Academic journal article Arab Studies Quarterly

The Zionist Bible: Biblical Precedent, Colonialism, and the Erasure of Memory

Academic journal article Arab Studies Quarterly

The Zionist Bible: Biblical Precedent, Colonialism, and the Erasure of Memory

Article excerpt

Nur Masalha. The Zionist Bible: Biblical Precedent, Colonialism, and the Erasure of Memory. Durham: Acumen, 2013. 288 pages. Hardcover £60.00

The Zionist Bible: Biblical Precedent, Colonialism, and the Erasure of Memory is the latest book in what seems to be a complementary series by Palestinian scholar Nur Masalha. In his previous book, The Bible and Zionism, Masalha examines the Zionist effective use of the Bible and biblical archeology to further Israeli strategic aims. Against this, Professor Masalha presented a powerful critique, offering constructive resources for countering the "invented traditions" used in support of Israeli state power.

In The Zionist Bible: Biblical Precedent, Colonialism, and the Erasure of Memory, Masalha continues with his project, arguing that "the land traditions and narratives of the Hebrew Bible, reconfigured and reinvented in the last century as a 'foundational' metanarrative of Zionism and the state of Israel, have been instrumental in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine" (1). These same land traditions, Masalha argues, continue to be at the heart of the displacement and dispossession of Palestinians from Jerusalem.

The book consists of an introduction, five chapters, and a conclusion. It investigates the "politics of the biblical text-language, narrative, epics, genres, theologies, paradigms, and organized memory-and its utilization in the service of a settler colonialist project and Israeli secular state policies" (2). …

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