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.

 

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/american_literary_history/v025/25.4.kaplan.html

 

Excerpt

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.

Cite: Oppenheimer, The House of Rajani and the Limits of Zionist Discourse

Oppenheimer, Yochai. “‘How Bound the Arab Is to His Land’: The House of Rajani and the Limits of Zionist Discourse.” Translated by Rebecca Gillis. Prooftexts 32.3 (2012): 381-408.

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/prooftexts/v032/32.3.oppenheimer.html

Abstract

This article examines the ways in which Alon Hilu undermines conventional literary representations of the Arab in The House of Rajani , offering alternative possibilities for contact and communication between Jews and Arabs. The division of the text between two narrators, each of whom reflects a distinct viewpoint, represents the contrast between the Zionist world of the First Aliyah and the Arab world of people who had dwelled in Palestine for generations. Hilu returns to Palestinian history in order to situate the experience of Arab exile center stage. Not only does Hilu read national history and the place of the Arab within it anew, but he signals the instability of national categories, their tendency to merge and thereby to create an intermediate space. The Arab in Hilu’s novel is immeasurably more complex and interesting than the familiar Arab as imagined by Hebrew and Israeli fiction in the past. He is understood through a lens of post-colonialism inconsistent with the dominant Israeli historiography and his human and collective experiences are presented with unprecedented power.

Cite: Shepard, Algerian Nationalism, Zionism, and French Laïcité

Shepard, Todd. “Algerian Nationalism, Zionism, and French Laïcité: A History of Ethnoreligious Nationalisms and Decolonization.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 45.3 (2013): 445-67.

 

URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8960408

 

Abstract

he Algerian war resituated the meaning of “Muslims” and “Jews” in France
in relation to religion and “origins” and this process reshaped French
secular nationhood, with Algerian independence in mid-1962 crystallizing
a complex and shifting debate that took shape in the interwar period
and blossomed between 1945 and 1962. In its failed efforts to keep all
Algerians French, the French government responded to both Algerian
nationalism and, as is less known, Zionism, and did so with policies
that took seriously, rather than rejected, the so-called ethnoreligious
arguments that they embraced—and that, according to existing
scholarship, have always been anathema to French laïcité. Most scholars
on France continue to presume that its history is national or wholly
“European.” Yet paying attention to this transnational confrontation,
driven by claims from Algeria and Israel, emphasizes the crucial roles
of North African and Mediterranean developments in the making of
contemporary France.

Cite: Fenster and Hamdan-Saliba, Gender and feminist geographies in the Middle East

Fenster, Tovi and Hanaa Hamdan-Saliba, “Gender and Feminist Geographies in the Middle East.”

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0966369X.2012.709826

Abstract

This article aimed to review the research carried out in the Middle East
primarily on gender and feminist geography and also on place formation,
urban space, movement and mobility in the social and political
sciences. This aim turned out to be challenging primarily because of the
colonial and post-colonial history of the region that continues to have
a profound effect on the development of academic knowledge among Middle
Eastern scholars as well as a restricted accessibility to material
published inside the Middle East. Despite this, the article primarily
focuses on feminist research on Middle Eastern women done by Middle
Eastern scholars and published in Middle Eastern journals and books
primarily in Arabic (and Hebrew in Israel). However, during the process
of reviewing a large variety of articles, book chapters and books that
exist on Middle Eastern women, we realized that it is sometimes
difficult and rather artificial to review the material with only this
division in mind. In the end, we reviewed the literature on gender and
feminism in the Middle East mainly highlighting local published research
and also briefly referring to research published in the West by both
Westerners and local researchers. The article begins with presenting its
research methodology. It then analyzes the website and literature
review that we carried out on the contexts, frameworks and themes of
gender and feminist geography and spatial research in the Middle East
with particular attention on the research carried out in
Israel/Palestine. We focus on the private–public spheres; migration and
diaspora and the veil as key concepts in analyzing the literature in
this section. In the last section, we explain the reasons for the
limitations on gender and feminist research in geography inside the
Middle East and mention some general conclusions.