“The Road to the Village”: Israeli Social Unconscious and the Palestinian Nakba

Efrat Even-Tzur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper tackles the paradox inherent in Israeli attempts to silence the Palestinian Nakba: despite massive effacement efforts, the traces of the Nakba remain all-pervasive in Israeli culture and collective memory. Several silencing practices are described and discussed from a Freudian perspective, as instances of collective repression of anxiety provoking material. Furthermore, it is suggested that as far as the Nakba is concerned, this repression might be the result of collective perpetrator trauma. Finally, the paper offers several intriguing examples of “social traumatic symptoms”, which are understood as signs of the return of the repressed. According to LaCapra, collective post-traumatic symptoms serve as obstacles to the formation of just and responsible societies. Thus, the paper concludes with a discussion of the socially therapeutic value of the current analysis and its potential contribution to long term processes of collective working through and decolonization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-322
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Freudian perspective
  • Israel
  • Palestinian Nakba
  • Perpetrator trauma
  • collective memory


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