Israeli historical geography and the Holocaust: Reconsidering the research agenda

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The case of the Israeli historical geography demonstrates how nationalism affects academic research agenda. As in many other cases of nation-building, Israeli geographers have played an important role in the manipulation of landscapes and places to form a modern Jewish Israeli national identity. Their role in the construction of national consciousness expanded following the development of a territorial national conflict with the Palestinian Arabs. Despite the eighteen centuries of the pre-Zionist Diaspora, and the fact that more than a half of the Jews in the world live outside Israel, Israeli historical geographers almost totally neglect Diaspora lifestyles and spatialities and ignore the impact of the geographical imagination of Diaspora Jews on the (re)construction of Zionist territorial concepts and space. Following five decades of a Palestine/Israel-centered agenda, it is time for Israeli historical geographers to turn to the research of different spatial aspects of the Jewish Diaspora. This move should begin with the research of the spatial aspects of the concentration and annihilation of Jewish European communities during the Holocaust, and to more general spatial aspects of Nazism, as well as to the political and cultural geography of the Holocaust remembrance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-565
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Historical Geography
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Archaeology


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