Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation: The Challenge of the 21st Century

By Marc H. Ellis | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
Toward an Inclusive Liturgy
of Destruction

During the years of the first Palestinian uprising, Israel Shahak, survivor of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and then professor of organic chemistry at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, as well as chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights, began to translate eyewitness testimony and articles in the Hebrew press, testifying to the brutality of the occupation. In his first collection, “Atrocities as a Method,” Shahak compared the brutality of Israeli soldiers with that of the Nazis, whose butchery he himself experienced.

It should be clear to everybody who reads this collection of testimonies, that the systematic use of the atrocities, which in their intensity and the special intention to humiliate are Nazi-like and should be compared to the analogous German Nazi methods, is intentional and in fact constitutes the Israeli method for ruling the Palestinians. There cannot be any doubt in my opinion that those Nazi-like methods, in whose effectiveness the stupid Israeli Army top command reposes a blind faith, have been devised by “experts,” in this case by the Israeli “Arabists” together with the military psychologists. There should be also no doubt that those Nazi-like horrors can and probably will become worse, if not stopped from outside, and their use can lead to actual genocide, whether by a “transfer” or by an extermination. Indeed this is one of my reasons for assembling this collection: to show that the actual genocide of the Palestinians in the territories is now possible, since those Israeli soldiers and officers who have committed the outrages recorded here are capable of anything and everything, and will consider that they are only carrying out their orders. 1

-115-

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Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation: The Challenge of the 21st Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - A Shattered Witness 15
  • Chapter 2 - The Cost of Empowerment 31
  • Chapter 3 - Memory as Burden and Possibility 51
  • Chapter 4 - A Tradition of Dissent 75
  • Chapter 5 - Toward an Inclusive Liturgy of Destruction 115
  • Chapter 6 - Liberation Struggles and the Jewish Community 145
  • Chapter 7 - From Holocaust to Solidarity 203
  • Epilogue - The Coming of Constantinian and Evangelical Judaism 227
  • Notes 235
  • Index 253
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