Hebrew University Jerusalem: ‘Beware of False Prophets, which Come to you in Sheep’s Clothing’


Editorial Note

IAM often reports on political activism disguised as academics. Recently, a Hebrew University research project raised some eyebrows. The 2021 Index for Shared Society Progress in Youth (ISSPY) was conducted by the aChord Center of the Hebrew University, specializing in the social psychology of intergroup relations. The index is based on a survey taken between May to July of 2020 among 1,091 teenage boys and girls aged 16 to 18 from secular-Jewish, religious-Jewish, Haredi, and Arab backgrounds.

The results were published in the media spreading hatred. Titled “Survey: The ultra-Orthodox youth hate Arabs, the religious youth want to deprive them of rights.” The reporter explained that “A comprehensive study conducted at the Hebrew University shows that many teenagers in Israel hold negative stereotypes towards other groups.” The researchers in the study said that “The Ministry of Education must stop ignoring.” The article continues, “About half of the religious youth support the denial of the right to vote from Arabs, the levels of hatred among Haredim towards Arabs are the highest recorded among the various social groups, about half of the Arab youth hold negative stereotypes towards Haredim, while secular ones report low empathy towards all the groups, pointing to internal isolation.  This emerges from a large-scale study conducted at the Hebrew University and clearly outlines the ‘map of hatred’ in Israel. There are important differences and nuances in the expressions of fear, disgust or disregard of the members of the various groups towards each other, but no one escapes them.”

Arab media such as Middle East Monitor, an outlet that publishes hatred of Israel, has published the article “Poll: Most young Israelis hate Palestinian citizens of Israel.” It announced that “A poll by the Hebrew University’s aChord Centre revealed nearly half of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox and nationalist religious young people support stripping Palestinians of their Israeli citizenship.” Similarly, Middle East Eye, another anti-Israel Arab outlet, published a report, “Israeli press review: Report finds widespread racism among Israel’s youth.” For the same purpose of spreading hatred against Jews, The Muslim Times republished this article. 

Two persons are behind the aChord Center.  One is Prof. Eran Halperin, a political psychologist at the Hebrew University, the other is Ron Gerlitz, a New Israel Fund associate, formerly co-general director of the NGO Sikkuy. Halperin is a former student of Daniel Bar-Tal, who was hired to teach early childhood development at Tel Aviv University, only to remake himself into an expert on Israeli-Palestinian conflict to suit his political activism.  One of Bar-Tal’s inventions was the so-called “Masada Complex,” a form of collective trauma that allegedly prevented the Israelis from concluding the Oslo peace process.  Quite conveniently, Bar-Tal did not mention the suicide attacks on Israeli citizens undertaken by Hamas and Islamic jihad on behalf of the Islamist regime in Iran desperate to scuttle the budding peace venture.  Halperin’s Ph.D. thesis in 2007 titled “Psychology of Intergroup Hatred in Political Systems” was co-supervised by Bar-Tal.  Like his supervisor, Halpern’s had exclusively blamed the Jews for the alleged hatred. 

In an interview with the Israeli press, Halperin stated, “we [in Jewish society] can’t build a partnership with Arab society by trying to prevent them from commemorating the Nakba or talking about their Palestinian identity.”    

In an article discussing “A conflict within a conflict: intragroup ideological polarization and intergroup intractable conflict,” by Tal Orian Harel, Ifat Maoz, and Eran Halperin, the authors claimed that “Studies conducted in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have found that Jewish-Israeli right-wing political ideology is associated with less recognition of the adversary’s pain and suffering and less openness to its narrative.” This assumption was based on a 2017 article co-authored by Ifat Maoz, another political activist, titled “Predicting Jewish-Israeli recognition of Palestinian pain and suffering.”

The authors even egregiously claim that the murder of Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was “an act which is considered as one of the main reasons for the failure of the peace process.”   Like Bar-Tal, Halperin and his co-authors ignored the jihadist bloodletting that left hundreds of Israelis dead and wounded.  Of course, Halperin did not mention that Arafat rejected a generous offer to settle the conflict by Prime Minister Ehud Barak during the Oslo II summit.    

aChord styles itself as an NGO, but it does not appear on the Ministry of Justice website of Non-Governmental Organizations and Companies for Public Benefit. Likewise, the New Israel Fund no longer appears there as an NGO since 1997.

