Thesis: Omary, Israeli Character Depictions in Hollywood Films

Omary, Hanan H. Israeli Character Depictions in Hollywood Films (1948-2008), BA thesis. The American University in Cairo, 2016.


URL: Draft-Israeli Characters in Hollywood Films-14-TOTAL.pdf (PDF)



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.




ToC: Journal of Israeli History 33.2 (2014)

Journal of Israeli History 33.2 (2014): Table of Contents



Communists and the 1948 War: PCP, Maki, and the National Liberation League

Ilana Kaufman
pages 115-144

Mapam in the War of Independence: From the war front to the opposition back benches

The Israeli left between culture and politics: Tzavta and Mapam, 1956–1973

Tal Elmaliach
pages 169-183

From Yekke to Zionist: Narrative strategies in life stories of Central European Jewish women immigrants to Mandate Palestine

Dorit Yosef
pages 185-208

“Operation Exodus”: Israeli government involvement in the production of Otto Preminger’s Film Exodus (1960)

Giora Goodman
pages 209-229

Book Reviews

1929: Shnat ha-efes ba-sikhsukh ha-yehudi-aravi [1929: Year zero of the Jewish-Arab conflict]

Motti Golani
pages 231-235

 Menachem Begin: A Life

Representing Israel in Modern Egypt: Ideas, Intellectuals and Foreign Policy from Nasser to Mubarak

Uriya Shavit
pages 238-241

Embodying Hebrew Culture: Aesthetics, Athletics, and Dance in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine

Shelly Zer-Zion
pages 241-244

Editorial Board

Editorial Board
page ebi

New Article: Kaplan, “Zionism as Anticolonialism: The Case of Exodus”

Kaplan, Amy. “Zionism as Anticolonialism: The Case of Exodus.” American Literary History 25.4 (2013): 870-895.





If Exodus did not directly address these policy dilemmas of the Cold War, its narrative of Zionism as anticolonialism worked its magic on a global horizon where Americans worried about who would control the meaning of national revolutions. On a popular level, Exodus offered a symbolic resolution of the American ambivalence toward decolonization. Israel was located geographically among the Afro-Asian nations, but its recognizably Western qualities made it stand apart. At the same time Exodus was entertaining theater crowds, the American press was heralding Israel’s foreign policy aid as a nonimperial model for the modern development of Africa. Reports abounded about Africans studying in Israeli universities and kibbutzim and Israeli technicians “going out to assist the newly independent Africans, who find in Israel a welcome alternative to the traditional powers of East and West” (Schmidt). Articles with titles such as “Democracy’s Classroom for Africans” and a “Pilot Plant for Progress” (Seigel) portrayed Israel as an exemplary decolonized nation, and as “the strongest link between the white nations and the chaotic African situation” (Meyer E7). These stories placed Israel, like America, as a tutorial force for orderly modern development, inside the white Western world but opposed to European colonialism.