Appropriation or Reconciliation?
Islamic Elements in the Art of Israeli Religious Women
In recent years, there has been a trend (albeit a marginal one) in the religious world, mainly among religious settlers on the West Bank, to reach out and establish a religious dialogue with Palestinians. “Kolech–Religious Women’s Forum”; Rabbi Menachem Froman from the settlement of Tekoa; poet Nachum Pachnik from the settlement of Kiryat Arba and his organization “Eretz Shalom” (Land of Peace); poet Eliaz Cohen’s “Yerushalom”; and poet Elhana Nir’s “Ohel Avraham” have all generated small dialogues between Jewish and Muslim women, rabbis and sheikhs, and other groups, all in the heart of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
At the same time, religious artists — particularly women artists — within green-line Israel have sought to reclaim a common, local, cultural space (artistic, religious and concrete ) whereby religion and culture constitute a common ground for connection, and not only a platform for dispute and conflict. These are efforts not at appropriation, but at reconciliation. We will examine three such artists here.
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Image: Andi Arnovitz