Reading the Bible with the Eyes of the Canaanites: Neo-Zionism, Political Theology and the Land Traditions of the Bible (1967 to Gaza 2009)

Masalha, Nur (2009) Reading the Bible with the Eyes of the Canaanites: Neo-Zionism, Political Theology and the Land Traditions of the Bible (1967 to Gaza 2009). Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 8 (1). pp. 55-108. ISSN 14749475

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/E1474947509000407

Abstract

In modern times, a whole range of colonial enterprises have used the Bible. The book of Joshua and other biblical texts evoking the exploits of ancient Israelites have been deployed in support of secular Zionism and settler colonisation in Palestine. The mega narratives of the Bible, however, appeared to mandate the ethnic cleansing and even genocide of the indigenous population of Canaan. This article argues that, with the rise of messianic Zionism since 1967, a Jewish theology of zealotocracy, based on the land traditions of the Bible, has emerged in Israel – a political theology that demanded the destruction of the so-called modern Canaanites; since 1967 fundamentalist rabbis have routinely compared the Palestinian people to the ancient Canaanites, Philistines and Amalekites, whose annihilation or expulsion by the ancient Israelites was predestined by a divine design. This article focuses on the politics of reading the Bible by neo-Zionists and examines the theology of the messianic current which embraces the paradigm of Jews as a divinely ‘chosen people’ and sees the indigenous Palestinians as no more than illegitimate squatters, and a threat to the process of messianic redemption; their human and civil rights are no match for the biblically-ordained holy war of conquering and settling the ‘Promised Land’.

Item Type: Journal Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: REF2014
Subjects: 200 Religion > 220 Bible
900 History & geography > 956 History of the Middle East (Near East)
School/Department: School of Arts and Humanities
Depositing User: Jonathan Lucas
Date Deposited: 17 May 2012 10:27
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2013 12:39
URI: http://research.stmarys.ac.uk/id/eprint/132

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