Israel at 60: Heroes and Anti-Heroes
In a unique 15 minute film shot in Israel exclusively for our Jewish Book Week audience, the multitalented writer and film-maker Etgar Keret and internationally acclaimed writer Amos Oz opened Jewish Book Week 2008 with a discussion on Israel at 60.
Models of heroes and anti-heroes are embedded in any national discourse, all the more so in newly formed ones, such as the Israeli. Since the early stages of Zionism, Heroes and anti-heroes were played against each other in order to construct a solid sense of national identity, reflecting the constantly shifting political and cultural realities. Who were, and are, these heroes? What roles do anti-heroes play? How do models rise and fall? Where do they emerge from and how do they shape and mirror Israel’s image and imagination? These issues were discussed and debated by Shlomo Avineri, Menahem Brinker and Hannah Naveh, three of the foremost Israeli intellectuals in the fields of political science, literature and gender studies.
Shlomo Avineri, Professor of Political Science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem served as Director-General of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the first government of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He held visiting appointments in prestigious institutions all over the world and has been a Fellow at the Brookings Institution and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, both in Washington, D.C., and the Institute for World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) in Moscow. He was member of the Egyptian-Israeli Commission which negotiated the Cultural, Scientific and Educational Agreement between the two countries.In 1996 he received the Israel Prize. Among his books: The Social and Political Thought of Karl Marx, Hegel's Theory of the Modern State, Israel and the Palestinians, Karl Marx on Colonialism and Modernization, The Making of Modern Zionism, Moses Hess: Prophet of Communism and Zionism, andCommunitarianism and Individualism.
Menahem Brinker is the ideological founder of the Israeli peace movement and professor of philosophy and literature at the Hebrew University and the University of Chicago. The author of books on aesthetics, philosophy, and literature, he is Founding Editor of the monthly pro-peace journal Emda and a key member of the Peace Now Jerusalem branch. He has received the Israeli Prize for research in Hebrew and Comparative Literature (2004).
Hannah Naveh is the Dean of the Katz Faculty of the Arts, Tel Aviv. She is the author of several books and articles on literature, Israeli culture and gender studies. She was the winner of the 2004 National Jewish Book Award.
Experience the event as it happened:Audio