Saturday, July 26, 2014

 About Nina Paley's artistic attempt to mock Jewish history in Israel:

Comment awaiting moderation:

As with any work of art the vid is selective and aims at appealing to the emotions and common prejudices of those who will find it a “good” piece of art. (I don’t).

ALWAYS be suspicious of any work that makes you feel very comfortable in your own choices.
This particular artifact fails in many ways but I will point out one glaring fault: It assumes that there were no Jews in Palestine before European Jews began to arrive there. This is wrong on two counts: First, European Jews had been immigrating to the land of Israel for centuries, in greater or lesser numbers. Second, Sephardic Jews had been inhabiting the land since they became subjects of the Ottomans (1492). The talented artist ignores and/or erases this historical record. The question is why? Is it because she wants to enforce a perverted narrative that is not historically correct? I think not. It is more likely that she suffers from the malady of Orientalism, so brilliantly diagnosed by Edward Said. That is, “a pervasive Western tradition, both academic and artistic, of prejudiced outsider interpretations of the East” in which the Sephardic Jews of Ottoman Palestine simply disappear from the record of a Euro-centric view of the Middle East. Thus, pfft, entire Sephardic communities in Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed, Jaffa, Haifa, etc become invisible. The only Jews that matter in this vid are the European Jews.

Tsk. Tsk. Remember that what you do to other people’s history can be done to your preferred people’s history.


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