Cite: Peled, Sovereignty and Space in the Israeli Novel

Peled, Shimrit. “‘Mastery regained’—Israeli Jewish Sovereignty and Space in the Israeli Novel, 1967-1973.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 10.2(2011): 263-284.





This article identifies key characteristics of sovereign Israeli Jewish identity and its relationship with space in Israeli novels and novellas published between 1967 and 1973, in the context of the complicated dialogue between these texts and Israeli public discourse. Interacting with their contemporary public discourse, the canonical novels and novellas of the period—Michael Sheli [My Michael] by Amos Oz (1968), Nemalim [Ants] by Yitzhak Orpaz (1968), and Hapardes [The Orchard] by Benjamin Tammuz (1972), create an Israeli space in which a Jewish sovereign is surrounded and threatened by an Arab enemy, and as a precondition to his survival, must renew his sovereignty and declare a state of emergency to confirm it. As opposed to the besieged space constructed in contemporary discourse and in these canonical novels, David Shahar’s novels of the period construct a fluid space in which contrasting identities can shift and replace each other with no existential threat.

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