In a job opening published last year, aChord describes itself as “Social Psychology for Social Change,” part of the Magid Institute at the Hebrew University. Their description is quite telling: “aChord is a social-academic organization that seeks to promote equal, tolerant, and respectful intergroup relations within the Israeli society and between Israel and its neighbors by using cutting-edge research from the social sciences. The current project aggregates insights on successful peace processes to create an empirically based model that will advance Israeli-Palestinian Peace.” It is seeking a candidate that “Identifies with aChord’s values.”  

Another aChord’s research provides a glimpse into the political activities that it promotes. “The Majority of the Public Opposes the Unilateral Annexation,” they wrote, declaring that “A new comprehensive study regarding the annexation reveals important findings about the way the plan is perceived by the public.”  

The Hebrew University should not allow publishing propaganda pieces camouflaged as legitimate research in its name. The purpose of conducting such “hate research” is clear, to tarnish Israeli society.   Needless to say, a negative depiction of the Israeli society, especially by academics, is a moneymaker, drawing support from a multitude of foundations and organizations engaged in extensive efforts to prove that Israel is a racist, apartheid state. 

Hebrew University cannot afford to lose its prestige, even when outside sources fund this endeavor.


Poll: Most young Israelis hate Palestinian citizens of Israel

A poll by the Hebrew University’s aChord Centre revealed nearly half of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox and nationalist religious young people support stripping Palestinians of their Israeli citizenshipFebruary 22, 2021 at 3:19 pm

A poll by the Hebrew University’s aChord Centre reveals that nearly half of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox and nationalist religious young people have expressed hatred towards Palestinians and support stripping them of their Israeli citizenship, Haaretz has reported. Around 1,100 respondents aged 16 to 18 took part in the poll.

According to the centre, 49 per cent of all religious Israeli teenagers and 23 per cent of their secular fellows would like to strip Israel’s Palestinian citizens — who make up one fifth of the population — of their citizenship.https://twitter.com/swilkinsonbc/status/1363171967948517378Sarah Wilkinson@swilkinsonbc·Feb 20

New study reveals a dangerous & unchecked growth in racism, right-wing views and xenophobic hatred among israeli teenagers #BDS

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem took to social media to illustrate how this sort of statistic translates into attacks on the Palestinians by illegal settlers.

B’Tselem בצלם بتسيلم@btselem·Feb 14Muhammad ‘Abbad: “We’ve been on constant alert ever since that day, afraid of another attack. I can’t sleep at night. I’m worried they’ll surprise us and this time, torch the cars or one of the houses”. https://btselem.org/node/213293

Wafa news agency, meanwhile, has reported that a Palestinian woman died of a heart attack last Wednesday when Israeli settlers broke into her home in the occupied West Bank.

According to the settlement watchdog Peace Now, there are 132 settlements and 113 settlement outposts in the occupied territory. All of Israel’s settlements are illegal under international law. The outposts are even illegal under Israeli law.

Peace Now also points out that more than 413,000 settlers now live in the illegal settlements. Moving citizens into territory occupied by war is a war crime under international law.=============================================


Israeli press review: Report finds widespread racism among Israel’s youth

Meanwhile, Netanyahu polling well but election stalemate still predicted, and Palestinian filmmaker excluded from Labor listBy MEE staffPublished date: 19 February 2021 16:43 UTC | Last update: 3 days 16 hours ago

Racial hatred among Israel’s youth

A comprehensive study conducted at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem revealed widespread racism and belief in stereotypes among a majority of teenagers from various backgrounds in Israel.

The study, which was conducted by the university’s aChord Center, aimed to draw a “map of hatred” in Israel, according to Haaretz, and reached 1,100 youngsters between the ages of 16 and 18 – including Palestinian citizens of Israel, secular, religious and ultra-Orthodox Jewish Israelis – between May and July 2020.

The study showed that 66 percent of the ultra-Orthodox, 42 percent of religious Israelis, and 24 percent of secularists “hate Arabs”, meaning the Palestinian community that makes up 20 percent of the Israeli population and who participate in the Knesset and government institutions. 

