Two days symposium in Amsterdam (December 11 – 12, 2019)
Within the dominant paradigm of contemporary politics, Muslims and Jews are being posed as the opposite sides of a primordial and irreconcilable animosity. The post-war turbulence along the East Mediterranean coast has been taken as proof of an inherent lack of capability for political rationality and cultural tolerance in these communities. Certainly, this fictional binarism conceals the mechanism of self-affirmation of the Western thought. The recent atrocities against the Muslim and Jewish sanctuaries in the USA and Europe by the hand of white supremacists groups and individuals reveal the destructive potentials of these essentialist thoughts about the other cultures and the divide-and-rule strategies that have shaped and plagued the recent history of the whole Middle East. But what would happen if Muslims and Jews recognise the divisive game that is played on them, and target together the political machinery feeding the white suprematicst hegemony?
By historicising the relation and interaction between the Muslims and Jews in the past, especially through the case of Shabbtai Zvi, the messianic figure from the 17th century, we intend to highlight the ignored complexities of the history, to unravel the Western narrative about the region and to offer a critique of the contemporary appeal to polarise the political terrain with the objective of creating continuously fictional enemies.
This symposium conceptualised together with Gil Hochberg, Noa Roei and Meduza Foundation.