The ‘I’ is a ‘We’: On the therapeutic acts of Hillel Cohen’s Enemies: A Love Story / Maya Mukamel
Dr Maya Mukamel is a Director of Studies of the Integrative Psychotherapy Programme at the Metanoia Institute, London. She is a Counselling Psychologist, psychotherapist and supervisor, working with a wide range of client communities and client presentations. Her work in Human Rights organisations and some of her research focus on the documentation of torture in adults and children. Together with Dr Eiman Hussein and Dr Alison Dart, she designed and leads courses for psychotherapy educators on anti-oppressive psychotherapy training and supervision practices.
Keywords: Mizrahi Jews, social unconscious, history of Israel/Palestine, collective trauma, political violence
Hillel Cohen’s Enemies: A Love Story offers a historical account of a scarcely chartered territory - the triangular relations between Mizrahi and Ashkenazi Jews and Palestinians.  The narrative brings the experiences of individuals in these groups close to the reader, in a way that makes them come to life. It offers an experience-near, nuanced and complex description of historical processes, with a great degree of psychological depth. Materials are approached intersectionally in a kaleidoscopic analysis of interactions and events on personal, interpersonal, group and intergroup levels. These are linked chronologically yet not always linearly, to form a historical account of processes that are presently ongoing.
There are a few challenges in writing about this text. In addition to the multiplicity of the histories it tells, it does not begin with a thesis and does not present definite conclusions. Furthermore, it is reviewed and critiqued extensively by commentators and scholars from various disciplines, which itself attests to its richness and ‘invitation’ of multiple readings. What follows is a reading of the book from a psychological and psychotherapeutic perspective, and from within the context of my personal biography, originating in the socio-political field of Israel/Palestine that this book is about. I will explore some of the therapeutic acts and effects of its narratives, and at the same time use these narratives as a backdrop for a reflection on traditional approaches to psychotherapy and psychology that unlink individuals from their social and political contexts, as well as on the implications of such unlinking for therapists’ work and reflection skills. In this exploration, I hold an unsettling awareness of the fact that my intersectional positioning carries a blindness that may impact my understanding of the narratives in the book or overlap with them. If questions come up in the reader, who has not read the book, whether the blindness lies with me or the narratives of the book, I very much hope that they assume it is mine and go ahead and read the book to engage with this further.
To begin to unpack the intricacies of the field and some of the therapeutic elements of the narration, we can consider the image below – a photograph by Ohad Zwigenberg (2022) taken in Sheikh Jarah in December 2021, during a demonstration against the forcible eviction of Palestinian residents from their homes. A young Palestinian boy holds a small Palestinian flag and a sign in Hebrew that reads ‘Stop the Occupation’ (‘Dai Lakibush’). Five policemen of the Israel Police Special Patrol Unit (IPSPU, or ‘Yasam’ in Hebrew) stand around him. All the policemen are looking at the boy, most of them are smiling, while the boy and one of the policemen are interacting, making a seemingly friendly gesture.
@Ohad Zwigenberg, Haaretz. The photograph was presented at the exhibition Local Testimony (Edut Mekomit) at Ha’aretz Museum in Tel-Aviv, 2022. It won the 1st prize in the Society and Community category of the photography contest.
What do we see in the photograph? How do we narrate what we’re seeing? How are we impacted by it? How does it make us feel?
We might see in this photo some representatives of an occupying regime, the IPSPU policemen, and a representative of the occupied people, a Palestinian child. Power imbalances are stark: five tall men, dressed in uniforms and armed, unwelcome intruders in a Palestinian neighbourhood, surround and look down at a small local boy. We would notice the seemingly positive emotionality of the interaction, and then some anger would arise: the moment is represented as apolitical, covering the political truth of the relations of oppression, and the concrete event of evicting Palestinians from their home. We might also be angered: why, of all moments, is this particular one depicted? What is the underlying motivation of this choice? We might think of the framing itself as politically motivated, to blur our vision and distract us from the context of violent oppression.
If we are sensitive to the multiplicity of intersectional positionings, we may notice that there are no women and girls in this photograph, and that the soldiers are dark- and brown-skinned. We would regard this as evidence of multiple exclusions and effects of racialised and gendered power dynamic: it is black and brown men who are the executers of the oppressive state policies generated mostly by white men, and boys (not girls) who are present in the frontlines of the oppressed Palestinians’ struggles.