The study said that 49 percent of religious Israelis and 23 pecent of secular citizens supported stripping the right to vote from Palestinians inside Israel. Twelve percent of Palestinian citizens of Israel said they hated Israeli secularists, and 22 percent said they hated religious and ultra-Orthodox Israelis.

Nine percent of the Palestinians approached by the study said they support stripping the right to vote from Israeli secularists, 13 percent supported taking the vote from religious Israelis, and 19 percent agreed to do the same for the ultra-Orthodox community. 

Among Israelis, the levels of hatred varied according to the study. Seven percent of Israeli secularists said they believed religious Israelis should not vote in the elections, and 12 percent said the Ultra-Orthodox communty’s right to vote should be denied. 

Also, 23 percent of Israeli secularists said they hated the ultra-Orthodox community, and eight percent expressed dislike of religious Israelis. Eight percent of the latter, however, said they hated Israeli secularists, and ten percent said they dislikeed ultra-Orthodox Israelis. 

The study concluded that young Israelis expressed severe negative feelings and preconceptions and almost no desire to get to know other groups in the society considered marginal to them. 

aChord Center, which deals with social psychological issues to drive change in society, said the goal of the study was to open a discussion about hatred and bridge the gaps between communities and sects in the country through the educational system.

It called for immediate measure to be taken to counter “the absence of tolerance, the hatred and the rejection of the youths who differ from them.”===============================================================================

‘Mutual hatred’: Intergroup hate high among Arab, Jewish youth – pollThe survey found that two-thirds of haredi youth expressed hatred against Arabs, while 22% of Arab youth expressed hatred against haredim.By TZVI JOFFRE   FEBRUARY 21, 2021 16:54

