Melancholia, Nakba co-memory and the politics of return
in Co-memory and melancholia
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This chapter reviews the memory and melancholia nexus through several prisms. It starts by asking whether Israeli-Jewish Nakba co-memoration ultimately serves to construct activists' Jewish identity with melancholia being not for the land or the lost Palestinians, but rather for an uncomplicated and idyllic lost Jewish Israeli identity. It then revisits Nakba co-memory as a politics of resistance and counterposing co-memorative practices. It asks whether Israeli Jews engaged in the co-memory work what David Goldberg calls ‘racial melancholia’. National identity serves as an instrument of separating ‘us’ from ‘them’, as national identity, differently from all other identities, and demands exclusive allegiance and fidelity. The necessary conclusion of co-memorating the Nakba must be recognising the Palestinian right of return. Most Jewish immigrants to Palestine and then to Israel did harbour a vision of a new, free, Jewish life.

Co-memory and melancholia

Israelis memorialising the Palestinian Nakba


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