Agrarian Landscape Old Modern Israel (rt. 4)


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I always appreciate the experience of moving at high speed, but I wistfully recall how the Israeli coastal plane between Haifa down to Tel Aviv was once upon a time full of orange and grapefruit orchards. For all its many critical faults, the scale of old modern Israel was more slower, more “human” than the bio-power of fast paced contemporary Israel (and maybe a bit “larger” in that it took longer to get from point A to point B, especially by public transport, upon which more people used to rely).

I’m sure there’s no causal connection, but there might be at the very least a correlation between the hyper-developed character of contemporary Israel, which you see up and down the coast with its fast highways, strip malls and technology parks, and the hard hyper-identitarianism and hyper-racism that afflicts so much of the Israeli social fabric today. Road 2 and Road 6 are post-human.

It’s not that I don’t “like” those new, postmodern roads. But I like rather more the organic look to the agrarian landscape up and down Road 4. I have young Israeli cousins who remember nothing of this, what the country once was, and maybe that’s also not a bad thing. At any rate, as more regular readers of JPP might know, I spend a lot of time “in-the-car,” and have devoted a “tag” to that simple pleasure.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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