The Battle of the Narrative

Hillel Cohen

in Good Arabs

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780520257672
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944886 | DOI:
The Battle of the Narrative

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One of the tasks collaborators were assigned was to pass on information about people who spoke out against the state of Israel, its leaders, or its institutions. Critical statements were recorded in the dossiers of those who made them; the police goal was to have a file on every adult Arab citizen, especially those who were criminally and politically active. In the big picture, this collection of utterances had three purposes: to keep tabs on the general mood of the Arab population, to identify individuals who might potentially take action against the state, and to establish boundaries for the permitted discourse of Arabs in Israel. From the start, the security forces took a special interest in collecting statements against collaboration and collaborators. The security forces institutionalized their surveillance of Arab speech. Self-censorship also became an established practice. In addition, they severely punished teachers who expressed opinions opposed to those of the system. This chapter examines the violent clash between two ideologies and their symbols: the Jewish state and its emblems versus Arab nationalism and its emblems.

Keywords: Arabs; symbols; Israel; collaborators; teachers; nationalism; self-censorship; speech; collaboration

Chapter.  14993 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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