The (im)possibility of Jewish-Palestinian identity in Hubert Haddad’s Palestine

Francosphères (2018), 7, (1), 103–120.


In an interview in 2000, Palestinian-American intellectual Edward Said defined himself as a ‘Jewish-Palestinian’. Nine years later, Franco-Tunisian author Hubert Haddad referred to himself as ‘un Berbère judaïsé et un Juif arabisé’. In this article, I explore these conflicted identities through Haddad’s novel Palestine (2007). The article begins by exploring the liminal position of the ‘Jewish-Palestinian’ in relation to that of the ‘Juif-Arabe’ as portrayed in Haddad’s Palestine. This leads on to an exploration of the ideological antagonism between Arab and Jew, Palestinian and Israeli, in which I examine the extent to which the concepts of ‘the Abrahamic’ and ‘the Semite’ serve to bridge or enlarge the gap. Finally, the article concludes with an investigation of the potential for reciprocity advocated in Haddad’s Palestine, a novel which calls for solidarity but nevertheless recognizes the current impossibility of what Said termed the ‘Jewish-Palestinian’, an explosive contradiction in terms when it comes to the as-yet-unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Author details

Vince, Rebekah