The Violence of Representation: The (Un) Narration of Palestine in Public Discursive Space in Canada

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Desjarlais, Peige
Palestine; Israel; Canada; colonialism; discourse; representation; Social and Cultural Anthropology
article description
The thesis examines representations of Palestine and Palestinians in Canada by drawing on the historical literature, statements from Canadian officials, media items, and through interviews conducted with Palestinian exiles in London and Toronto. Based on this research, I argue that the colonization of Palestine went, and still goes, hand in hand with a particular narrative construction in North America. I propose that the pervasiveness of Zionist discourse in Canada is sustained by drawing on three main ideas or sources: a long colonial and Orientalist tradition (which sees Arabs and Muslims as the uncivilized and inferior others of Europeans), the instrumentalization of particular Biblical stories, and a narrative of eternal Jewish and Israeli victimhood. These powerful and pervasive narratives have displayed remarkable historical continuity, as they are reproduced in ways which appeal to Canadian national mythologies at given historical moments.