Palestine in UN Discourse: A Critical Discourse Analysis

Aladdin Assaiqeli


This paper examines UN resolutions 242 and 338 to find whether these two milestone texts of UN discourse on the Palestine Question, taken as the basis for “the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East,” genuinely and practically work towards an amicable solution to this prolonged problem, this almost century-long unequal conflict. The study seeks to find out whether such UN discourse is linguistically structured to achieve such an end; with the ultimate goal being offering us “the possibility that we might profitably conceive the world in some alternative way” (Fowler, 1981 cited in Jaworski & Coupland, 1999, p. 33) as is the case with any discourse study that adopts ‘critical’ goals. The study therefore employs Ruth Wodak’s Discourse Historical Approach (DHA) — an approach within the pluralistic framework of CDA. The findings show that temporisation of the Palestine Question has been an indirect result of the bad faith and linguistic manipulation of the powerful forces; that the way these discourses are structured is responsible for perpetuating rather than ending Israeli occupation. So rather than redressing the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and ending Israeli occupation as the core of the Palestine Question, UN discourse is found to protract the status quo — the consolidation of Israeli power and expansionism.

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