Palestine/Israel: Reflections of an Arab Jew
I am an Arab Jew. Or, more specifically, an Iraqi Israeli woman living, writing and teaching in the U.S. by Dr. Ella Habiba Shohat (originally published in April 1999).
Most members of my family were born and raised in Baghdad, and now live in Iraq, Israel, the U.S., England, and Holland. When my grandmother first encountered Israeli society in the '50s, she was convinced that the people who looked, spoke and ate so differently--the European Jews--were actually European Christians. Jewishness for her generation was inextricably associated with Middle Easterness. My grandmother, who still lives in Israel and still communicates largely in Arabic, had to be taught to speak of "us" as Jews and "them" as Arabs.
Submitted on Wed, 05/29/2002 - 00:00