Identity Politics on the Israeli Screen
Publication Year: 2001
Published by: University of Texas Press
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Front matter: Title; Copyright;
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To the memory of the thirteen Palestinians, citizens of the State of Israel, ...
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I wish to thank the following institutions for their financial support: the Authority for Research and Development at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and especially Shula Woltz and Ofer Kela, who were very helpful in obtaining and securing this support; The Levi Eshkol Institute for Economic, Social and Political Research, Faculty of Social Sciences at the...
Introduction: Hybrid Victims
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A transition from a “politics of ideas” to a “politics of identity” is perhaps the major change that Israeli society has experienced in recent years.1 Sociologists, historians, political scientists, cultural critics, journalists, political commentators, and public intellectuals all offer different interpretations of this shift including reasons for its periodization. When exactly did this change occur? Was it the result of a single dramatic event or an inevitable by-product of the long and painful process of building a new society? Or perhaps ...
Chapter One. Screening the Birth of a Nation: 'Exodus' Revisited
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His masculine naked torso bathed in moonlight and gently wrapped in white soft foam created by the light waves of the Mediterranean Sea, a necklace with a big star of David adorning his neck—this is how Ari Ben Canaan (PaulNewman), the protagonist of Otto Preminger’s Exodus (1960), ﬁrst “penetrates” the ﬁlm spectator’s space of desire. This sensual image of male beauty,...
Chapter Two. Surviving the Survivors: The Second Generation
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This chapter is an elaboration of the political and cultural manifestations of the “mythic link” suggested between the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel. The chapter examines the space that the Holocaust occupies in Israel’s public life and historical consciousness. In particular it examines the sociocultural phenomenon of the second generation, thus...
Chapter Three. Postmemory Cinema: Second-Generation Israelis Screen the Holocaust
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The recent tendency in Israel to privatize and ethnicize the memory of the Holocaust is most evident in the wave of documentaries on the Holocaust made by Israeli second-generation ﬁlmmakers in the late 1980s and early1990s. The ﬁlms presented in this chapter—Orna Ben Dor’s Because of That War (1988), Asher Tlalim’s Don’t Touch My Holocaust (1994), and ...
Chapter Four. Shchur: The Orient Within
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Every once in a while, a ﬁlm or literary work arrives on the cultural landscape and sparks debates on signiﬁcant issues of history, representation, and national identity, the ramiﬁcations of which extend far beyond the boundaries of the individual work in question. Recent examples from the international scene include Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses (1988) and Steven Spielberg’s...
Chapter Five. In the Land of Oz: Orientalist Discourse in 'My Michael'
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The writing of Amos Oz’s novel My Michael was completed, as noted in the Hebrew edition, in May 1967, a month before the outbreak of the 1967 war. My Michael was the best-selling novel of the 1968–69 period, and its extraordinary success, as well as the heated controversy it elicited, was due, as Amos Elon observes, to much more than “pure literary merit.”1 That My Michael...
Chapter Six. Forbidden Love in the Holy Land: Transgressing the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
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Israeli new historian Ilan Pappe claims that “most Israeli ﬁlmmakers ... feel the need to use the sexual and romantic bridge as a way to understand the other side. Most of the ﬁlms that courageously deal with Arab-Jewish relationships choose the medium of a love story, which is usually tragic (for example in Hamsin, The Lover and On a Narrow Bridge).” According to ...
Chapter Seven. The Day After: The Sexual Economy of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
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The framing of many of the stories of forbidden love in the Israeli genre is based on legends or famous themes and tales borrowed from Greek mythology. The use of the Romeo and Juliet story is most evident in Hamsin and The Lover. The murder scene of Hamsin uses the mythological bull (the Minotaur of Greek mythology) to signify the cathartic release of libidinal energies. The...
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In his first poetry collection Kinat HamMhager (The Immigrant’s Lament, 1995) Moroccan-born poet Moshe Ben Harosh, who immigrated to Israel with his parents in 1972, describes his sense of alienation from Israel. He writes that, since his immigration to Israel: I feel lonely in Israeli society and even more of a stranger with my diaspora family or with the diaspora Jews ...
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Page Count: 246
Illustrations: 22 b&w photos
Publication Year: 2001