Romanticizing the Land: Agriculturally Imagined Communities in Palestine-Israel
AbstractThis paper argues that images, and specifically agricultural images, play a significant role in the imaginings of the Israeli and Palestinian communities. Agriculture has symbolic and material value among Palestinians and Israelis, and contributes to identities and land claims made by Zionist and Palestinian organizations. Anderson’s discussion of nation building emphasizes the primacy of print in the imagination of a community; this paper highlights non-textual elements of nation building via case studies of the creation and dissemination of propaganda posters by the Jewish National Fund and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. A survey of propagandistic agricultural images reveals the shared symbols used by Palestinians and Israelis in forging identities and exclusive claims to land. Despite being common symbols from a shared past, agricultural images are crucial in creating and perpetuating a divide between Israelis and Palestinians, and in arguing for organic links between each group and the land of Palestine-Israel.
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