If we have been on the receiving end of the powers executed by Israel’s security forces, as Palestinians or pro-Palestinian activists, and are familiar with the ways these forces are commonly portrayed in Israeli representations, we might see the photograph as a manipulative, deceptive image, part of the Zionist political propaganda that distorts reality systematically to not only legitimise and affirm the injuring, silencing, and control of Palestinian people, but also to deny the impacts of their oppression. We might feel indifferent or angry, or experience grief, post-traumatic rage, shutdown or numbness, in the likely event that a child who is close to us has been injured or murdered by the military. We could recall the video of the 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi slapping and kicking an Israeli soldier and find comfort in this symbol of Palestinian steadfastness (‘Sumud’) and perseverance.
We might look at this photograph and see a young boy in a desperate situation, where acting strong and casual is essential for survival, deprived of rights to a safe childhood, his smile hiding panic, rage and hatred. But it is also possible that appearances illude us: we might look at the photograph and see that the IPSPU policemen warm to the child and that the child is feeling safe and playful. We would then perceive the scene as an example of the humaneness of the policemen, and, by extension, of Israel’s security policies and practices. The sentiment related to the idea that Israeli security forces are the most humane in the world might be evoked in us as well, with a mixture of pride and contentedness. We would see the depicted moment as a demonstration of the selectiveness of the Israeli military power: it is not aimed at Palestinians as such (this would be an anti-Israeli or even antisemitic view). Seeing the young boy as safe and welcomed affirms for us that power is only aimed at dangerous individuals and groups who pose a security threat. The photograph would then represent the legitimacy of military practices and provide a justification for our upheld Zionist ideology.
Then again, we might look at the photograph and see how the child, as such, cannot but admire the policemen, and the policemen cannot but warm to him and bond with him. Here too we would have a positive sentiment, but in this instance it would be related to a hopefulness and affirmation of the possibility of human connectedness beyond oppressive relations (doer–done-to, occupier–occupied) and destructive, violent dynamics. We would notice that the boy is holding a Palestinian flag and a Hebrew sign commonly used in anti-occupation demonstrations of the Israeli left. We might see this as a symbol of a possibility of coexistence, whatever that may mean.
We may also look at the photograph, and the word ‘occupation’ on the sign that the child is holding would evoke a sense of hatred and dismay. ‘Occupation’ for us, a particular collective of Jews, might be a term used by those who deny Jewish people’s historical rights over, and connection to, their homeland, in the hope of rendering us rightless and homeless. We might regard those who speak of “the occupation” as a threat to Jewish sovereignty and therefore as enemies. We might be reminded of the Jewish children who were murdered by Palestinians, and a sense of pain and rage would be evoked. The casual interaction between the policemen and the boy would symbolise winning the enemy over and the need to continuously be on the defence.
All these potential ways of deciphering the situation and emotional responses to it are part of the psycho-socio-political field that Cohen’s book analyses and historicises. It is a field so fragmented, that people in its different regions not only struggle for sovereignty over a geographical territory or recognition as separate and equal groups – they are engaged in an ‘ontological struggle over what is real’ (Allen, p. 21). Their authentic selves are invested in this struggle, and their perceptions of reality are at stake. Together, but from very different positions, individuals and groups who inhabit this field created a past. However, as Achille Mbembe writes, ‘having a past in common does not necessarily mean sharing it’ (2021, p. 4). Enemies: A Love Story, like Year Zero before it, tells a history of a past shared. It also tells a story of how experiences and perceptions of individuals and groups who share this past became irreconcilable.
Farhad Dalal’s concept of the social unconscious is useful for approaching this irreconcilability. Dalal (2001) holds that once a narrative on the formation of a group is formed, ‘we unthinkingly take these beginnings to be absolute, having nothing to do with what has gone before, and having an actual reality’ (p. 548). Examples of narratives of absolute beginnings would be ‘a return of Jews to an empty land’, or ‘a return to Zion that will benefit all its inhabitants’. Cohen shows that one of the main pathways to the fragmentation of the psycho-social field of Palestine/Israel is a politics grounded in these grand narratives. It generates regions in the field of power, from which identities are forged that ultimately justify, sustain, and radicalise it. Arabness, a category that was constructed in the dominant Zionist consciousness to mean primitive and inherent aggression, vengefulness, irrationality, and lack of morality and self-control, served to rationalise and moralise state violence towards Palestinians. At the same time, by denigrating Mizrahi Jews for their Arabness, it served to universalise Zionist politics and consciousness, and create a secular, properly modern image of Zionism as transcending both Arabness and, ambivalently, Jewishness.
