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Acta poética

versión On-line ISSN 2448-735Xversión impresa ISSN 0185-3082


NAGAR-RON, Sigal. La historia tal como mi abuela me contó: La memoria personal frente a la memoria colectiva sionista. Acta poét [online]. 2006, vol.27, n.2, pp.195-217. ISSN 2448-735X.

I call to mind a childhood memory: My mother and my grandmother are talking. My grandmother is speaking Arabic in a Jewish-Iraqi dialect and my mother is answering her in Hebrew. I, as a small child, am listening to them and trying to understand, to interpret, to reveal the meaning. I can only understand what is spoken in Hebrew, by my mother. Only half of the dialogue is open to me óthe Israeli (the Hebrew), the other half of the dialogue -the Arabic, remains implicit and I must fill in the gaps, using the powers of imagination and logic. This concrete childhood memory serves as a metaphor for describing the life experience of many Israelis-Jews who have no past, only a collective memory. These Israelis are the sons and grandsons of Jews who came to Israel from Arabic and Islamic countries upon the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and mainly during the 1950s. The memory of Jews from the Arabic countries is almost always bound to the hegemonic discourse structures, the Zionistic discourse. In this article I would like to propose an alternative, personal historical testimony that will enable challenging the institutional structures. The personal experience is not a means of representing a broad population; rather it offers an entry point for understanding complex social processes.2 I wish to use my grandmother's personal story-who was born and raised in Baghdad in Iraq and who came to Israel in 1950, a married woman with three daughters- in order to point out ideological contradictions in the hegemonic Israeli-Zionist narrative and the collective historical memory that was established.

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