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Partition--the idea of separating Jews and Arabs along ethnic or national lines--is a legacy at least as old as the Zionist-Palestinian conflict. Challenging the widespread "separatist imagination" behind partition, Gil Hochberg demonstrates the ways in which works of contemporary Jewish and Arab literature reject simple notions of separatism and instead display complex configurations of identity that emphasize the presence of alterity within the self--the Jew within the Arab, and the Arab within the Jew. In Spite of Partition examines Hebrew, Arabic, and French works that are largely unknown to English readers to reveal how, far from being independent, the signifiers "Jew" and "Arab" are inseparable. In a series of original close readings, Hochberg analyzes fascinating examples of such inseparability. In the Palestinian writer Anton Shammas's Hebrew novel Arabesques, the Israeli and Palestinian protagonists are a "schizophrenic pair" who "have not yet decided who is the ventriloquist of whom." And in the Moroccan Jewish writer Albert Swissa's Hebrew novel Aqud, the Moroccan-Israeli main character's identity is uneasily located between the "Moroccan Muslim boy he could have been" and the "Jewish Israeli boy he has become." Other examples draw attention to the intricate linguistic proximity of Hebrew and Arabic, the historical link between the traumatic memories of the Jewish Holocaust and the Palestinian Nakbah, and the libidinal ties that bind Jews and Arabs despite, or even because of, their current animosity.
With top billing at many film forums around the world, as well as a string of prestigious prizes, including consecutive nominations for the Best Foreign Film Oscar, Israeli films have become one of the most visible and promising cinemas in the first decade of the twenty-first century, an intriguing and vibrant site for the representation of Israeli realities. Yet two decades have passed since the last wide-ranging scholarly overview of Israeli cinema, creating a need for a new, state-of-the-art analysis of this exciting cinematic oeuvre. The first anthology of its kind in English, Israeli Cinema: Identities in Motion presents a collection of specially commissioned articles in which leading Israeli film scholars examine Israeli cinema as a prism that refracts collective Israeli identities through the medium and art of motion pictures. The contributors address several broad themes: the nation imagined on film; war, conflict, and trauma; gender, sexuality, and ethnicity; religion and Judaism; discourses of place in the age of globalism; filming the Palestinian Other; and new cinematic discourses. The authors' illuminating readings of Israeli films reveal that Israeli cinema offers rare visual and narrative insights into the complex national, social, and multicultural Israeli universe, transcending the partial and superficial images of this culture in world media.
By analyzing its position within the struggles for recognition and reception of different national and ethnic cultural groups, this book offers a bold new picture of Israeli literature. Through comparative discussion of the literatures of Palestinian citizens of Israel, of Mizrahim, of migrants from the former Soviet Union, and of Ethiopian-Israelis, the author demonstrates an unexpected richness and diversity in the Israeli literary scene, a reality very different from the monocultural image that Zionism aspired to create. Drawing on a wide body of social and literary theory, Mendelson-Maoz compares and contrasts the literatures of the four communities she profiles. In her discussion of the literature of the Palestinian citizens of Israel, she presents the question of language and translation, and she provides three case studies of particular authors and their reception. Her study of Mizrahi literature adopts a chronological approach, starting in the 1950s and proceeding toward contemporary Mizrahi writing, while discussing questions of authenticity and self-determination. The discussion of Israeli literature written by immigrants from the former Soviet Union focuses both on authors who write Israeli literature in Russian and of Russian immigrants writing in Hebrew. The final section of the book provides a valuable new discussion of the work of Ethiopian-Israeli writers, a group whose contributions have seldom been previously acknowledged. The picture that emerges from this groundbreaking book replaces the traditional, homogeneous historical narrative of Israeli literature with a diversity of voices, a multiplicity of origins, and a wide range of different perspectives. In doing so, it will provoke researchers in a wide range of cultural fields to look at the rich traditions that underlie it in new and fresh ways.
The year 1978 marked Israel's entry into Lebanon, which led to the long-term military occupation of non-sovereign territory and the long, costly war in Lebanon. In the years that followed, many Israelis found themselves alienated from the idea that their country used force only when there was no alternative, and Israeli society eventually underwent a dramatic change in attitude toward militarization and the infallibility of the IDF (Israel Defense Forces). In Narratives of Dissent: War in Contemporary Israeli Arts and Culture editors Rachel S. Harris and Ranen Omer-Sherman collect nineteen essays that examine the impact of this cultural shift on Israeli visual art, music, literature, poetry, film, theatre, public broadcasting, and commemoration practices after 1978. Divided into three thematic sections-Private and Public Spaces of Commemoration and Mourning, Poetry and Prose, and Cinema and Stage-this collection presents an exciting diversity of experiences, cultural interests, and disciplinary perspectives. From the earliest wartime writings of S. Yizhar to the global phenomenon of films such as Beaufort, Waltz with Bashir, and Lebanon, the Israeli artist's imaginative and critical engagement with war and occupation has been informed by the catalysts of mourning, pain, and loss, often accompanied by a biting sense of irony. This book highlights many of the aesthetic narratives that have wielded the most profound impact on Israeli culture in the present day. These works address both incremental and radical changes in individual and collective consciousness that have spread through Israeli culture in response to the persistent affliction of war. No other such volume exists in Hebrew or English. Students and teachers of Israeli studies will appreciate Narratives of Dissent.
Although in recent years, the entire world has been increasingly concerned with the Middle East and Israeli-Palestinian relationship, there are few truly reliable sources of information regarding Palestinian society and culture, either concerning its relationship with Israeli society, its position between east and west or its stances in times of war and peace. One of the best sources for understanding Palestinian culture is its cinema which has devoted itself to serving the national struggle. Filmmakers have strived to delineate Palestinian history and to portray the daily life of Palestinians - men, women and children. As well as attempting to connect the past to the typically distressed present, Palestinian cinema has endeavored to suggest a future of national unity, revealing time and again how the longing for personal liberty clashes with the hardships of national existence.In this book, two scholars - an Israeli and a Palestinian - in a rare and welcome collaboration, follow the development of Palestinian cinema, commenting on its response to political and social transformations. They discover that the more the social, political and economic conditions worsen and chaos and pain prevail, the more Palestinian cinema becomes involved with the national struggle. As expected, Palestinian cinema has unfolded its national narrative against the Israeli narrative, which tried to silence it. The reflection of the Israeli in Palestinian cinema is one more harsh and painful testimony to the resentment and hostility between the two peoples, who share a common patch of earth and landscape.Key Features*The first, serious comprehensive study of Palestinian film.*A rare collaboration between Israeli and Palestinian scholars.*A reliable insight into Palestinian society and culture, and the Israeli-Palestinian relationship.
Examines the complex relationship between the reality of the Palestinian minority in Israel and their literature through six novels, according to a literary communication model which enables Dr Taha to examine how authors who belong to this minority relate to their readers.
This book offers a much-needed focus on Palestine solidarity films, supplying a critical theoretical framework whose intellectual thrust is rooted in the challenges facing scholars censored for attempting to rectify and reverse the silencing of a subject matter about which much of the world would remain uninformed without cinematic and televisual mediation. Its innovative focus on Palestine solidarity films spans a selected array of works which began to emerge during the 1970s, made by directors located outside Palestine/Israel who professed support for Palestinian liberation. Visualizing the Palestinian Struggle analyzes Palestine solidarity films hailing from countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Iran, Palestine/Israel, Mexico, and the United States. Visualizing the Palestinian Struggle is an effort to insist, constructively, upon a rectification and reversal of the glaring and disproportionate minimization and distortion of discourse critical of Zionism and Israeli policy in the cinematic and televisual public sphere.