Chapter

The road to Damascus

Ronit Aaron

in Co-Memory and Melancholia

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780719081705
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702550 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719081705.003.0005
The road to Damascus

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This chapter describes the construction of the reawakening of the Israeli Jewish memory of the Nakba as a ‘road to Damascus’ tale told by post- and anti-Zionist Israeli Jews. It tries to fathom the preoccupation of Israeli scholars with Palestine and the Palestinians and asking, after Saul Friedländer's theorisation of Nazism, kitsch and death, whether the Israeli left's preoccupation with the Nakba might harbour a degree of prurient fascination with Israeli atrocities. It then reviews the distinctions between the terms anti-Zionism and post-Zionism. Friedländer's argument is that there is a ‘new discourse’ on Nazism that denotes a kind of aesthetic titillation borne out of the association of Nazism with death. The prominence of the Zionist discourse means that the Israeli Damascene narratives often struggle with the tellers' self-definitions. David Grossman uses his observations to envisage a better future.

Keywords: Nakba; Damascus; Palestine; Saul Friedländer; Nazism; kitsch; death; anti-Zionism; post-Zionism; David Grossman

Chapter.  9407 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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