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13

As a young society of immigrants and natives, the development of a relatively coherent and identifiable Israeli identity and culture seemed almost impossible. Yet, many Israelis and foreign commentators argue that such a distinct identity has indeed been created. In this lesson we will explore the swift evolution of an Israeli identity and culture. We will ask what are the origins of this identity and which groups are included (and which groups are marginalized) in its construction. We will consider the possibility that the Israeli culture revolves around cultural traumas associated both with the Holocaust and also, more deeply, with the Jewish predicament of persecution and exile. An analysis that sees Zionism as the solution for the existential fear that is associated with this collective trauma. We will also talk about trauma and its effects in contemporary politics.

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