Cohen’s narratives tell collective’s histories before their ‘absolute beginnings’, showing how these beginnings evolved from multiplicities of narratives, and exposing points of missed opportunities where processes might have unfolded differently. The telling of history outside of grand narratives, which is also a history of the grand narratives themselves, is therefore an anti-oppressive writing: it creates new cohesive knowledge and perceptions that validate identities and histories of marginalised and oppressed collectives, and a new context from which grand historical narratives can be critically explored. They show the palpitating and intricate links between oppressions and resistances, oppressors and oppressed, centre and periphery, based on the particularities of the field and the mobility of individuals and groups who inhabit it (Gavristova & Khokholkova, 2022). They trace, in detail, the working of power in everyday life, and demonstrate the effects of power, negotiations of power, adjustments to power and resistances.
To give one example: Cohen describes an event that took place on the night of December 27th, 1990, when a soldier, Aryeh Shlush, shot at a passing Palestinian vehicle, injuring Dr Faisal Amro, his sister and her baby daughter. The shooting was a revenge for the killing of his brother, Charlie Shlush, by Amer Abu-Sarkhan, who set out to kill Jews as a revenge for the killing of seventeen Palestinians by police forces at the Temple Mount. Aryeh Shlush was arrested within a few days of the shooting and sentenced to seven years in prison. Journalist Dov Goldstein interviewed an Israeli Parliament Member’s driver and asked about his take on things. The driver says: ‘what do you [plural] want from this poor soldier, Aryeh Shlush?’ Cohen explains: ‘The driver, from his social positioning, recognizes the connection between newspapers and government, and sees them as one unit’ (p. 358). The driver identifies with Shlush, who was motivated by a will for revenge, and responds to what he perceives as a moralistic stance of the journalist, legal system, and government. The journalist argues with the driver that there are killings on both sides, and that innocent lives were taken, and asks, ‘Why do they need to carry the responsibility for the crimes of a murderer?’. Cohen shows the missed conversation about the journalist’s moralistic position, which the driver is responding to. He interprets the experienced dissonance, where the journalist, on the one hand, states, ‘It is a conversation between equals’ who are ‘entitled to their own opinions’, and on the other hand, is clearly frustrated that the interviewee does not side with his group’s ideas of morality and order. In addition to demonstrating the condescension of the Ashkenazi interviewer over the presumably Mizrahi Interviewee, Cohen names the Israeli liberal paradox of morally condemning killing of individuals for national reasons, and those who support these killings, while at the same time ignoring the fact that the state of Israel handles murders of Arabs by Jews for the same reasons with understanding and forgiveness (p. 359). This narrative demonstrates the ways in which the depositing of ‘primitive’ violence and immorality with Mizrahi Jews (or Mizrahi men more specifically) draws attention away from state policies and organised state violence towards Palestinians. It can be interpreted as showing how, in the attempt to save face and dissociate themselves from Arabness, Mizrahi Jews become the most ‘radical’ of Zionists, willing to take it upon themselves as individuals to kill Palestinians or justify such killing, if a member of their ingroup is killed. It can also be interpreted as demonstrating how for Palestinian men, violence towards Jews becomes a way to restore a sense of self and self-esteem, and an experience of control over political life. Relations of power structure the entire scene, and it is only through their unpacking that the potential meanings of the events can be deciphered. The voices are collective, individual ‘I’s are a ‘we’.
As there is no neutral position from which historical narratives can be told, Cohen explicitly positions himself – a man with a Jewish religious background and upbringing, of mixed Ashkenazi and Mizrahi origins, whose personal journey led him to a close contact with Palestinian societies, cultures, and politics, as well as becoming fluent in Arabic. Equipped with his expertise as a historian of the region and, equally importantly, his immersion in the field of his research, Cohen has the profound capacity to decipher a highly diverse range of collective experiences as they come to life in specific events and interactions.
