The State of Israel could only be founded in 1948 because there was already a population established in the Palestinian territory who recognized itself as a modern Jewish nation. In the years ranging between 1901 and 1914, about which we are concerned in this project, there was a great dispute over the shape of this nationality. The mythical narrative of Israeli society is founded on a version of that dispute. According to it, the winners were the heroes who held the genuine Jewish national project. Hebrew became, till nowadays, a major symbol of the winners project, since it was miraculously revived as a mother tongue in a struggle against the German language. The struggle for the definition of the Jewish national tongue, understood as a symbolic event of national formation, has played a fundamental role in the Jewish national consciousness and in Zionism. By studying a historical period before de consolidation of the project that supported Hebrew as a national tongue, this project aims to contribute for a better understanding of the Israeli mythological narrative, from a point of view of historical anthropology. Our focus will be on the German-speaking Zionists, who held an alternative national tongue project. More specifically, we aim to comprehend the conflicting representations that the German-speaking Zionists had about themselves and about the Yiddish-speaking Jews of East Europe. There will also be payed attention to the representations of the disputing languages. In order to reach that purpose, we intend to realize an ethnography of the German Zionist debate, by focusing the newspapers articles that deal about language and education in Palestine, and which appeared in the German-speaking Zionist press (1901-1914).
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: