Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2012

Capstone Advisor

Amardo Rodriguez, Ph.D.

Honors Reader

Francine D’Amico, Ph. D.

Capstone Major

Communication and Rhetorical Studies

Capstone College

Visual and Performing Arts

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

American Politics | Communication | Speech and Rhetorical Studies


This project examines the rhetorical devices and practices used by the Obama Administration to express and construct opposition to the Palestinian Authority’s statehood bid. This study focuses on uncovering the ideology embedded within President Obama’s Speech to the United Nations General Assembly during the opening of the 66th Session. By conducting an ideology rhetorical analysis of this text, this examination will uncover the reasoning that Obama deploys to make sense of and define the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and more specifically, the Palestinian bid for statehood. This ideology has contributed to the perpetuation of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories; thereby, denying the Palestinians the right to self-determination.

This thesis is organized as follows: Section I introduces Obamas’s speech to the UNGA through a brief overview of the text and outlines my analyses’ goals. Section II contextualizes the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and summarizes Obama’s speech to the UNGA. Section III presents a description of the ideological approach to rhetorical criticism, contributions to the field of ideological criticism, examples of the method’s application, and a rationale for its selection. Section IV reports the findings of my analysis of Obama’s speech to the UNGA and evaluates the contribution that my analysis makes to the understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Section V provides a brief update on Palestine’s UN bid following Obama’s speech.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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