Intergroup hatred between Arab, religious-Jewish and haredi (ultra-Orthodox) youth is high, with nearly half of religious-Jewish youth supporting denying Arabs the right to vote, according to the 2021 Index for Shared Society Progress in Youth (ISSPY) published by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s aChord Center last week.
The index is based on a survey conducted from May to July of 2020 among 1,091 teenage boys and girls between the ages of 16 and 18 in Israel’s four education streams: secular-Jewish, religious-Jewish, haredi and Arab. The aChord Center specializes in social psychology of intergroup relations.
The report examines perceptions, feelings, attitudes and behaviors of teenagers in the context of intergroup partnership and the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on relations between the four groups.The survey found that two-thirds (66%) of haredi youth expressed hatred against Arabs, as did 42% of religious-Jewish youth. A quarter (24%) of secular Jewish youth expressed hatred against Arabs and a similar number (23%) expressed hatred against haredim. Among Arab youth, 22% expressed hatred against haredim, 22% expressed hatred against religious Jews and 12% expressed hatred against secular Jews.The survey also found that many youth among the religious-Jewish (about 41%) and haredi sector (about 58%) hold stereotypical and negative views of Arabs, while half of Arab youth (50.5%) hold stereotypical and severely negative views of haredim. More than a third (35%) of secular youth expressed negative views of haredim.The center expressed concern over findings that a relatively high percentage (49%) of religious-Jewish youth expressed support for denying Arabs the right to vote. The report additionally found that the less aware religious-Jewish youth were of anti-Arab discrimination, the more they supported denying Arabs the right to vote.
“It is possible that these phenomena reinforce each other – those who are unaware of discrimination against the Arab minority even support its extremism,” wrote the researchers in the report. RELIGIOUS-JEWISH and haredi youth also expressed less support for minority rights compared to other groups in the survey. The study also found that, amid the coronavirus outbreak, youth from all groups in Israeli society believed both that resources should not be equally allocated between the groups and that groups more heavily affected by the outbreak should not receive more assistance.These two youth groups supported allocating resources to the Arab sector considerably less than they supported allocating resources to Jewish groups, according to the report.”It seems that the boys and girls of all groups are less supportive of providing assistance to groups that they perceive as the most threatening, perhaps as a kind of means of punishment,” wrote the researchers in the ISSPY.The study additionally found that religious-Jewish and haredi youth showed low willingness to be close with or improve relations with Arabs. The researchers described the desire and readiness of haredi youth to meet or interact with Arabs as “almost non-existent.” While Arab youth expressed a higher level of readiness for closeness with Jewish groups than the Jewish groups expressed towards them, their desire for closeness with religious Jews and haredim was still very low.Despite the relatively severe findings of the survey, the study did find some signs of improvement compared to prior years. Compared to previous years, Secular and religious Jews and Arabs expressed a higher level of readiness for closeness between the groups, and fewer secular and religious Jews and Arabs expressed negative and stereotypical views of other groups.The most impressive declines in reports of negative and stereotypical views of other groups was reported among Arab youth, especially concerning their views of religious Jews, according to the study. THE ACHORD center stressed in a press release that the study’s findings paint “a particularly difficult picture regarding the relationship between the minority groups in Israel, the difficult relationship that develops between them from such a young age, and the chance that schools can influence and change the situation.””The particularly worrying data in the situation that emerges from the report include stereotypical perceptions and difficult feelings such as hatred towards some of the groups in Israeli society, little desire to maintain ties with these groups and support for discriminatory treatment towards them to the point of supporting their denial of basic rights,” the researchers said.T”These findings are a wake-up call and a call to action for the Israeli education system, which is responsible for building the future of Israeli society,” they said. “The serious findings that emerge from the report are intended to stimulate action for all those involved in education – from educators and school principals to the education departments in local authorities and the Education Ministry – and to motivate them to work intensively to promote education for partnership to which every student in the State of Israel will be exposed.”As a possible explanation for the tense relations between Arab and haredi youth, the researchers wrote that, “according to the research literature in the field of social psychology, isolated groups often work against other isolated groups to promote themselves and protect their image on their own.”The researchers also pointed to the fact that a “certain trend of improvement” was noticed in intergroup relations between youth in Israel, stating that “it seems that the issue needs to be further explored in order to understand in depth the various factors that promote these positive trends. The education system and all those involved in the craft have a duty to continue to work so that these positive processes will continue in the coming years.”The report presented a number of recommendations for teachers, administrators and anyone interested in promoting education for partnership in Israel, including promoting positive perceptions and feelings even towards the most remote social groups and encouraging partnership education, especially among those for whom engaging in the subject of partnership arouses greater opposition.The researchers also called on the education system to implement a number of operations immediately, including appointing coordinators in each school to promote partnership education, building a regulated curriculum for partnership education, adjusting curricula in all subject to promote partnership and training for teachers.”The emotional support provided by the school has positive implications not only for the student’s personal well-being but also for the quality of interaction between groups at this time,” wrote the researchers.
THE ISRAEL National Council for the Child called the findings of the study “worrying.””It is important to remember that children and youth are not disconnected from the society in which they live, and they are nourished by what adults around them think,” said the council. “The Education Ministry has an important role to play in promoting tolerance and partnership, and in promoting the right to mutual respect and equality, but the challenge lies not only in its development but also in the development of adult society in general, including policymakers and shapers of public opinion.”Imam Iyad Amer, principal of the Kfar Qassem Comprehensive School, was quoted by the report as stating that “the findings of the report teach us that without partnership education, it is impossible to survive – neither as a Jewish society nor as an Arab one.”The school has been working for about four years with the aChord center and succeeded in creating noticeable improvements in intergroup attitudes among students and faculty.Rabbi Pinchas, principal of the Zivia Lod School, was quoted as stating that “the report teaches us that every stream of education has different characteristics, and this should be addressed when building a curriculum for partnership education. Areas that are groundbreaking require a lot of guidance, and the field of partnership education is a groundbreaking topic today, which is not sufficiently engaged in.”This is the first year that the report is being published for the general public. In the past, it was presented to the president of Israel as part of the Israeli Hope in Education project of the President’s Office, the Education Ministry and the Lautman Forum.The full ISSPY report will be published on Tuesday during a conference with President Reuven Rivlin at 10 a.m.