In the telling of histories, Cohen often also looks at himself looking at others and critically reflects on his own experiences and perceptions, in the same way that he does with the experiences of individuals he writes about. This is not unlike a therapist who engages in self-reflection to understand both how she is impacting and impacted by the shared processes with the aim of creating a space for the unfolding of the experiences of her client. But as therapists, particularly if we were trained in Israel as clinical psychologists, many of us have had virtually no training in reflecting on our own intersectional positionings and their impact on our perceptions, the knowledge we produce, the therapeutic narratives we tell or the way we practice. This has everything to do with our discipline’s unlinking of the self from its socio-political environments. If the ‘I’ is a ‘we’, and if our unconscious is fundamentally social and political, then critical reflection on our positionings and their impact are crucial, as they retain the links between our authentic experiences and where they come from in the socio-political field. They allow us to engage with our own and our clients’ experiences of survival and threat to survival, at the level of the ‘we’ that makes up the core of our identities.
Cohen’s narratives are therapeutic in many ways – they validate the histories of collectives and the experiences of their members, recognise effects of trauma on collectives and their relation to others, challenge representations of ingroups and outgroups, trace psychological motivations of violence and adaptations to violence, identify developments of group and intergroup dynamics, and more. He clearly shows how in each group’s perceptions and representations of reality, other realities are often lost. Yet here too there is a fundamental difference between these narratives and the narratives in the therapy field. In the latter, communications are unlinked from their socio-political contexts and represented in terms of flows and breaks: we look at how individuals and groups experience themselves and others and how communications are broken and fail (Dalal, 2001). When we interpret breaks in communications as located inside individuals or groups (e.g. ‘one cannot see the other because one is enraged’; ‘one’s compassion is their way of abandoning themselves’; ‘one sees the other as evil because one cannot hold the experience of being evil within one’s self', etc.), we often use frameworks that reduce communication flaws to individual or group ‘pathologies’. Cohen’s narratives, on the contrary, offer a close reading of communications and interactions through their socio-political contexts and bring the collectiveness of their stories to the fore. Breaks in communications are traced back to the narratives that constitute groups’ identities, which not only translate into political oppressions, but also to invalidations, dehumanisations, and other attacks on resources that support individuals and groups’ processes of making sense of their realities.
It does seem that the critical discourses based on the categories of gender, sex, sexuality, and practices of gender-based violence have not informed the narratives in the book as profoundly as categories of ethnicity, religion, class, and practices of nationalistic violence. Smadar Lavie (2022) uses the category of ‘Genderace’, the combination of the categories of gender and race, to interpret the narratives and trace their implicit impact on the selection of materials, events, subjects of analysis, and the space they receive, bringing back to the discussion Mizrahi women’s leadership, civil society organisations, homemakers, and single mothers, to name a few. Manar Hasan (1999) shows how ‘the historical hijacking of Judaism into citizenship and nationalism’ that Lavie identifies (p. 10), was enacted and had a different impact on Mizrahi and Palestinian women in Israel. Hasan describes how the state of Israel asserted its control over Palestinians by preserving and supporting patriarchal family structures in Palestinian society. This is in contrast to the ‘melting pot’ policies and practices in relation to Mizrahi citizens, which broke traditional Mizrahi family structures with the aim of modernising and civilising them (חסן, 1999, כפי שמצוטטת אצל השש, 2022). Hashash (ibid.) shows how the Ashkenazi construction of the Mizrahi mother as neglecting, indifferent to her children’s fate, underdeveloped, motivated by superstitions, and incompetent in other ways, served to legitimise policies and practices that targeted the Mizrahi family infrastructure. Hashash understands the kidnapping of children from parents of Yemenite, Balkan, and Mizrahi origins in this context. The same state that aimed to save Mizrahi women and their children from Arab traditionalism, subjected Palestinian women citizens of Israel to traditional Muslim (Shari’a) Courts, whose judges are appointed by the Israeli Ministry of Law (יזבק וקוזמא, 2017).
These are some of the collectives, institutions, and sexual divisions, that are absent or not fully present in Cohen’s historical narratives, and critical reflections on the constructions of gendered identities and their violent enactments do not inform them. One way to explain these absences is to explore the gendered ‘we’ that underlies the writing. Cohen names three reasons for focusing on violent events in the last chapter: The appeal of violence, the power of violence to shape consciousness, and the violent reality at the time of the writing. With regards to the appeal of violence, Cohen writes: ‘I have done this because of the intense gravity of violence, for me as well as others (men, but not only). In moments of adrenaline rush, it calls us, enchants us, and empowers us’ (p. 388). This description of the experience of violence does not reflect other forms of responses to violence, such as flight, freeze, cry for help, appease, and collapse, which may be more prevalent, depending on a range of factors, such as gender, and the real or perceived power to impact the situation. But more importantly, it detaches violence from its socio-political context, in which collective and individual ‘alarm systems’ that are responsible for detecting danger and safety go haywire, partly because of the political use of violence and the discourses that sustain it.
