Of Ghosts and Dybbuks
The Haunting of the Israeli Imagination
Yehudit Kirstein Keshet
Writer and political analyst, Israel
The Holocaust of the Jews and the Nakba—the expulsion of the Palestinians from their land with the establishment of the State of Israel, are two seminal events that profoundly affect both peoples. This paper explores the way in which two traumatic histories, the Holocaust and the Palestinian Nakba, impinge on Israeli public discourse, the former by hyper-valorisation, the latter by absence, denial and rejection. Analysing the different ways in which both Holocaust and Nakba haunt the Israeli psyche and referring to theoretical, literary and personal sources, the paper suggests a frame work for understanding two related, but distinct, hauntings. Crucially it asks how these hauntings affect the future as they already affect the present.
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© borderlands ejournal 2011