Theses Doctoral

The Zionist Quest for Honor: France and Jewish Zionist Ideology and Subjectivity

Shatou-Shehadeh, Suad Hanine

This dissertation combines affect, race, history and colonial studies to examine the process of Christian othering of Jews in Europe since the Protestant Reformation, with a focus on the narrative of honor that was used to depict European Jews as lacking it. While the ways Jews were portrayed and constructed have changed as Europe redefined itself through the subsequent centuries, following the Protestant Reformation, this dissertation points out that the essence of Christian perception and depiction of Jews as dishonorable remained unchanged.

This study traces how this depiction emerges in French Christian and anti-Semitic representations through a reading of French religious and non-religious texts that have come to gradually produce French Jews, first as a people and then as an ethnic collectivity that does not belong among other nations, all within a narrative of honor. The claim that Jews lack honor came to be internalized subsequently by Zionist Jewish writers and leaders and was spread in Zionist Jewish literature. In providing a history of the constructed social, political, religious and cultural phenomenon of the dishonorable Jew, this dissertation intervenes in the discussions surrounding subjectivity in Zionist thought and how it internalized and adopted the notion of the dishonorable Jew by safeguarding and appropriating Christian and secular Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiments of contempt, disdain, shame and superiority over Diaspora Jews.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
Thesis Advisors
Massad, Joseph A.
Chatterjee, Partha
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
November 10, 2021