Spanning several decades, Ella Shohat s work has introduced conceptual frameworks that fundamentally challenged conventional understandings of Palestine, Zionism and the Middle East, focusing on the pivotal figure of the Arab-Jew. This book gathers together her most influential political essays, interviews, speeches, testimonies and memoirs. as well as previously unpublished material. Defying the binarist and Eurocentric Arab-versus-Jew rendering of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Shohat s work has dared to engage with the deeper historical and cultural questions swirling around colonialism, Orientalism and nationalism.
Shohat s paradigm-shifting work unpacks such fraught issues as the anomalies of the national/colonial in Zionist discourse; the narrating of Jewish pasts in Muslim spaces; the links and distinctions between the dispossession of the Nakba and the dislocation of Arab-Jews; the traumatic memories triggered by partition and border-crossing; the echoes within Islamophobia of the anti-Semitic figure of the Jew ; and the efforts to imagine a possible future inter-communal convivencia . Shohat s transdisciplinary perspective illuminates the cultural politics in and around the Middle East. Juxtaposing texts of various genres written in divergent contexts, the book offers a vivid sense of the author s intellectual journey.