Samir Naqqash is perhaps the most prolific modern Iraqi-Jewish writer, yet his work was ignored for decades by the Israeli academy. The recent Hebrew publication of his novel “Shlomo the Kurd, Me and the Time,” which was originally written in Arabic, will hopefully change that.
Even though Israel is surrounded by Arab countries, rules over millions of Palestinians, and that over half of the Israeli Jewish population originates from Arabic-speaking countries, more literature is translated from Swedish into Hebrew than from Arabic each year. The Forum of Arabic-Hebrew Translators seeks to change this through promoting suppressed Palestinian narratives to an Israeli audience. It is “a political model […] to decolonize the colonial relations between the languages,” co-founder Yehouda Shenhav explains. To “serve as a model for shared sovereignty in Israel-Palestine in the Middle East, so as to be a model for politics itself”.