By Ammiel Alcalay
Alcalay (Hebrew literature, urban U. of recent York) argues that the very parts of the old kinfolk among Jews and Arabs, and the character of the Levant itself, offer instruments for resolving the present state of affairs within the center East. His sections conceal discontinued strains drafts for an itinerary,
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35 Outside of highly specialized studies, this is an issue that gets short shrift except at certain crucial junctures (junctures, that is, that are crucial to the dominant culture) such as the break from Latin to the vernacular in medieval Europe. Yet many—one could even venture to say most—texts and cultures are informed by the particular conundrum in which contemporary "others," "minorities," or formerly subjected peoples now find themselves. To conceptualize literary history otherwise is simply to perpetuate a "conventional poetics" that, as Erica Hunt writes, might also be construed as the way ideology, "master narratives," are threaded into the text, in content and in genre.
We must cease reading serious books, abbreviate our studies, and drastically reduce the number of Ashkenazi children going into secondary school and then on to the universities. Perhaps we should also begin to play the game of sheshbesh [backgammon] or other Oriental games of similar kind and type. This is the only realistic way for us to achieve equality quickly with the Sephardo-Orientals. If we refuse to follow this path, then we must tell the Sephardo-Orientals the truth. 64 This remarkable text (characterized by Eliachar in a letter to BenGurion as "written by a Jewish Nazi who, to my regret, only echoes what many good people in our nation think, even if they dare not put it to paper")65 speaks for itself.
One of the great apprehensions which afflict us . . "63 One could go on and on, even into the metaphysical realm, as described in Kalman Katznelson's notorious The Ashkenazi Revolution. After defining the Jews as a "congregation of peoples," Katznelson goes on to discuss why the Ashkenazi "people" or "nation" are superior: Ashkenazi rule over the Afro-Asiatic Jewish peoples and over the other non-Ashkenazi peoples continues even in the State of Israel. This Ashkenazi control is not the fruit of the means and tools at its disposal, but the result of Ashkenazi control over time.
After Jews And Arabs: Remaking Levantine Culture by Ammiel Alcalay