Recent Israeli Films:A New Option for a Different Israeli HistoryNurith Gertz
Recent Israeli Films: A New Option for a Different Israeli History Nurith Gertz The collective memories of Israeli society flow around and between Holocaust Remembrance Day, and Independence Day. Memories that shape a fragmented, broken history, replete with lacunas, suppressions and omissions: a traumatic history. According to Freud (Freud 1914/1974, Caruth 1996, Elsaesser 1996-97, Kaes 2009), such a history is interwoven with a terrible and difficult event that is not grasped in the consciousness, does not communicate with previous knowledge, and thus is not subsumed into a causal chain leading toward the future. Israeli culture ranges from the trauma of the victim, the refugee, the survi- vor, to the trauma of war and bereavement, and between them lies the trauma of the split Israeli identity - of people who refuse victimhood, shun the aggressor's role, and sense the impasse that faces those trapped between the two options. It is the trauma of a people raised and educated on the integration underlying Zion- ism, between ethics and nationalism, between human redemption and a national redemption, between the belief that the goal of Judaism was to serve as a basis for universal morality,1 and the belief that national redemption would enable those universal goals to be fulfilled. That integration was severed with the dis- covery of the disparity between the narrative by which the Jewish people under- stands itself and organizes its past – as a victim - and as a theme of universal justice, and the actual narrative of war, violence,...
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