In "To Be an Arab,"his first Hebrew video clip, Jowan Safadi, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, addresses the populist politics and hate discourses circulating in the public sphere during and after Israel's 2014 war with Gaza. A close reading of the video and its reception aims to (1) unpack how cultural intimacy and ethnonational violence are intertwined in Israel-Palestine; (2) underscore the creative, emotive, interventive, and potentially subversive role that expressive culture and performance bring to this context; and (3) show how local heterogeneities (classed, ethnicized, gendered) and complex regional affiliations complicate what is commonly read in terms of a Arab/Palestinian- Jewish/Israeli binary.
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I thank David McDonald, Michael Figueroa, and Mili Leitner for the 2017 Palestine/Israel SEM panel that jumpstarted this article; Ilana Webster-Kogen for putting together the SOAS gathering where some of this material was first presented; the anthropologists’ writing cohort I have been a part of for the past two years; and Elijah Wald for his insights. Most especially, I thank Jowan Safadi for his creative spirit, his time, his input, and his generosity. (Jowan, there is so much more than your copywriter skills at work here . . .) This article was completed under a postdoctoral research grant from the Truman Institute. For further discussion I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2021 by the Society for Ethnomusicology.