The Re-Enchantment of the Orient: Mista‘arvim and Their Special Status in Jewish-Israeli Society

Yonatan Mendel, Nadeem Karkabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mista‘arvim — Jewish-Israeli soldiers who masquerade as Arabs — and Hista‘arvut (the act thereof) hold a special place in Jewish-Israeli culture. By analyzing popular television programs — a thriller titled Fauda (Arabic for “chaos”) and documentaries by journalist Zvi Yehezkeli — we argue that “cultural Hista‘arvut” is a powerful reflection of Zionist perceptions of Palestinian and Arab Others. Cultural Hista‘arvut helps frame the paradox of a Jewish-Israeli society that is located inside the Middle East but maintains distance as a superior outsider that is not of the region. In this sense, the act of impersonation emphasizes the hierarchy of Jews over Arabs and cements the alleged dichotomies between them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-180
Number of pages20
JournalThe Middle East Journal
Volume77
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Re-Enchantment of the Orient: Mista‘arvim and Their Special Status in Jewish-Israeli Society'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this