Edited By Lucyna Aleksandrowicz-Pedich and Malgorzata Pakier
The Holocaust and the Israeli-Arab Conflict in Israeli Culture 1950’s – 1970’s. Liat Steir-Livny
The Holocaust and the Israeli-Arab Conflict in Israeli Culture 1950’s – 1970’s Liat Steir-Livny The Holocaust as a pivotal experience in the Israeli life, has strongly influenced the way in which the Arab-Israeli conflict, in general, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in particular, were perceived and presented in Israeli culture. In the past three decades, as part of a narrative that seeks to revaluate the way in which the collective memory of the Holocaust was endowed to the Israeli public, emerged a post-Zionist notion, that the Holocaust memory was and is politically manipu- lated in order to present Israel as an eternal victim and is used in order to justify violent policy against the Arabs (for example: Ayalon 1971, Evron, 1980 (2011); Elkana, 1988; Zartal, 2002, Bar-Tal, 2007). In this article I posit a more complex notion. When examining cultural rep- resentations of the integration of the Holocaust and the Israeli- Arab conflict in the early decades of the Israeli state, one can see that until the 1970's the cultural narrative indeed emphasized victimization, and represented the Arabs as Nazis successors. But, alongside this narrative, one can find in those early decades very prominent artists who tried to create awareness to both traumas – the Holo- caust and the Nakba (the Arab disaster of 1948) - and even raise very disturbing questions regarding the moral outcome of the IDF’s (Israel Defense Forces) be- havior in 1948. Arabs as the Nazis’ successors: In Israeli culture, the complex story of the Arab-Jewish dispute that accompa-...
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