The Disenchantment of the Orient: Expertise in Arab Affairs and the Israeli State

Paperback / softback
In this historical study, Gil Eyal argues that before the formation of Israel, Jewish experts participated in constructing the Orient as both a metaphor for the rejuvenation of the Jewish nation, and an enchanted space populated by hybrid figures that mixed Jewish and Arab elements. But following the creation of the state, these experts took up a new role: creating boundaries (both external and internal) between Jews and Arabs, purifying the hybrids that inevitably exist on the margins of boundaries. The enchanted space of the Orient was destroyed, and its place was taken by expert discourses that reinforce the cultural separation between Jews and Arabs.