Cite: Snir, Who Needs Arab-Jewish Identity?

Snir, Reuven. “Who Needs Arab-Jewish Identity? Fragmented Consciousness, ‘Inessential Solidarity,’ and the ‘Coming Community’ (Part 1).” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 11.2 (2012): 169-188.





The title, as the study itself, has been inspired by four theoretical contributions: first, Stuart Hall’s essay “Introduction: Who Needs ‘Identity’” (in Questions of Cultural Identity, ed. Stuart Hall and Paul Du Gay. London: Sage, 1996); second, Paul Gilroy’s The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness, which opens with the sentence: “Striving to be both European and black requires some specific forms of double consciousness. But saying this, I do not mean to suggest taking on either or both unfinished identities necessarily exhausts subjective resources of any particular individual” (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993, 1). Third, Diane Davis’s question: “Is there a way to activate a sense of solidarity among singularities – a way to say ‘we’ – that doesn’t automatically exclude, that doesn’t just ask for trouble by simultaneously feeding this craving for … Gemeinschaft (in the name of which any number of ‘we’s have committed the most horrific atrocities in recorded history)?” (“‘Addicted to Love’; Or, Toward an Inessential Solidarity,” in Jac: A Journal of Composition Theory 19.3 (1999), 639); and fourth, Giorgio Agamben’s The Coming Community (Minneapolis: Minnesota Press, 1993). The article consists of four sections, the first is a short theoretical background to the notion of identity. The second section is an examination of four major collective processes, two of them collective exclusionary operations and erasure, which Arabized Jews have undergone. The third section deals with the globalization and the search for inessential solidarities among Arabized Jews. The fourth section is the conclusion to the study, in which the notion of Arab-Jewish identity is revisited.

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