As Israeli and Palestinian national communities construct their own aesthetic legacy and make creative and intellectual contributions to the international community, I feel that focusing solely on the warlike conditions of the region Israel/Palestine or the violence perpetrated by either group, is a critical mistake in the literature. This study challenges orientalist conceptions of Israeli and Palestinian nationalisms which consider both groups monolithic and violent by nature. Instead, this study approaches Israeli and Palestinian nationalisms, in their multiplicity, through the lens of national art to discern how the people conceive of themselves, rather than focusing on how they are viewed by external actors in the international community. This study posits that national art, and specifically music, is a powerful tool to communicate political messages. I ask, what is the effect of music on the constitution of national identities for Israel and Palestine? I hypothesize that I should observe nationalist imagery in widely popularized Israeli and Palestinian national musics, and that the performance of a text should increase the emotional effect, and thus the hypernationalist viewpoint of its audience. I explore these hypotheses through textual analysis of prominent national works and suggestively conclude that a set of core national themes are present across the sample selected for this study. I cannot directly conclude that the performance of national musics influences hypernationalism, however I do explore the relationship between music, emotion, and hypernationalism through secondary literature. This study seeks to fill a gap in political science literature which does not adequately examine the relationship between music, emotion and hypernationalism within the context of Israeli and Palestinian nationalisms.


Leiby, Michele


Political Science


Comparative Politics

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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