Naim Aburaddi, Cal State San Bernardino communication studies graduate student and graduate teaching associate, was accepted to present at the National Communication Association (NCA), the largest and most prestigious communication association in the world.

“This is a unique achievement not only for me, but for CSUSB because this conference is very competitive,” Aburaddi said.

Aburaddi will present his selected academic article, titled “Digital Re/Deterritorialization: How Israeli Digital Diplomacy Excluded Palestinians and Attempted to Create Commonalities between Israel and Arabs,” at the NCA’s 107th Annual Convention in Seattle, Wash., in November. 

“It came at the perfect timing. Although I submitted the paper a few months ago, the acceptance came after the recent Israeli ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem and Israel’s attacks on Gaza,” he said. “Therefore, the presentation is a great opportunity for me to help scholars understand some of what is going on in Palestine.”

Aburaddi credits four CSUSB communication studies professors for his success: Mariam Betlemidze, assistant professor, who helped him with writing the article; Thomas Corrigan, associate professor, who helped him to improve his literature review; Theo Mazumdar, assistant professor, who gave him helpful feedback; and his advisor, Ahlam Muhtaseb, professor, who gave him feedback and encouraged him to submit his paper to the NCA.  

“I am thankful and grateful to every single one of them,” he said. “Without their support, I would not have this achievement.”

Aburaddi dedicates his accomplishment to his family who he has not been able to see since 2014 because of the Israeli blockade on Gaza.

“They and other Palestinian families suffer every single day because of the Israeli blockade and attacks,” he said. “They deserve from us, as scholars, to address their suffering and advocate for social justice and human rights not only in Palestine, but everywhere around the world.”

Aburaddi received his bachelor’s in journalism, communication and media studies from Istanbul University in 2019. He is expected to graduate from CSUSB with his master’s degree in communication studies in 2022.

To learn more about the NCA, visit the NCA website.

Aburaddi’s abstract

The paper examines how Israel used digital platforms especially, Facebook, to deterritorialize Arabs’ thoughts by excluding Palestinians and showing them as terrorists and reterritorialize Arabs by creating commonalities between Israel and Arab countries. The paper specifically analyzes the content of the official Arabic page of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs called إسرائيل تتكلم بالعربية(Israel talks in Arabic) one month before the normalization the agreement was signed in the White House between Israel, UAE, and Bahrain on September 15, 2020. The paper applies Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of reterritorialization and deterritorialization to explain how Israel utilized digital diplomacy as a tool to create a new culture between Arabs that excludes Palestinians and accepts Israel as a friend. The paper finds that Israeli digital media depended on three dimensions in their campaigns of de/reterritorialization to exclude Palestinians from the discussion and create commonalities between Israel and Arabs: showing Palestinians as terrorists, using Arabic and Islamic traditional clothing, Arabic Music and Qur’an to create commonalities with Arabs, and showing Iran as the biggest threat to the region “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”