The image of the New Woman in early Zionist literature is at present an understudied field, though there have been significant advances in recent years. This article brings together the “Woman Question” and the “Arab Question” in Zionist thought prior to the 1929 Arab riots in Palestine. When reading concurrently for race and gender, the import of rape surfaces as a trope in two of the most significant Hebrew literary works relating to the Arab Question: L.A. Arieli’s drama Allah Karim! (1912) and Aharon Reuveni’s novel Devastation (1925).
Arguably, Zionist writers carried to Palestine a deep concern about rape from the east European pogroms of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and projected this concern onto the Arab male foe. In their writings, the pioneer Zionist man’s own sexual urges (whether enervated or unruly) are put to the test: Can he properly channel his virility as he prepares to battle the Arab foe? Within this tension, I highlight how Jewish women’s roles are both controversial and pivotal in the narratives.
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When Milk and Honey opened on Broadway in 1961, it presented a unique setting: the relatively new state of Israel. The musical superficially glorifies the future of an exciting new land. More deeply, we find “restorative nostalgia” for Israel’s biblical roots, stemming from sublimated grief and disavowal of the Holocaust.
Yerushalmi, Dorit. "The Theatrical Ammunition of the 1967 War." Journal of Israeli History 28,2 (2009): 195-212.
This article discusses the effects of the Six Day War on plays performed in the 1967/68 and 1968/69 theater seasons, in an attempt to demonstrate the great variety of the plays produced and their direct and indirect links to the cultural narrative. Israeli theater exploited the cultural ammunition furnished by the war, thereby demonstrating its own relevance and active participation in the battle waged by the state. At the same time, however, it exposed its limitations as a critical medium: whether the shows reacted to the war explicitly or implicitly, most of them avoided the issues of the occupation, bereavement, and loss.
Keywords: Israeli theater; Six Day War; Casablan; Ha-Gashash ha-Hiver; Hanoch Levin; musicals; satirical cabaret; political theater, דורית ירושלמי