, Volume 19, Issue 5-6, pp 405-422

National, Ethnic or Civic? Contesting Paradigms of Memory, Identity and Culture in Israel

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Abstract

Zionist national identity in Israel is today challenged by two mutuallyantagonistic alternatives: a liberal, secular, Post-Zionist civic identity, on the one hand, and ethnic, religious, Neo-Zionist nationalistic identity, on the other. The other, Zionist, hegemony contains an unsolvable tension between the national and the democratic facets of the state. The Post-Zionist trend seeks a relief of this tension by bracketing the nationalcharacter of the state, i.e., by separation of state and cultural community/ies; the Neo-Zionist trend seeks a relief of the same tension by bracketing the democratic nature of the state, i.e., by consolidating the Jewish ethno-national character of the state. The focus of the study is upon two dimensions of this unfolding cultural-political strife: the conflicting perceptions of time and space, and the ways they affect the perceptions of the boundaries of the collectivity, either in an inclusionary manner (the ``post'') or in an exclusionary manner (the ``neo'').