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  • Guest Editor’s Note: The Neoclassical Bias in Translation

    This is the first of two consecutive issues of JLS devoted to language and translation, specifically to the relationship between Arabic and Hebrew. In the current issue, we address the limits of the neoclassical model of translation, referring to the redefinition of translation in fifteenth-century Europe and infusing it with the spirit of the Renaissance. In a nutshell, the neoclassical model tends to individualize the translator’s identity, to privatize the spatial dimensions of translation, and to eliminate verbal dialogue.Furthermore, it dictates a forward-moving unidirectional formula of translation that usurps the original text and occupies its place; it silences any form of dialogue and replaces conversation and reciprocal dialogue with philology, linguistics, and hermeneutics. Under colonial conditions, the neoclassical model aggravates these limitations, since it reproduces in the translation room the very same asymmetry that typifies the exterior conditions and the power relations between languages. I begin this discussion by examining the emergence of the effects of the neoclassical model on translation in general, and in particular its predicament in relation to translation between Arabic and Hebrew – past, present, and future.

  • Cloak and Dagger Exposé: Ars Poetica in the Halls of Justice

    Yehouda Shenhav-Shahrabani’s text describes two bizarre scenes from the courtoom during the trial of Dareen Tatour, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, who lives in the village of Reineh ( الرينة ), near Nazareth. The Israeli police arrested Tatour in October 2015, and in November 2015 an indictment was filed against her for incitement to violence and support for a terrorist organization. At the center of the indictment appears a poem that was published on YouTube and Facebook under the title “Qawem Ya Shaabi Qawemahum” (Resist, my people, resist them). A full—and distorted—translation of the poem as made by a police officer is cited in the indictment document. Tatour remained in detention for three months, then spent eighteen months under house arrest at her parents’ home in Reineh. She was convicted on May 3, 2018, and on July 31, 2018, she was sentenced to five months’ imprisonment. She was released in September 2018.