A Visual Genealogy of a Sacred Landscape

in Israel Studies Review
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  • 1 New York University noa.hazan@yahoo.com
  • 2 Tel Aviv University bavital@gmail.com
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This article explores the role of the Temple Mount in the Israeli visual sphere before and after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, whose fiftieth anniversary will be commemorated this June. Each of the four sections examines the dominant patterns of representation at key moments of Zionism, from the emergence of photography in the Middle East in the nineteenth century, to current representations of the Temple Mount. Analysis of the four periods demonstrates that the visual characteristics used to depict the Temple Mount were neither natural nor neutral, but rather charged with political agendas. The photographs expose the deepseated conflict inherent in Israel’s self-definition as a modern secular state that is based on a religious, biblical, and messianic ethos.

Contributor Notes

noa hazan, PhD, is a visual culture critic and researcher at the Center for Media Culture and History at New York University. Her research deals with the centrality of race in Israeli documentary photography and in national museum displays. She is the coeditor of the First Israeli Visual Culture Reader (2017)

avital barak is a researcher at the Minerva Humanities Center and a PhD candidate at the Porter School of Cultural Studies, both at Tel Aviv University. Her research focuses on movement-based performances in public space and the relationship between movement and resistance.

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