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Perceptions Of The Mediterranean Region

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at different historical perceptions of the Mediterranean region in relation to the present discourse on Yam Tikhoniut. It deals with the Mediterranean Idea as a constructive mode, which stresses connectedness and is used as a cultural metaphor. Firstly, the discrepancies between Real and Imagined Places that can be found in the general implications of the notions Mediterranean, Orient, and Levant are explored. Secondly, some examples for the construction of a regionally based cultural identity in the countries of the Levant are collected. These examples help to investigate different historical approaches to the region, two of them in greater depth: the Canaanites approach to the region with the idea of the Merhav ha-Shemi and Jacqueline Kahanoffs model of Levantiniut. Finally, the specific political locus of the Mediterranean Idea, which illustrates the superordinate interest in the Mediterranean network within the context of the European Unions policies is examined.

Keywords: Jacqueline Kahanoff; Levantiniut; Mediterranean idea; Mediterranean region; Merhav ha-Shemi; Yam Tikhoniut



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