By Ammiel Alcalay
Alcalay (Hebrew literature, urban U. of recent York) argues that the very components of the old family members among Jews and Arabs, and the character of the Levant itself, supply instruments for resolving the present state of affairs within the center East. His sections hide discontinued traces drafts for an itinerary,
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Extra info for After Jews And Arabs: Remaking Levantine Culture
While discrete parts of a lost culture are painstakingly preserved in forms that are all but inaccessible to people locked out of the power structure, this very culture is presented as precisely the reason for this same group's low status. At the same time, 26 Introduction economic and cultural dependency—on America, in this case—firmly dictates which options are open to whom. This relationship can be traced with some precision simply by looking at imports and exports, which retain their class orientation in either direction.
How fair is thy love, my sister, my bride! How much better is thy love than wine") to very different ends. The sense of comparison, of textual, spiritual, and communal ideals become literalized: "prisoners of Zion" (also with its veiled reference to "prisoners of hope," a standard trope of medieval Hebrew poetry), have become the inmates of Israeli prisons, over 90 percent of whom are the descendants of Jews from Arab countries. In addition, Chetrit redeploys the most jingoistic and pejorative references of official Zionist discourse (as in Ben-Gurion's comparison of the Jews from Arab countries to "blacks who were taken over to America as plantation slaves"),61 into a different 30 Introduction context of solidarity and identity.
As far as Jews are concerned, we constantly need to be reminded—given the often pejorative and politically loaded context of presentation—that, as Norman Stillman points out, "Among the three major Jewish languages of the post-Talmudic period (that is, Judeo-Arabic, Yiddish, and Ladino), Judeo-Arabic holds a place of special significance. It has had the longest recorded history—from the ninth century to the present. It has had the widest geographical diffusion—extending across three continents during the Middle Ages.
After Jews And Arabs: Remaking Levantine Culture by Ammiel Alcalay