Palestinian schools in Israel


7.2.1 The current English curriculum


7.2.2 Textbooks


7.2.3 Achievements


7.3 Borrowing from English


7.4 Globalization and English


7.5 Writing with Latin and Hebrew letters


7.6 Conclusion

Chapter 8 Hebraization of Arabic place names


8.1 Introduction


8.2 Hebraizing names: the translation of ideological orientation and political thinking


8.3 Conclusion

Chapter 9 The current linguistic landscape in the Palestinian Arab localities in Israel


9.1 Linguistic landscape: a brief background


9.1.1 Studies on linguistic landscape in Israel


9.2 The Palestinian Arab linguistic landscape in Israel


9.2.1 Hebrew and Hebraization


9.2.2 Palestinian Arab uniqueness


9.2.3 Conclusion


9.3 The linguistic landscape from a different perspective: Umm-el-Fahm as a case study


9.3.1 Umm-el-Fahm: background


9.3.2 The linguistic landscape in the city


9.3.3 Conclusion

Chapter 10 The Arabic language in the Palestinian Arab education system


10.1 Introduction


10.2 The effect of the Arabic curricula on the Palestinian Arab identity


10.3 The hurdles blocking the achievement of high competence in Standard Arabic


10.4 What is the role of the Arabic language in the Palestinian Arab education system?


10.5 Conclusion

Chapter 11 Teaching Arabic in Jewish schools: language of the neighbour or the enemy?


11.1 Introduction


11.2 Teaching the Arabic language


11.3 Jewish attitudes towards the Arabic language


11.4 Goals of teaching Arabic


11.5 Bilingual schools: the Hand-in-Hand schools


11.6 Conclusion

Chapter 12 Language ideology and attitudes: Arabic language academies and future vision documents


12.1 Language ideology and attitudes towards Arabic


12.1.1 The Communist party and the Democratic Front


12.1.2 Balad


12.1.3 The Islamic Movement


12.1.4 Civil organizations


12.2 Survey


12.3 Conclusion


12.4 Arabic language academies in the Israeli context: between the research role and nationalist aspirations


12.4.1Arabic language academies


12.4.2 Arabic language academies in Israel


12.4.3 Conclusion


12.5 The role of Arabic according to future vision documents


12.5.1 Introduction


12.5.2 Arabic in the future vision documents


12.5.3 Conclusion

Chapter 13 Epilogue: facing the challenges


13.1 Challenges of the Arabic language


13.2 Facing the challenges


13.2.1 Arabic as a strategic choice for building an Arab knowledge society


13.2.2 Meeting the challenges: building a framework


13.3 Practical proposals


13.4 Conclusion



About the Author

Muhammad Amara is the head of Graduate Studies at Beit Berl College, Israel,a lecturer at Al-Qasemi College, and president of the Israeli Society for the Study of Language and Society.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Language and Identity

Routledge Studies in Language and Identity (RSLI) series aims to examine the intricate relation between language and identity from different perspectives. The series straddles fields such as sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, applied linguistics, historical linguistics and linguistic anthropology. It aims to study identity and language by utilizing novel methods of analysis as well as ground breaking theoretical approaches.

The books in this series proceed from the standpoint that language constitutes the weft and warp of social processes and practices, and that it cannot be studied in isolation from social phenomena. They shed light on the role of language in identity construction, in relation to a broad variety of themes and issues, including language variation and change, code-switching, bilingualism, translanguaging, language in the diaspora, minority languages, pidgins and creoles, language and globalization, language and the media, language in political discourse, language and gender, language and education, language policies and ideologies, and language and literature.

The series focuses on the contemporary world, but historical issues that pertain to identity construction are also covered. Within this general framework, the series offers academic case studies that not only address scholars in the field of linguistics, but are also of interest to researchers in political science, anthropology, sociology, media and history.

Editorial Board

Rizwan Ahmad Associate Professor of Sociolinguistics, Qatar University

Amira Agameya Visiting Professor and Chair of the Department of Applied Linguistics, the American University in Cairo 

Jannis Androutsopoulos Professor of German and Media Linguistics, University of Hamburg

Ana De Fina Professor, Italian Language & Linguistics, Georgetown University 

Ana Deumert Associate Professor, University of Cape Town

 John Edwards Senior Research Professor, St Francis Xavier University, Adjunct Professor (Graduate Studies), Dalhousie University

Ahmed Ech-Charfi Professor, Faculty of Education, Mohammed V University of Rabat

Mohssen Esseesy Associate Professor of Arabic Linguistics, George Washington University

Alexandra Georgakopoulou Professor of Discourse Analysis & Sociolinguistics, King’s College London

Barbara Johnstone Professor of English and Linguistics, Carnegie Mellon University

Amal Marogy Affiliated Researcher in Neo-Aramaic Studies, University of Cambridge

Tommaso Milani Associate Professor of Linguistics, University of the Witwatersrand

Catherine Miller Director of Research, CNRS

Heikki Palva Professor Emeritus, University of Helsinki

Gillian Ramchand Professor, Institute for Language and Culture, University of Tromsø

Cristina Sanz Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Georgetown University

Kassim Shaaban Professor of English and Linguistics, American University in Beirut

Munther A Younes Senior Lecturer, Department of Near Eastern Studies, Cornell University

Keith Walters Professor of Applied Linguistics, Portland State University

Ruth Wodak Emerita Distinguished Professor, Lancaster University


Learn more…

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