Dispossession and Discontinuity: The Impact of the 1967 War on Palestinian Thought

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For some, the 1967 war meant a setback to grand Arab projects; but the Palestinians understood the war in physical and epistemic terms. This is because the war made it clear to them that Israel and Zionism are capable of physically erasing Palestine as well as its history. The Palestinian existential fear of epistemic erasure (athazagoraphobia), following the complete occupation of their land, has produced works that affirm epistemic presence through the assertion of history and ownership. Athazagoraphobia refers to an existential human fear of death both physically and memorially––namely, human continuity. As a result, Palestinian discourse, responding to athazagoraphobia, centers around questions of origins, genealogy, and beginnings. Moreover, Palestinian reaction to athazagoraphobia opens up a discussion about the impact of this reaction on larger intellectual projects that deal with universal themes. Consequently, this article offers additional insights into the relationship between the 1948 and 1967 wars.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-569
Number of pages21
JournalCritical Inquiry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022


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