Nearly Half of Israeli Arab Academics Avoid Applying for Jobs at 

Predominantly Jewish Companies, Research Shows

According to the study, conducted by The Hebrew University’s aChord Center, Arab candidates are afraid of encountering 

racism or failing to get the job for non-professional reasons as well as of the way working for a Jewish company may be perceived 

by their own community

Maayan Manela1


While the Israeli tech sector is slowly upping its efforts to diversify its workforce to fight an ongoing talent crunch, a new study shows members of Israel’s Arab minority tend 

to avoid predominantly Jewish companies altogether.

According to the study, conducted by The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s aChord Center, which specializes in the social psychology of intergroup relations, 45% of Arab 

academics do not apply to Jewish companies, mostly for fear of encountering racism or failing to get the job for non-professional reasons. Of the 400 Arab academics questioned, 

65% also said they feel their own community would have trouble accepting them working for such a company.

AChord’s research attempted to examine the psychological obstacles—on top of objective obstacles, such as place of residence or infrastructure, and cultural obstacles, such as 

worrying that a predominantly Jewish workplace will not provide a good working environment—that are preventing Arabs from applying to jobs, Oranit Ramati Dvir, director 

of the employment program at aChord, told Calcalist in an interview.

“If you do not feel like you have a chance to get the job, if you think you would not be happy with the corporate culture or that the people around you would frown upon your 

choice to work at a company with a Jewish majority, then you are much less likely to apply,” Sama Safouri, employment project leader at aChord, said.

What the research shows is that the challenge of reaching Arab candidates is not just a technicality, but the result of an acute trust crisis between the Arab minority and the Israeli 

industry that has pushed it aside for decades, Nawa Jashan Batshon, CEO of Co-Impact, an organization dedicated to promoting Arab employment in Israel, said in an interview.  




“aChord Center is a unique capacity building organization that strives to improve the efficacy of activity for shared society in Israel”

Meet the Team

  aChord Center  
  aChord Center was established in response to the field’s need for practical knowledge and innovative tools to best deal with psychological 

barriers in intergroup relations. Home to a diverse group of researchers and professionals, the Center has a unique ability to connect the latest 

research with real world needs and activities. The Center offers training, consulting and research services, develops practical and tailor-made 

tools, and examines their effectiveness, all based on broad and developing knowledge in social psychology from Israel and abroad.

aChord Newsletter – February 2021

See here >>


How Much Hate is the Pandemic Generating?

An interview of Prof. Eran Halperin, Founder and Head of Achord >>


Diverse Employment during the Coronavirus crisis

A practical guide for managers >>


The Majority of the Public Opposes the Unilateral Annexation

A new comprehensive study regarding the annexation reveals important findings about the way the plan is perceived by the public >>


To slow coronavirus, disparate groups in Israel society must com

An article by By Prof ERAN HALPERIN, aChord’s Chairman and RON GERLITZ, aChord’s CEO >>


Employers, don’t allow your workers pay the price

Op-Ed on Diversity & Inclusion in Employment during the Coronavirus Crisis >>

aChord – Social Psychology for Social Change • achord@mail.huji.ac.il • 2nd floor, Hutzot Shefayim 6099000 Israel • +972-9-373-0300  



aChord Center is a non-profit organization that specializes in the social psychology of intergroup relations. The center’s unique added value is in
developing innovative, evidence based, practical knowledge and tools to improve intergroup relations, by utilizing cutting-edge social psychological
theory and data.
The Center was established in 2015 by Professor Eran Halperin, a full professor of psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, together with his
colleagues, Prof. Tamar Saguy and Dr. Michal Reifen-Tager. Eran is a recognized and highly acclaimed expert in his field worldwide, having published
over 130 academic papers and three books. A frequent lecturer at universities, such as Stanford, Harvard, and Princeton, Eran won the award as the most
promising young political psychologist in the world from the International Society of Political Psychology in 2012.
Eran built the center out of concern for the disconnect between research based knowledge on intergroup relations and the actual work being done in the field.
The high levels of tension, prejudice, and negative emotions between groups are the most pressing social issues in Israel today. Bound up in these issues are
numerous subtle and deep-seated psychological factors that underlie and influence intergroup relations. Yet currently, the numerus organizations and programs
that aspire to enhance social cohesion within Israeli society lack socio-psychological knowledge and tools that can significantly increase the effectiveness of
their work. It is this gap that the center aims to fill.
aChord’s services are varied, and tailored to specific challenges and fields. To date, the Center conducts research, develops training sessions, offers intensive
workshops, designs tools, and consults numerous organizations; helping them address psychological barriers in their work with social groups. The center works
in collaboration with the PICR research lab. Home to more than 30 researchers from Israel and abroad, it is one of the leading research labs in the world in the
development of effective socio-psychological interventions.




