Contested Land, Contested Memory: Israel's Jews and Arabs and the Ghosts of Catastrophe

By Jo Roberts

2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize — Nonfiction Runner Up

The advanced histories and thoughts of Jewish and Palestinian Israelis at the present time body Israel’s destiny probabilities for peace.

1948: As Jewish refugees, survivors of the Holocaust, fight towards the recent kingdom of Israel, Arab refugees are fleeing, many less than duress. Sixty years later, the reminiscence of trauma has formed either peoples’ collective knowing of who they're.

After a battle, the victors write heritage. How was once the tale of the exiled Palestinians erased – from textbooks, maps, even the land? How do Jewish and Palestinian Israelis now interact with the histories of the Palestinian Nakba ("Catastrophe") and the Holocaust, and the way do those echo during the political and actual landscapes in their nation?

Vividly narrated, with wide unique interview fabric, Contested Land, Contested Memory examines how those tangled histories of pain tell Jewish and Palestinian-Israeli lives at the present time, and body Israel’s percentages for peace.

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As Napoleon Bonaparte’s squaddies marched into Rome in 1798, he ordered them to rip down the partitions of the Jewish ghetto. ‡ yet Jew hatred had turn into deeply ingrained within the cultures of Europe. different countries have been gradual to persist with France’s lead: British Jews weren't emancipated until eventually 1856, and Spain waited until eventually 1910. § Public accusations of blood libel have been made as overdue as 1891 in Germany, 1899 in Bohemia, and 1911 in Russia. The language of anti-Semitism used to be, as Hannah Arendt defined it, “long known and not really forgotten. ”[16] for lots of Jews, taking over their equivalent rights of citizenship intended assimilation. Many selected to dwell secular lives; many took Christianized names. a few switched over to Christianity — baptism nonetheless being, because the German-Jewish poet Heinrich Heine mentioned, the “entrance price tag into the neighborhood of ecu tradition. ” The glass ceiling of assimilation, besides the fact that, turns into all too noticeable in Proust’s commentary: … in a French drawing-room the diversities among those [Semitic] everyone is no longer so obvious, and an Israelite making his access as if he have been rising from the guts of the desolate tract, his physique crouching like a hyaena’s … thoroughly satisfies a undeniable style for the oriental. [17] within the new political paradigm of Europe the idea that of a country kingdom took on a main position, now not least by way of the formation of a collective id. If a country was once to be in line with the need of the folk instead of that of an omnipotent ruler, then how that individuals was once constituted turned of larger and bigger significance. usually, as in Germany, citizenship was once outlined by means of ethnicity. somewhere else, like France, a citizen used to be somebody who approved particular loyalty to the kingdom. Whichever manner these obstacles have been outlined, Jews have been suspect. Jews, it appeared, might regularly be fingered because the explanation for social disharmony, no matter what your political persuasion. That harbinger of social chaos, Karl Marx, used to be Jewish: Jews have been revolutionaries. a few few filthy rich financiers, similar to the Rothschilds, have been Jewish: Jews have been grasping capitalists. And, as Captain Alfred Dreyfus was once to find in 1894, Jews have been traitors. Dreyfus, a skilled and ardently patriotic French military officer with a promising occupation prior to him, used to be accused of spying for Germany. The proof opposed to him consisted of a letter to the German army connecté in Paris, a letter he denied he’d written. He used to be convicted and despatched to Devil’s Island. regardless of the invention of latest facts, and a military officer’s forgery confession (and suicide), Dreyfus’s retrial in entrance of an army tribunal led to a moment conviction. The veneer of political liberalism in past due nineteenth-century France used to be shattered by means of the Dreyfus Affair. Anti-Jewish riots broke out around the nation, and the click erupted with anti-Semitic invective. “The Jew is at the back of all of it! ”[18] fumed Edouard Drumont, writer of 1 of the 2 mainstream Catholic newspapers that led the anti-Dreyfusard cost. Drumont’s phrases foreshadow what will be written through govt propagandists in Germany a number of a long time later.

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