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A transition from a “politics of ideas” to a “politics of identity” is perhaps the major change that Israeli society has experienced in recent years.¹ Sociologists.
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Loshitzky focuses on three major foundational sites of the struggle over Israeli identity: The films she discusses raise fundamental questions about the identity of Jewish Holocaust survivors and their children the "second generation" , Jewish immigrants from Muslim countries or Mizrahim particularly the second generation of Israeli Mizrahim , and Palestinians.

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Recognizing that victimhood marks all the identities represented in the films under discussion, Loshitzky does not treat each identity group as a separate and coherent entity, but rather attempts to see the conflation, interplay, and conflict among them. Screening the Birth of a Nation: The Second Generation pp. Second-Generation Israelis Screen the Holocaust pp.

David Mamet, Gilad Atzmon and identity politics

The Orient Within pp. In the Land of Oz: Orientalist Discourse in 'My Michael' pp. Forbidden Love in the Holy Land: Transgressing the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict pp. In The Wandering Who? He reports being sent home from school for a week for posing his falsely-naive question.

Israel’s identity crisis is at the heart of its conflicts

The Palestinian adolescent who asked a similar question, as to whether the sufferings of the Palestinians might be rooted in flaws in Arab culture, might not get off as lightly. Atzmon is frequently misdescribed as a Holocaust denier, but here's what he actually writes about the Holocaust in The Wandering Who?


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It is the Holocaust that eventually made me a devoted supporter of Palestinian rights, resistance and the Palestinian right of return. Characteristically absent is any admission of ethno-centrism on the Palestinian side, or attempt to explain why the efforts of European Jews to assimilate prior to the Holocaust were rewarded with renewed anti-semitism.

David Mamet, Gilad Atzmon and identity politics | openDemocracy

Mamet, in turn, is ashamed of Jews who feel that way. In Mamet's world, political correctness is generally a mask for vindictive envy, and acts of liberal guilt are savagely exploited by their beneficiaries, who interpret them as weakness and are only interested in race warfare. It is through such a lens that Mamet views Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with any well-meaning concessions doomed to run aground on the unqualified hatred of the other side.

Their extremist certainty of tone reflects a terrible underlying vulnerability, one more common ground between Mamet and Atzmon being that both are looking for refuge.

Identity Politics Is a Threat to Society. Is There Anything We Can Do About It At This Point?

In fact, this is what Arab and Islamic resistance is all about: You're gonna be fine. Millions of Indians and Pakistanis became refugees in the s, as well as Jews from European and Arab countries, Germans from Eastern Europe, and the millions forcibly relocated by Stalin — to designate Palestinians as the only ethnic group whose refugee status from the s must never be allowed to expire is itself a form of reverse Judeo-centrism.

The sense of belonging to a victimized group, or to a victimizing group one must always be apologizing for, can be equally distorting of one's world view. Both Mamet and Atzmon tend to see political affiliation in terms of joining a group, while doing a better job of applying this insight to their opponents than to themselves.

But this supposed intransigence on the part of the Religious Right is far less detrimental to the health of the body politic than the Left's love affair with Marxism, Socialism, Racialism, and the Command Economy To Leo Frank, a Jew lynched in the U. Westerners are hopelessly conflicted here — how much pro-Israeli feeling among Westerners is driven by guilt over the Holocaust, and how much pro-Palestinian feeling by guilt over imperialism in the Middle East? On the other end of the spectrum, love of Israel can make a great American playwright and movie director like Mamet try to excuse the beliefs of Creationists.

In many arguments about Israel and Palestine, the opposing sides seem to be disregarding each other's arguments completely, so it's interesting that Mamet and Atzmon do at least seem to be in the same conversation, rather as if each is the straw man the other is tilting at.

Catalog Record: Identity politics on the Israeli screen | Hathi Trust Digital Library

One senses if they actually met and got into a lengthy argument, and didn't come to blows, that at some point after all the bystanders had fled, their conversation might become enlightening — could they conceivably even find a way out of the destructive discourse they are both trapped in? It's a scene I wish they would both try to write. His short stories have appeared in many publications.