Iranophobia : The Logic of an Israeli Obsession

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-04-16
  • Publisher: Stanford Univ Pr

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Israel and Iran invariably are portrayed as sworn enemies, engaged in an unending conflict with potentially apocalyptic implications.Iranophobiaoffers an innovative and provocative new reading of this conflict. Concerned foremost with how Israelis perceive Iran, the author steps back from all-too-common geopolitical analyses to show that this conflict is as much a product of shared cultural trajectories and entangled histories as it is one of strategic concerns and political differences. Haggai Ram, an Israeli scholar, explores prevalent Israeli assumptions about Iran to look at how these assumptions have, in turn, reflected and shaped Jewish Israeli identity. Drawing on diverse political, cultural, and academic sources, he concludes that anti-Iran phobias in the Israeli public sphere are largely projections of perceived domestic threats to the prevailing Israeli ethnocratic order. At the same time, he examines these phobias in relation to the Jewish state's use of violence in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon in the post-9/11 world. In the end, Ram demonstrates that the conflict between Israel and Iran may not be as essential and polarized as common knowledge assumes. Israeli anti-Iran phobias are derived equally from domestic anxieties about the Jewish state's ethnic and religious identities and from exaggerated and displaced strategic concerns in the era of the "war on terrorism."

Author Biography

Haggai Ram is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Middle East Studies at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. His publications include Reading Iran in Israel (2006, published in Hebrew) and Myth and Mobilization in Revolutionary Iran (1994).

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 1
Inaugurating Iran's Radical Alterity: Shifting Geopolitics, Oxymoronic Voicesp. 23
Modernity in Crisis: Israeli Pipe Dreams of Euro-America and the Iranian Threatp. 50
Iran and the Jewish State's Repertoires of Violence in the Post-9/11 Worldp. 73
The Unclassifiable: Iran's Jews in Zionist/Israeli Imaginationp. 96
Postscript: A Few Comments on a "Known Rapist"p. 120
Notesp. 135
Bibliographyp. 187
Indexp. 211
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