janette habashi on palestine, guilt, unofficial histories and the israeli national narrative


Janette Habashi, ‘Colonial Guilt and the Recycling of Oppression: The Merit of Unofficial History in Transforming the State’s Narrative’, Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education 6, 1 (2012).

This article juxtaposes colonial guilt with selective historical memory of Palestinian narratives as presented in the Israeli state-mandated history textbooks. The advancement of colonial guilt imposes a particular subjective truth of oppressed groups’ historical memories. The purpose of colonial guilt is to keep the power structure intact by maintaining a victimhood hierarchy that engages oppressed groups to compete for the highest level on this scale. The current curricula position the Palestinian narratives on a low rank through its historical interpretation as existing in the shadows of other events. This notion is interrupted by the unofficial history in the Palestinian community, which challenges the presumption of colonial guilt and its manifestation in the Israeli educational system.

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