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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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Melancholia, Nakba co-memory and the politics of return

Melancholia, Nakba co-memory and the politics of return

(p.153) 8 Melancholia, Nakba co-memory and the politics of return
Co-Memory and Melancholia

Ronit Aaron

Manchester University Press

This chapter reviews the memory and melancholia nexus through several prisms. It starts by asking whether Israeli-Jewish Nakba co-memoration ultimately serves to construct activists' Jewish identity with melancholia being not for the land or the lost Palestinians, but rather for an uncomplicated and idyllic lost Jewish Israeli identity. It then revisits Nakba co-memory as a politics of resistance and counterposing co-memorative practices. It asks whether Israeli Jews engaged in the co-memory work what David Goldberg calls ‘racial melancholia’. National identity serves as an instrument of separating ‘us’ from ‘them’, as national identity, differently from all other identities, and demands exclusive allegiance and fidelity. The necessary conclusion of co-memorating the Nakba must be recognising the Palestinian right of return. Most Jewish immigrants to Palestine and then to Israel did harbour a vision of a new, free, Jewish life.

Keywords:   memory, racial melancholia, Nakba co-memoration, Jewish identity, Nakba co-memory, politics, David Goldberg, Israeli Jews, Palestine

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