The second reason Cohen names for focusing on physical violence is that it is the most intense and impactful, shaping our consciousness more than any other form of violence. Cognition is indeed altered in experiences of threat; however, physical violence is not always experienced as the most intense and impactful. The experience of the intensity and impact of violence depends on a wide range of factors, such as the meaning that we can make of it, and its frequency and insidiousness over time. These elements are experienced and produced differently by collectives in different regions of the field generated by power, including gendered power. In short, the ways violence is handled in the book, including the focus on particular types of violence and ways of surviving and not others, is better accounted for by the effects of the violent context and the gendering of the narratives, than by violence itself.
Gender constructions play a role not only in the experience of and response to violence, but also in the failures to prevent violence. Additional aspects of the story of Aryeh Shlush can demonstrate this: Shlush was described by a probation officer as a quiet, humble and kind young man, who disintegrated after his brother’s death. Two months prior to the killing, Shlush asked his army commanders, in writing and in conversation, to be removed from service in the West Bank, due to his concern that he would not be able to control himself and might hurt Arabs. However, his requests were denied (2022 ,באר). An extensive body of work by feminist scholars discusses the structuring of masculine identities through the image of the soldier, and their connections to nationalist discourses and political powers (Christensen, 2022). The negation of Shlush’s experiences of pain and grief, the expectation of him to exercise self-control, and the disavowal of his vulnerability, are all substantial elements in the structuring of masculinised identities that is at play here and underlies the turn of events.
Returning to the photograph of the young Palestinian boy and IPSPU policemen – the ways of experiencing and responding to the photograph are many, yet they are not -infinite. They can be traced back and labelled according to the discourses that inform them, generated in the different locations in the field of power. In the examples of the experiences above, these discourses are Palestinian/post-colonial, Zionist, liberation/anti-Zionist, humanistic, and Jewish supremacist. Jewish supremacist and Zionist discourses affirm and normalise the dominant Zionist ideology and related policies and practices (although in the fast turn of events, in the current political reality where the dominant secular, liberal Zionist discourse has lost its political power, Zionist groups are beginning to resist Jewish supremacist politics and discourse in mass, maybe for the first time in the history of Israeli politics). Humanistic discourse neutralises the power field, sometimes as a political statement, and the Palestinian/post-colonial and liberation/anti-Zionist discourses generally reject Zionism altogether. Each of these discourses is part of the context through which individuals and groups, in different regions of the field of power, organise their experiences and respond to their realities. Some of these discourses are also part of the contexts from which theoretical frameworks and methodologies are generated for researching the field. Differences between these frameworks cannot be understood only in terms of limits and limitations – limits and limitations are an issue of perspective, whereas the differences between the frameworks may be an issue of perception: how one perceives the field, rather than what one focuses on, in a field perceived as given.
In this sense, Cohen’s narratives do something that no other historical narrative on the relations between Jews and Arabs in Palestine/Israel and the Ashkenazi-Mizrahi-Palestinian relations does: instead of applying the theoretical models or methodologies that are commonly used for approaching the field, Cohen makes meaning of materials through the context of the realities that these models are ‘about’. He takes occupation and oppressions as the context through which the materials are interpreted, rather than proving that they exist (as would be the case when using a post-colonial model), legitimising their existence (Zionist discourse) or denying them (Jewish supremacist discourse). Similarly, he takes psychological processes and responses as the context through which materials are analysed, instead of uncovering them (as would be the case when using a psychological framework) or unlinking them from their socio-political context (as is usually the case in psychotherapeutic and humanistic discourses). Not unlike in therapy, there is a suspension of moral judgement in an attempt to get a better grasp of people’s realities as they experience them, while validating their perceptions and witnessing their traumas. And like in trauma-informed and relational therapeutic modalities, the position of neutrality is problematised. However, Cohen’s narratives also highlight a more fundamental issue – that the questions Who do we have in mind? and Who do we perceive as fully human and having moral agency? have a profound impact on structuring how and what we know.
