Israel, as hurt-geography

Nigel Julian Rapport*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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In this autobiographical narrative, Nigel Rapport recounts how his time as a volunteer at Kibbutz Yas'ur in Israel in 1975 profoundly affected his identity and sparked a deep emotional connection to the country. Despite initial reluctance to visit Israel and engage with his Jewish heritage, Rapport's experiences living and working on the kibbutz - including labouring in the citrus groves, bonding with the kibbutz youth and being embraced by the community - instilled in him a strong sense of belonging, pride, and loyalty to Israel. The essay conveys Rapport's newfound understanding of the precariousness and preciousness of life in Israel, constantly under threat of war and violence. It also expresses his anxiety and protective concern for the country's survival against what he perceives as the hatred and prejudice of its enemies. Rapport's connection to Israel is further cemented by the normalcy of Jewish life there, a stark contrast to the marginalization he felt growing up in Britain. The recent Hamas attacks in 2023, with their devastating loss of life, underscore the enduring ‘hurt geography’ of Rapport's relationship with Israel. The essay ultimately presents a highly personal account of the author's transformative encounter with Israel and Zionism and the complex emotions and loyalties it engendered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-21
Number of pages4
JournalAnthropology Today
Issue number3
Early online date2 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jun 2024


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