Friday, August 16, 2013

Valentino and Middle East Anti-Zionist Fantasizing

Until the1930s, Americans had little interest in the Middle East, other than as a fantasy playland, depicted in a slew of early Hollywood movies such as the hugely successful “Sheik” movies starring Rudolph Valentino.

That false and misrepresented claim is the first of many in a new anti-Zionist effort (thanks to LK) called "Valentino's Ghost", a

    A documentary feature film

Try this book

Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present, by Michael B. Oren

or these:

American Consuls in the Holy Land, 1832-1914 (America-Holy Land Monographs) (America Holy Land Series) by Ruth Kark

This volume deals with an eventful period in the modern history of Palestine. It provides new insights into the role of the US consuls in the Ottoman Middle East in the special context of the Holy Land. The motivations and functioning of the American consuls in Jerusalem, and of the consular agents in Jaffa and Haifa, are analyzed as part of the US diplomatic and consular activity throughout the world, and of Western involvement in the Ottoman Empire and in Palestine during the century preceding WWI. The processes of cultural, demographic, economic, environmental and settlement change - sometimes at the expense of the local population - and the contribution of the US consuls and American settlers, both Christian and Jewish, to development and modernization of Palestine are discussed.

-   The Romance of the Holy Land in American Travel Writing by Brian Yother

This book is the first to engage with the full range of American travel writing about nineteenth-century Ottoman Palestine, and the first to acknowledge the influence of the late-eighteenth-century Barbary captivity narrative on nineteenth-century travel writing about the Middle East. Brian Yothers argues that American travel writing about the Holy Land forms a coherent, if greatly varied, tradition, which can only be fully understood when works by major writers such as Twain and Melville are studied alongside missionary accounts, captivity narratives, chronicles of religious pilgrimages, and travel writing in the genteel tradition.Yothers also examines works by lesser-known authors such as Bayard Taylor, John Lloyd Stephens, and Clorinda Minor, demonstrating that American travel writing is marked by a profound intertextuality with the Hebrew and Christian scriptures and with British and continental travel narratives about the Holy Land. His concluding chapter on Melville's Clarel shows how Melville's poem provides an incisive critique of the nascent imperial discourse discernible in the American texts with which it is in dialogue.

-   Guide to America--Holy Land Studies: American Presence by Nathan M. Kaganoff

On it.

Others: here; and here; and here; and also here.

"Fantasy" they claim?

Their's is the fantasizing.*

And the "they" are:

the late American writer Gore Vidal,
John Mearsheimer, author of “The Israel Lobby;”
Robert Fisk,
Harvard and Oxford historian Niall Ferguson,
historian Melani McAlister,
TV star Tony Shalhoub,
media expert Jack Shaheen,
and Hollywood writer Alan Sharp, 
along with biting commentary in performances by comics Maz Jobrani, Aron Kader and Ahmed Ahmed


Zvi Hauser, one of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's closest and most trusted advisers, has told Haaretz that forcing 150,000 settlers to leave their homes in the West Bank is "a fantasy" and has warned that any government that agrees to do so risks polarizing Israeli society.

In an expansive and exclusive interview, Hauser – whose four-year stint as cabinet secretary ended in May – said that the Jewish people's "connection to Judea and Samaria does not resemble the French ties to Algeria or the British ties to the Falkland Islands. We are talking about the formative territory of the Jewish people and of Jewish civilization, from which the State of Israel arose … The time has come to understand that there will not be mass evacuation of settlers here, nor need there be," he added.


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