JPS “Hidden Gems” and “Greatest Hits”: Colonial History; Invoked, Denied, Embodied
Keywords: 
culturalism
dynamics of colonization
historical experience
images and uses of history
social processes
Oslo
Abstract: 

Tasked with selecting two documents specifically related to Israel and the Israeli settler-colonial enterprise from the fifty-year JPS archive, author Gadi Algazi settles on “History’s Verdict: The Cherokee Case” (1995) by Norman Finkelstein and “The Palestinians Seen through the Israeli Cultural Paradigm” (1987) coauthored by Aziz Haidar and Elia Zreik. While the for-mer points to the historical affinities between the Zionist colonization of Palestine and the settlement of North America (including early Zionists’ unabashed identification with the “white” colonizers of the continent), the latter elucidates Israel’s “culturalist account” of Palestinians, which views the main problem with Palestinians in Israel as their “culture,” and not the colonization, repression, and exclusion they experienced historically and continue to endure.

Author biography: 

Gadi Algazi is professor of history at Tel Aviv University. He currently works on the social history of scholarly families in the early modern period, and on microhistories of dispossession and resettlement in Israel of the 1950s.

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