The beach at the end of the world: Eilat in Israeli popular culture

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Located on the southernmost tip of Israel, at the meeting point of the Negev desert and the Red Sea, Eilat was occupied in March 1949 in the last military operation of Israel's War of Independence. Notwithstanding official notions of Eilat as a strategic asset and efforts to sustain Israeli presence there in the form of a permanent settlement, in Israeli popular culture Eilat, which later evolved into a thriving tourist resort, has bad from the outset the reputation of being 'different, special, distinct'. This article explores the unique position of Eilat in Israeli popular culture. The underlying argument is that this unique position of Eilat both evinced and reflected a dynamic interplay of liminal conditions and phenomena that rendered Eilat an exceptional experience. Furthermore, being situated at the southernmost tip of Israel, the location of Eilat at the geographical margin of Israel was productive of its image as an extraordinary place and sustained its prominence in popular imagination. The article charts and analyses a variety of liminal phenomena in their social and cultural contexts in different periods of Eilat's history.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-133
Number of pages17
JournalSocial and Cultural Geography
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Eilat
  • Israel
  • Liminality
  • Popular culture
  • Seaside resort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies


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