Omer, Atalia. “Hitmazrehut or Becoming of the East: Re-Orienting Israeli Social Mapping.” Critical Sociology (early view; online first).
Through developing of the concept of hitmazrehut, the article highlights avenues for decolonializing and de-orientalizing sociopolitical theory and practice in Israel/Palestine. Hitmazrehut (literally ‘becoming of the East’) is understood as the transformation of relations between space, identity, and narrative through an intersectionality framework of social movement activism and intellectual counter-discourse. Exposing the intersections among sites of marginality as well as cultivating localized interpretations of identity (delinked from the orientalist positing of Israel in the ‘West’) would contribute to the possibility of the formation of transformative coalition building across national boundaries. Hitmazrehut is both an outcome and a necessary process for enabling geopolitical reframing. The article begins with the ahistorical and orientalist biases of sociological inquiry into the region. It continues with an analysis of efforts to localize and re-orient Jewish identity as well as the Mizrahi discursive critique of epistemological violence guiding sociological scholarship, double consciousness and patterns of ethnic passing.