The Jewish works of Sayed Kashua: subversive or subordinate?

Adia Mendelson-Maoz, Liat Steir-Livny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses the place of Hebrew and Jewish images and stereotypes in the works of the Israeli-Arab Hebrew writer Sayed Kashua. When describing his Arab protagonists, Kashua portrays both the stereotype of the oppressed Diaspora Jew, who is trying to blend in and hide his identity, and the stereotype of the Israeli Jew, the image that many of Kashua's protagonists aspire to imitate. The article argues that adopting those images and stereotypes has a dual function. On the one hand, it can be understood as an attempt to imitate and internalize the majority's gaze, creating a sense of brotherhood and familiarity with Jewish-Israeli readers. On the other hand, the same images and stereotypes can be understood as having a major subversive thrust that ridicules the Jewish-Israeli identity and its perception of the Israeli-Arab and criticizes the Israelization process among Palestinian citizens of Israel. This subversive dimension, typical of Kashua's sarcastic style, becomes sharper in his more recent works.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-129
Number of pages23
JournalIsrael studies review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011

RAMBI publications

  • rambi
  • Hebrew literature -- Israel -- History and criticism
  • Palestinian Arabs -- Israel -- Social conditions
  • Qashu, Sayed -- 1975-


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