My personal background is partly the reason that the narratives in Enemies: A Love Story resonate with me. My father’s family immigrated from Baghdad to Tel Aviv in 1951. My mother’s parents, of Polish origins, survived the Holocaust and immigrated to Brazil after the Second World War. As a young physician, my mother travelled from São Paulo to Israel for an internship, and stayed in Israel after she met my father, who was also a medical intern. Her parents followed her from Brazil. My sister and I were born and raised in Israel. After an army service, I took an undergraduate degree in psychology and was later certified as a clinical psychologist. From my early university years, I became an active member in a few human rights organisations. In PCATI (the Public Committee against Torture in Israel) I developed an expertise in the documentation of torture and led a project of writing psychosocial reports for Palestinian kids in military detention together with a group of mental health practitioners from Psychoactive: Mental Health Professionals for Human Rights, a group I had co-founded, and Ossim Shalom: Social workers for Peace and Social Welfare. I left Israel with my wife and two boys in 2016, and currently live and work in London. For me, the photograph of the IPSPU policemen and the young boy represents the unintelligible excesses created by Palestinian children’s exposure to torture and ill-treatment, as well as by the legal, social, and political struggle to name this torture as such. A sense of an unwanted, inevitable complicity, mixed with helplessness and concern, were the dominant motives for searching for an exit route. My younger boy was roughly the age of the Palestinian boy in the photo when we left.
In one of my recent travels, I experienced what I often do when flying alone from Ben Gurion airport. My Israeli passport is examined, and a series of questions begins, exceeding the usual ‘Did you pack by yourself?’ and ‘Did anyone give you anything to take with you?’. My surname is identified by the security officer as Arabic, and the following questions are asked in a casual, artificially friendly manner: ‘What is the origin of this name? Can you tell me where it’s from?’ Thank you for your interest, I mumble in my head, in the same falseness of tone, and reply: ‘It’s an Iraqi name’. This prolongs the ambiguity with regards to the question of whether I am an Arab. So, the next question follows: ‘Do you have children?’. ‘Yes, I do’, I answer. ‘What is your child’s name?’, he continues. ‘It’s Omri’. Omri is a name of a biblical king, but the word also means ‘my beloved’ in Arabic. Ambiguity is still suspended. In not disclosing I am Jewish, and not dissociating from my Arabness, I manage to regain some sense of power during the intrusive questioning that securitises my ethnicity through my motherhood. ‘Ok’, he says, ‘Any other children?’. ‘Yes, I have another boy’. ‘What’s his name?’, he asks, a bit more curiously this time. I say my boy’s name, which is a proper Hebrew name, and in this context serves as a code word that tags me as ‘not a security threat’. The security officer gives me my passport back and wishes me a safe journey.
Enemies: A Love Story ends where it started, i.e., where there are no exit routes. It does not offer a prescription for reconciliation, but rather a description of the deep conflicts and the profound effects of the social and political oppressions. We are left with more questions, fundamental ones: when we speak of reconciliation, what do we mean and who do we have in mind? How would our identities need to change to make our own ideas of reconciliation possible? What would a change look like, depending on where we are positioned in the field of power? How would we survive the sense of threat to the core ‘we’ from which our identities are forged? What would be the cost of the ‘we’ not changing? What does being a Jewish supremacist feel like? How do we reconcile with being one? Cohen’s narratives are therapeutic not only in their attentiveness to lived experiences of individuals and collectives in different locations of the field of power. They start from a perception of a ‘we’ that includes Arabs and Jews as fully human, moral agents, and offers a new beginning to a historical narrative of a collective identity that essentially says: ‘We are in this together’.
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 I thank Rivka Warshawsky for the discussion on the image used in this work, the invitation to the Local Testimony exhibition where it was presented, and her initiation and leadership of the Politically Sensitive Therapy training programme, where uncommon and necessary links could be made. I also thank Esther Rapoport and Sfaa Gh. Naser for their reviews of this paper, Eiman Hussein, Gali Gold, Lirona Rosenthal, Manal Abu Haq, and Irit Kleiner-Paz for their readings and comments, and Hillel Cohen for his books and some good conversations.
 Intersectionality is a term that was introduced by Kimberlé Crenshaw, to mean the intersections and overlaps of marginalisations and oppressions, based on multiple categories such as gender, race, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, age, body ideals, etc. Originally used in the African-American feminist context, the concept became a framework for understanding power dynamics and informing research as well as conversations on social, legal, and political justice in a wide range of contexts.
 Year Zero is short for Cohen’s book titled 1929: Year Zero of the Jewish-Arab Conflict (2013).
 Translations from Hebrew texts are by MM