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Rupture and Return: ZIONIST DISCOURSE AND THE STUDY OF ARAB JEWS

Rupture and Return: ZIONIST DISCOURSE AND THE STUDY OF ARAB JEWS Social Text 75, Vol. 21, No. 2, Summer 2003. Copyright © 2003 by Ella Shohat. Ella Shohat was the idea of rupture and discontinuity with diasporic existence. In order to be transformed into “New Jews” (later Israelis), the “Diasporic Jews” had to abandon their diasporic culture, which, in the case of Arab Jews, meant abandoning Arabness and acquiescing in assimilationist modernization, for “their own good.” Within this Promethean rescue narrative, concepts of “ingathering” and “modernization” naturalized and glossed over the historical, psychic, and epistemological violence generated by the Zionist vision of the New Jew.1 This rescue narrative also elided Zionism’s own role in provoking ruptures, dislocations, and fragmentation for Palestinian lives, and — in a different way — for Middle Eastern and north African Jews. These ruptures were not only physical (the movement across borders) but also cultural (a rift in relation to previous cultural affiliations) as well as conceptual (in the very ways time and space, history, and geography were conceived). In this essay I will examine some of the foundational premises and substratal axioms of Zionist discourse concerning Arab Jews, arguing that writing a critical historiography in the wake of nationalism — both Arab and Jewish http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Text Duke University Press

Rupture and Return: ZIONIST DISCOURSE AND THE STUDY OF ARAB JEWS

Social Text , Volume 21 (2 75) – Jun 1, 2003

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2003 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0164-2472
eISSN
1527-1951
DOI
10.1215/01642472-21-2_75-49
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Social Text 75, Vol. 21, No. 2, Summer 2003. Copyright © 2003 by Ella Shohat. Ella Shohat was the idea of rupture and discontinuity with diasporic existence. In order to be transformed into “New Jews” (later Israelis), the “Diasporic Jews” had to abandon their diasporic culture, which, in the case of Arab Jews, meant abandoning Arabness and acquiescing in assimilationist modernization, for “their own good.” Within this Promethean rescue narrative, concepts of “ingathering” and “modernization” naturalized and glossed over the historical, psychic, and epistemological violence generated by the Zionist vision of the New Jew.1 This rescue narrative also elided Zionism’s own role in provoking ruptures, dislocations, and fragmentation for Palestinian lives, and — in a different way — for Middle Eastern and north African Jews. These ruptures were not only physical (the movement across borders) but also cultural (a rift in relation to previous cultural affiliations) as well as conceptual (in the very ways time and space, history, and geography were conceived). In this essay I will examine some of the foundational premises and substratal axioms of Zionist discourse concerning Arab Jews, arguing that writing a critical historiography in the wake of nationalism — both Arab and Jewish

Journal

Social TextDuke University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2003

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