Israel, Diaspora, and the Routes of National Belonging

Israel, Diaspora, and the Routes of National Belonging

eBook - 2004
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Univ of Toronto Pr

In this first ethnographic account of North American diaspora Jews imagining and experiencing Israel, Habib blends anthropological, historical, and cultural studies theories together in an analysis of diaspora nationalism that has broad implications.


Many diasporic Jews have strong ties to Israel, but what does a diasporic nationalism mean, and is it necessarily tied to territory? Over the course of four years, Jasmin Habib was a participant observer on tours of Israel organized for diaspora Jews as well as at North American community events focusing on Israel and Israel-diaspora relations. During this time, Habib conducted extensive interviews with tourists and community members. The result is a startlingly honest, theoretically rich, and detailed analysis of official tour narratives and tourist interactions at a range of Israeli archaeological, historical, and military sites, as well as back home in North America.

In this first ethnographic account of North American diaspora Jews imagining and experiencing Israel, Habib blends anthropological, historical, and cultural studies theories together in an analysis of diaspora nationalism that has broad implications. Reflecting on her personal history as a peace activist of mixed Jewish and Palestinian parentage, Habib looks at community events in North America that celebrate the attachment and sense of obligation to Israel and Israeli Jews, and shares community members' multiple dialogues on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. What emerges from this compassionate exploration is Habib's provocative contention that much of the existing literature about North American Jews and their relationship to Israel ignores their diverse reactions to official narratives and perpetuates an "official silence" surrounding the destructive aspects of nationalist sentiments. As a result of this silence, Habib argues, Jewish studies has been unable to assert disciplinary autonomy from Zionist theory, and modernism, nation-building, and national territory have not been interrogated as analytical categories in these new geopolitical contexts.



Book News
Habib, whose field is not mentioned, examines diaspora Jews' cultural practices, specifically how they produce history, nation, identity, culture, and claims to ancestral territory. He considers narratives that identify Israel as the Jews' homeland, and various multicultural and multinational identifications of North American Jews that encompass and subvert these narratives. He introduces the notion of diaspora nationalism as a way of thinking beyond the dominant paradigms that link identity to territorial nationalism. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

University of Toronto Press

Many diasporic Jews have strong ties to Israel, but what does a diasporic nationalism mean, and is it necessarily tied to territory? Over the course of four years, Jasmin Habib was a participant observer on tours of Israel organized for diaspora Jews as well as at North American community events focusing on Israel and Israel-diaspora relations. During this time, Habib conducted extensive interviews with tourists and community members. The result is a startlingly honest, theoretically rich, and detailed analysis of official tour narratives and tourist interactions at a range of Israeli archaeological, historical, and military sites, as well as back home in North America.

In this first ethnographic account of North American diaspora Jews imagining and experiencing Israel, Habib blends anthropological, historical, and cultural studies theories together in an analysis of diaspora nationalism that has broad implications. Reflecting on her personal history as a peace activist of mixed Jewish and Palestinian parentage, Habib looks at community events in North America that celebrate the attachment and sense of obligation to Israel and Israeli Jews, and shares community members' multiple dialogues on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. What emerges from this compassionate exploration is Habib's provocative contention that much of the existing literature about North American Jews and their relationship to Israel ignores their diverse reactions to official narratives and perpetuates an "official silence" surrounding the destructive aspects of nationalist sentiments. As a result of this silence, Habib argues, Jewish studies has been unable to assert disciplinary autonomy from Zionist theory, and modernism, nation-building, and national territory have not been interrogated as analytical categories in these new geopolitical contexts.



Publisher: Toronto, [Ontario] ;, Buffalo, [New York] ;, London, [England] :, University of Toronto Press,, 2004
Copyright Date: ©2004
ISBN: 9781442676329
9780802037022
9780802085108
Characteristics: 1 online resource (340 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates) : illustrations, photographs

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