The origins of Israeli mythology: neither Canaanites nor crusaders

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

28 Scopus citations


"This book examines Israeli identity by exploring its historical narratives, such as the crusader and Canaanite challenges and proposes a new meta-narrative - Mediterraneanism. We claim that Zionism as a meta-narrative has been formed through contradiction to two alternative models, the Canaanite and crusader narratives. These narratives are the most daring and heretical assaults on Israeli-Jewish identity, which is umbilically connected to Zionism. The Israelis, according to the Canaanite narrative, are from this place and belong only here; according to the crusader narrative, they are from another place and belong there. On the one hand, the mythological construction of Zionism as a modern crusade describes Israel as a Western colonial enterprise planted in the heart of the East and alien to the area, its logic, and its peoples, whose end must be degeneration and defeat. On the other hand, the nativist construction of Israel as neo-Canaanism, which defined the nation in purely geographical terms as an imagined native community, demands breaking away from the chain of historical continuity. Those are the two greatest anxieties that Zionism and Israel needed to encounter and answer forcefully. The Origins of Israeli Mythology seeks to examine the intellectual archaeology of Israeli mythology, as it reveals itself through the Canaanite and crusader narratives"
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages266
Edition1st English
ISBN (Electronic)1107014093, 1107229758, 1139013440, 1139209957, 1139215000, 1139218093, 1139221175, 1139222899, 1139224611, 1280485272, 9781107014091, 9786613580252
ISBN (Print)1107014093, 1139224611, 9781107014091, 9781139224611
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (all)


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