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Abstract

The essay takes advantage of recent publications by Jacqueline Rose, Idith Zertal, and Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin, which with different methodologies address the same "psychopolitical" nexus of nationalism and messianism commanding the structure of Zionism, before and after the emergence of the State of Israel. It seeks to assess the uniqueness but also the typical character of the ideological process and the narrative constructions through which an experience of persecution and victimhood becomes transformed into a consciousness of legitimate domination. Following the reviewed authors, the essay also emphasizes the importance of the controversy between Gershom Scholem and Hannah Arendt whose works, in their very opposition, remain crucial sources of intelligibility for the tension of the theological and the secular in the politics of the Zionist State.

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