Bonding with the British: Colonial Nostalgia and the Idealization of Mandatory Palestine in Israeli Literature and Culture after 1967

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Abstract

Since the founding of Israel in 1948, the Yishuv's campaign against British rule has been idealized as a period of bygone heroism and commitment. Beginning in the late 1960s, however, this nostalgia for the pre-state, anticolonial struggle was complemented, even challenged, by a divergent nostalgic force-one that celebrates the romance of the Mandate's colonial features, yearns for the social and political opportunities made possible by the presence of the imperial regime, and ultimately laments its demise. Tracing and contextualizing expressions of this longing in Israeli literature, cinema, and theater, this article argues that "colonial" nostalgia for the Mandate is rooted in the geopolitical effects of the 1967 Arab-Israeli War: driven by a growing sense of guilt over Israel's occupation, Israeli authors have depicted Mandatory Palestine as a cosmopolitan haven in which the Israelis, restored to the status of colonial subjects, are freed from the burden of sovereignty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-37
Number of pages37
JournalJewish Social Studies
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017

Keywords

  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Israeli literature
  • Mandatory Palestine
  • Nostalgia

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