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Liat Steir-Livny, Ph.D.

Senior Lecturer. Holocaust Studies, Film Studies & Cultural Studies  

ARTICLEs

The Link between the Holocaust and the Israeli-Arab Conflict in Israeli culture 1950s - 1970s

Liat Steir-Livny 2012

Reconstructing Jewish Identity in Pre- and Post-Holocaust Literature and Culture

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 reevaluate 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 manipulated in order to present Israel as an eternal victim and is used in order to justify violent policy against the Arabs. In this article I posit a more complex notion. When examining cultural representations 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 try to create awareness to both traumas - the Holocaust 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) behavior in 1948.

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Keywords:

Israeli culture, Holocaust commemoration, Holocaust remembrance, Holocaust representations, collective memory, 1948 war, Nakba, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Zionism

Reference:

Steir-Livny, Liat. "The Link between the Holocaust and the Israeli-Arab Conflict in Israeli culture 1950s - 1970s". Lucyna Aleksandrowicz-Pedich, Malgorzata Pakier (eds), Reconstructing Jewish Identity in Pre- and Post-Holocaust Literature and Culture. Poland: Peter Lang GmbH - Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften, 2012, pp. 157-168.

© 2014 Liat Steir-Livny. Designed by Boaz Albert