This Is No Africa

Boundaries, Territory, Identity


Haim Yacobi

Publisher Van Leer Institute Press and Hakibbutz Hameuchad
Language Hebrew
Year of Publication 2015
Series Theory and Criticism in Context Series

Since the 1960s, Israel has been involved in Africa—economically, culturally, and politically. Over the decades the notion of Africa has become embedded in Israeli culture as a place, an idea, and a geopolitical concept. Therefore, This Is No Africa is not about Africa but rather about the Africa as it has been perceived by Israeli society and culture over the past five decades. Yacobi describes the construction of a “moral geography” of Israel in Africa—a variety of practices shaping the ethical, political, and cognitive space. Moral geography is expressed in extensive Israeli aid to African countries in the form of an array of exports that include the introduction of planning and architectural knowhow and the adaptation of settlement models in the latter decades of the twentieth century, as well as agricultural knowhow and defense technologies since the early 2000s.

According to This Is No Africa, this activity by the state, its agencies, and various experts creates the sense of a seemingly shared history of decolonization. It also generates territorial and cultural boundaries that help in the construction of the Israeli national identity and the formation of a modern, white identity, both internally and externally.

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