This research examines depictions of Israeli characters in Hollywood films over a span of 60 years starting with Israel’s early years of statehood until present day. The films selected for this research are Exodus (1960) for early statehood and Munich (2005) and You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008) for present day depictions. People have always been fascinated by Hollywood films since the inception of filmmaking. Movie-going audiences have flocked to movie theaters to watch the latest productions and see their stars in action. Therefore, it is important to understand what these characters represent and the messages they communicate to the audience. This research applies discourse analysis as its methodology, and framing and film theory as its theoretical framework. The research shows that the three main Israeli characters in these three Hollywood films are depicted as being consistent with American society values and ideologies.
The Jewish underground movement in the Soviet Union in the second half of the 1960s produced literature that became a part of the counterculture of Soviet dissent. For the first time in decades, Russian Jews identified, to a significant degree, as people of the galut (Jewish Diaspora). The battle for the return to Israel and the new Jewish renaissance in the intellectual sphere of the unofficial led to the emergence of new topographical concepts, which were inspired primarily by the Jewish cultural tradition. In fact, the exodus texts written in the 1960s–1980s represented a new, late Soviet shaping of Zionist prose. They relate to the symbol of the Promised Land as a fundamental projection of aspirations. Late Soviet Zionist texts share the traditional Jewish vision of Israel as an imagined topos of the original homeland that is both retrospective (with reference to the biblical promise of the land and the seizure of Canaan) and prospective (return and redemption). The Exodus story contained in Sefer Shemot becomes a leading poetic, philosophical and at times religiously charged metaphor of liberation and reunification. The re-strengthened collective memory of tradition required biblical symbols to be imbued with new semiotic power.
This paper will show that the historical dimension of the events dealt with in the literature often has strong mystical and mythological traits and displays messianic-apocalyptic hopes of salvation. However, alternative literary space and time models represented in the aliyah literature hereby betray their rootedness in the teleology of the communist regime. The powerful Israel utopia reflects both the eschatological time of the Soviet empire and its phantasms of paradise on earth. Late Soviet Zionism and totalitarian discourse are shown to be two space-time utopias.
Diaspora and homeland, seemingly opposite concepts, constitute the foundation of a historical narrative in which immigrant groups are forced to leave their homeland and live in a foreign country, while continuing to dream of returning to their old home. In the case of Zionism, specifically the Beta Israel community in Ethiopia, the conditions were set to fulfill the dream of returning “home”—to Jerusalem. Yet, the realization of this collective dream uncovered a complex relation between the concept of “diaspora” and “homeland.” This article discusses the relationship between diaspora and homeland—Africa and Israel—in Hebrew Ethiopian-Israeli literature. It focuses on two major biblical narratives, the Exodus from Egypt and the Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, and explores the transition from the representation of Israel as “home” and Africa as “diaspora” to its invert picture in which Africa is the “home” and Israel is the “diaspora.”