We aim to promote tolerant and equal intergroup relations by developing practical knowledge and innovative tools from cutting-edge research in social psychology.

The center operates in the area that lies between academia and the field. It aims to bridge the gap between current research on the psychology of intergroup relations and civil society organizations, government agencies, and other programs that promote shared society in the fields of education, employment, leadership, the media, etc. Today, there is research-based knowledge,  developed in Israel and abroad that enables the dismantling of psychological barriers and the advancement of perceptions, emotions, and behaviors that are more conducive to equal and respectful intergroup relations.

To date, this knowledge has only been used by the field to a limited extent.

We believe that by addressing people’s actual psychological needs, the impact of the work done today can be dramatically increased.

Three basic assumptions guide us:

Group identity and belonging are of immense importance to people’s welfare, and therefore effective social partnership will give respect to distinct identities.
Respectful, tolerant, and equal relationships among groups are possible and necessary for a shared society.
Any significant social change in this area must include psychological change, that is, a change in people’s perceptions, attitudes, and feelings.
We believe that social psychologists and researchers have a professional obligation to make the existing scientific knowledge available to the field and, with the field, to develop
practical and creative ways to apply it, enabling agents of social change to base their work on data and research-based tools.

In a polarized reality, with many conflicts and deep-rooted rifts, we believe that our mission is not only necessary, but also urgent: to reduce manifestations of hostility, violence, and racism; to empower the forces working to eradicate these phenomena; and to promote respect, tolerance and mutual responsibility, sensitivity to inequality, and support for narrowing social gaps. In this spirit and in partnership with social leaders, organizations, individuals and policy makers, the center will act creatively and consistently as an auxiliary force and a model of supportive and groundbreaking cooperation.


aChord – Social Psychology for Social Change • 2nd floor, Hutzot Shefayim 6099000 Israel • +972-9-373-0300 • Website: aChord.huji.ac.il
Job opening at aChord Center – Research Associate
aChord Center, a part of Magid Institute at the Hebrew University, is seeking a research
associate for conducting a multidisciplinary study on international peace. The position is for
five months, with a tentative possibility of extension, and is between half-time and full-time.
aChord is a social-academic organization that seeks to promote equal, tolerant, and
respectful intergroup relations within the Israeli society and between Israel and its
neighbors by using cutting-edge research from the social sciences. The current project
aggregates insights on successful peace processes to create an empirically based model
that will advance Israeli-Palestinian Peace. The research associate will be a part of a small
and dedicated team of researchers.
Main Responsibilities:
– Conducting a systematic review of scholarly resources (journal articles, book chapters,
and books) about peace processes and agreements. The work includes coding
approximately 1,000 resources based on pre-defined criteria.
– Writing and presenting chapters of the report about the aggregated insights from the
– Interest in cross-disciplinary research on international peace and conflict.
– Ability and motivation to read and code a large volume of academic publications on
peace and conflict.
– High proficiency in English is a prerequisite (all research resources and
communications are in English).
– Master’s degree in the social sciences. Research-oriented MA students are also
– Ability to work independently.
– Diligent and meticulous
– Ability to work under tight schedules.
– Identifies with aChord’s values
– Between 50% and full-time position, to be determined by aChord and the applicant.
– Duration: Five months, with a tentative possibility of extension.
– Immediate recruitment.
– Location: Hotzut Shefayim, Sharon District. The employee will be expected to work from
our offices at least once a week. Otherwise, the work can be done remotely.
Interested? Please send your CV and a short statement in English about your motivation
and qualifications for this position to cvachord@gmail.com. In the statement, detail your
availability for the next five months and your preference for the scope of the position
(between 50% and full time). Please mention “application for research associate” in the
subject of the email.

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