1 Introduction: living in the shadow
All biographies like all autobiographies like all narratives tell one story in place of
another story. (Hélène Cixous 1997: 178)
Each one of us, Israelis and Jews, has a shadow, the shadow of the 1948 Palestinian
refugees. (Uri Davis 1994: 190)
Prologue: May 2008 - exile and last journey?
Feelings of doom have accompanied the preparations for my visit to observe
the 60th anniversary of the Nakba and Israeli independence. It feels like my
last chance to witness the contradictory rituals of the Israelis celebrating their
critical of his exclusion of
the pre-Oedipal mother’s role in the construction of meaning
and culture. Cixous, Irigaray and Derrida also build on Lacanian
ideas without accepting all of Lacan’s insights. For a
critique of the Saussurean approach, see Craig Brandist, The
Bakhtin Circle: Philosophy, Culture and Politics (London:
Pluto Press, 2002 ). For critiques of Lacanian
Palestinians with the perpetrators’ story, allowing me to focus on the story of
the 1948 war in Haifa and my father’s part in it.
My autoethnographic approach, which tells, as Cixous (1997) puts it, one
story in place of another story, is part of my search for clues as to what led me
to a lifetime of opposition to Israeli state policies. Most anti-Zionist Israeli Jews
have their ‘road to Damascus’ tale, as to when the penny dropped, usually in
the wake of the 1967 war, or the 1982 Lebanon war (as discussed in Chapter 5).
The story told in this