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By Hella Bloom Cohen (auth.)

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Extra info for The Literary Imagination in Israel-Palestine: Orientalism, Poetry, and Biopolitics

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Human Rights Commission and went to America often, therefore married the lady in a Civil Ceremony in New York . . So Justice Cohn told me. He is a big man and he looks taciturn, but you find that he has actually told you a great deal within a short time. (51) As Justice Cohn’s story demonstrates, divorce can delegitimate the Jewishness of one party in a marriage, complicating unions. Bellow credits Cohn for having told him “a great deal within a short time” about Israel with this marriage anecdote, suggesting that marriage issues in Israel speak volumes about its larger ethical practices.

It features a crucial scene where an Arab woman tends to the wounds of a Jewish shepherd, wounds he sustained during an Arab attack. The intimacy of this moment is contrived by an underlying championing of the chivalric Ashkenazi over the exotic, untamed Arab. Judd Ne’eman contends that this early Israeli filmic precedent justifies the Zionist project through a moralizing premise, ignoring the “dual awareness [that] should have made the Jewish settler more sympathetic to the predicament of the land’s indigenous inhabitants than Europeans had been in other colonized lands” (144).

Can a validation of mixed desire coexist with binational borders? It suffices to say that the job of the critic 40 The L i t e r a ry I m agi n ati o n i n I s r a e l - Pa l e s t i n e becomes one of teasing out whether literary miscegenation can eventually lead to a changing public sphere. A functioning third space—whatever that looks like6—relies on the transformation of both the private and the public. More specifically, it relies on an ultimate transcendence from the bedroom, the home, and even mixed partnerships in the private business sphere, to the legal legitimacy of the mixed relationship, and this includes mixed marriages.

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