In Spite of Partition: Jews, Arabs, and the Limits of by Gil Z. Hochberg

By Gil Z. Hochberg

Partition--the thought of setting apart Jews and Arabs alongside ethnic or nationwide lines--is a legacy at the least as outdated because the Zionist-Palestinian clash. tough the common "separatist mind's eye" in the back of partition, Gil Hochberg demonstrates the ways that works of up to date Jewish and Arab literature reject uncomplicated notions of separatism and as a substitute demonstrate advanced configurations of identification that emphasize the presence of alterity in the self--the Jew in the Arab, and the Arab in the Jew. even with Partition examines Hebrew, Arabic, and French works which are mostly unknown to English readers to bare how, faraway from being self sustaining, the signifiers "Jew" and "Arab" are inseparable. In a sequence of unique shut readings, Hochberg analyzes attention-grabbing examples of such inseparability. within the Palestinian author Anton Shammas's Hebrew novel Arabesques, the Israeli and Palestinian protagonists are a "schizophrenic pair" who "have no longer but made up our minds who's the ventriloquist of whom." And within the Moroccan Jewish author Albert Swissa's Hebrew novel Aqud, the Moroccan-Israeli major character's identification is uneasily positioned among the "Moroccan Muslim boy he might have been" and the "Jewish Israeli boy he has become." different examples draw recognition to the problematic linguistic proximity of Hebrew and Arabic, the old hyperlink among the stressful thoughts of the Jewish Holocaust and the Palestinian Nakbah, and the libidinal ties that bind Jews and Arabs regardless of, or maybe as a result of, their present animosity.

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Additional info for In Spite of Partition: Jews, Arabs, and the Limits of Separatist Imagination (Translation - Transnation)

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This focus must be understood within the specific context against which it is set, that is, the prevailing image of Jews and Arabs as opposed or polar political identities, separated by a current national conflict, which is equally portrayed in terms of a colonial division between West and East and further linked to a theological enmity between Jews and Muslims dating back to the biblical rivalries between Isaac and Ishmael or Jacob and Esau. My intent is to challenge the determinism of such common representations by tracing the relationship between Jews and Arabs along “a different and more creative logic of differences,” to paraphrase Said (1985, 40).

Inside and Outside the Orient or Between Arab and Jew We [Jews] wanted to love Algeria. But it was too early or too late. —He´le`ne Cixous, “My Algeriance” Benillouche’s struggle with his conflicted position, “forever marked by the Orient” but “forced to reject it,” results, as I have argued, in his (failed) attempt to escape the Orient. ” This double rejection of both Arab and Jew translates later into Memmi’s polemic negation of the Arab Jewish identity. , to Arabs’ continued hostility toward Jews); it is also an irresponsible act toward the present and future.

Maalouf ’s and Darwish’s texts, I suggest, allow us to “reremember” the fact that trauma, like history, is never “only or fully one’s one” (Caruth 1996, 20–24), and that accordingly, the two histories and collective traumatic memories—the Jewish and Palestinian—are not, truly speaking, independent but must be resituated and understood along a shared historical trajectory. Finally, if the literary texts discussed in the following chapters replace common dichotomist representations of Jews and Arabs with depictions that emphasize the strong affinities between the two people, or the impossibility of fully separating the Arab and the Jew, it would be wrong to suggest that they are overtly optimistic.

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