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Co-Memory and MelancholiaIsraelis Memorialising the Palestinian Nakba$
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Ronit Lentin

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719081705

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719081705.001.0001

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The road to Damascus

The road to Damascus

(p.87) 5 The road to Damascus
Co-Memory and Melancholia

Ronit Aaron

Manchester University Press

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

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