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Mosaic art in modern Israel and the construction of a sense of place

Nations and Nationalism

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--- - |2 Abstract The article deals with the construction of a narrative and sense of place among the Jewish immigrant‐settler society in 20th century Israel in the context of its efforts to establish a national collective identity on indigenous (i.e. authentic) foundations and with the symbolic struggle with the Palestinian national movement as its backdrop. The case study under discussion is the instalment in public spaces of mosaic decorations inspired by ancient Jewish mosaics unearthed in archaeological excavations. I argue that intentionally or unintentionally, these decorations functioned as agents in the construction of an authentic narrative and a sense of place by producing a link between the current and the ancient Jewish presence in the place. This practice went hand‐in‐hand with the hegemonic national dogma about the link between an ancient, allegedly glorious era of the Jewish people in Palestine, and the modern Zionist project. - Nations and Nationalism, Volume 24, Issue 3, Page 792-816, July 2018.