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Introduction: Point Of Departure

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Chapter Summary

The preliminary events that led to increased attention being paid to the concept of Mediterraneanism are briefly introduced in this chapter. Despite the variety of different sources (e.g., interviews, object descriptions, participant observations), a marker common to them all became visible throughout this analysis: the emerging culture in Erez Israel and Israel was driven by the urge to express a new locality without being completely cutoff from the Western European cultural repertoire. Throughout the diverse examples, the tension of belonging is a recurrent central theme, and can be found in myriad shapes within the fields of literature, visual arts, and music. Referencing the Mediterranean as a means to construct a common culture and identity is not a phenomenon unique to contemporary Israel. The reference to Mediterranean culture and the allusion to everything Mediterranean can be found throughout the region, especially in the countries bordering the seas northern shores.

Keywords: Erez Israel; Mediterraneanism; northern shores; sea



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