chapter  1
16 Pages

Bourgeois Nostalgia and the Abandoned City

WithSalim Tamari

This chapter attempts to link cultural, social and spatial processes in Jaffa. It posits mixed towns as a challenge to the hegemonic ethno-nationalist guiding principles of the Israeli state, which fails to maintain homogeneous, segregated and ethnically-stable spaces. The urban space in Jaffa has always been characterized by constant motion and demographic instability. The chapter argues the results in the parallel existence of heteronomous spaces in these towns which operate through multiple and often contradictory logics of space, class and nation. Analyzed relationally, these spaces produce peculiar forms of quotidian social relations between Palestinians and Israelis, producing counter-hegemonic local identities that challenge both Palestinian and Jewish nationalisms. Jaffa presents two axes of mediation between the city and the state. One, illustrated in Abu-Lughod's burial, is vertical, mediating local, national and transnational/ diasporic strategies of mobilization and identification. The other, horizontal axis illuminates the reciprocal workings of nationalism and class-based forces.