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Jewish-Arab Relations in Israeli Freemasonry: Between Civil Society and Nationalism


This article applies ethnographic methods and historical analysis to explore Jewish-Arab relations within Israeli Freemasonry. The article tracks local Masonic history as the fraternity developed from individual lodges under colonial-like obediences in late Ottoman and Mandate-era Palestine into a national-level organization, under the Grand Lodge of the State of Israel. In light of an official position of political noninvolvement, Jewish and Arab-Palestinian members conveyed shared values of universal fraternity, but variable interpretations of citizenship and nationalism.