Thursday, June 19, 2014


Sometimes, even I am stunned:

Kidnapped   Marc H. Ellis on June 16, 2014 

The hunt continues for the missing Israeli teenagers. The roundup of Palestinians also continues. More than 150 Palestinians have already been taken by Israel’s military. Have they, too, been kidnapped?

Interesting that the Israelis taken were on their way back from settlements where they study at yeshivas. I haven’t had a chance to look at the various course catalogs but I assume the yeshivas don’t specialize in interfaith dialogue. I doubt these yeshivas have majors in the Abrahamic faith traditions or cutting-edge programs in interfaith relations.

Yeshivas in the West Bank aren’t into Martin Buber.

The religion of the occupiers is always an imperialist one. Can it be any different for Judaism when its practitioners occupy another people?

The West Bank, and especially Hebron, is once again cordoned off and invaded by the Israeli military. In the situation of occupation, Jews traveling into and out of the West Bank are committing political acts.

This doesn’t mean that kidnapping is the civilized way of registering grievances. However, since the war against Palestinians is so devastating and ongoing, the weapons used by the weak cannot be dictated by the powerful.

Like suicide bombing, kidnapping is the weapon of the weak. One doesn’t have to condone such actions to understand this reality.

Israel isn’t a civilized occupier. In the way it acts toward Palestinians, Israel isn’t civilized at all.

Israel kidnaps Palestinians on a regular basis – including Palestinian government officials. For Israel, it is exercising a self-evident right. To dominate another people?

Sometimes you need to know so that you can remind yourself why you are what you are --- and why you aren't like him.

And he's a professor.



I was sent this by Petra and since this issue is quite important, I include it here:

On Ellis:
+ this review (which is a bit hard to read because the author mockingly imitates the language of the screed he reviews)
The relevant paragraphs on Ellis:
For, make no mistake, this is not about mere fancy philosophical footwork for its own sake. It is the concrete and physical destruction of actually-existing Zionism’s real product, Israel, defined as a Jewish and democratic state – and not only the mental game of ‘Deconstruction’, or any other sort of merely academic exercise involving the ‘discursive construct’ of an imaginary Zionism, taken as some kind of ‘text’ to be worried over – toward which this work of post-left post-critical theory relentlessly labours. As the editors candidly announce,
‘Far from purely academic exercises, [such brave intellectual forays as these] are practical and political interventions, responding to the singular demands of justice’ [emphasis added; xii].
Not only that (!) but, going further in this same vein, Marc H. Ellis, in his essay, ‘The Prophetic Instability of Zionism’, unflinchingly contemplates some of the uglier practicalities associated with this particular vision of ‘justice’ – when that word has been reduced to a synonym for wiping a recognised, prosperous, free and liberal-democratic nation-state from the map. Candidly acknowledging that the short-term consequences of such an eliminationist programme might not look too pretty, Ellis grits his teeth (or grins?) and tells us that painful necessities must be endured resolutely:



Anonymous said...

renard said...

It should be noted that Marc Ellis was honored with an address last year by Harvard's Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

Anonymous said...

Do Palestinian schools teach inter-faith dialogue?

Do Palestinian schools even teach respect for other people? No.

I'd like to try out the idea that powerless persecuted people can violate all laws of common decency because it's the only weapon they have. The war in Syria is devastating and ongoing, far more than the Israel/Palestine conflict. Most people say the government is uncivilized and cruel.

Let's say rebels in Syria kidnap unarmed underage kids whose parents are loyal to the Assad regime.

Is that acceptable or should the Syrians leave children out of it?

Actually this scenario has happened resulting in the deaths of the children and parents.