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Ester Levanon-Mordoch

This paper examines the presentation of female characters in dramatic roles, in which they appear as representatives of marginalized Jewish immigrants to Israel (olim hadashim, to use the Hebrew term). The two plays examined here were written as criticisms of Israel's double standards concerning the actual acceptance and assimilation of the 'welcomed and longed-for' immigrants, and have hitherto been examined from this perspective. A reading of these plays from the perspective of feminist critique shows that the representation of the central female characters suffers from a pattern of double stereotypical characterization; these characters are stigmatized and stereotyped both in the category of 'women' and in the category of 'unwelcome immigrants'. Thus, in some cases, counterproductively to the playwright's attempt to criticize Israeli institutions and hegemonic society, these representations reveal the stereotypical tendencies inherent in the playwright's own 'transparent' or 'unconscious' world view when it comes to female representation.