5 thoughts on “Holocaust scholar Yehuda Bauer talks to Al Jazeera

  1. delia ruhe

    I have read Yehuda Bauer’s *Rethinking the Holocaust* and a few shorter pieces, and for an Israeli, he is actually rational. I am surprised that he hasn’t been hounded out of Israel, as was Avi Shlaim and Elan Pappe — two other (former) Israelis who are just too dangerously rational for the Israeli state.

    Bauer is right, of course, in his certainty that sooner or later the situation is going to be more or less resolved. But my fear is that Israeli intransigence will result in the disappearance of Israel altogether. The only Jews in the Diaspora who actively — ACTIVELY — support Israel are far-right ideologues like Daniel Pipes and the AIPAC crowd and the Jewish neocons. The other 80 percent of Diaspora Jews seem to be drifting away. And the Israeli Jews get less and less “Jewishy” with every generation. Sooner or later, Diaspora Jews are gonna realize that they are a quite separate people from Israelis.

    And those Israeli Jews who insist on remaining silent are those who’ve got their bags packed. At the first sign of, say, a big war with Iran, or even a movement among Palestinians for the vote and equal rights within Israel, those Jews are going to fish out their second passports and leave Israel altogether. There will be an exodus. And more often these days, I’m thinking that maybe that’s the best solution — although a sad one.

  2. dickerson3870

    RE: “my fear is that Israeli intransigence will result in the disappearance of Israel altogether” ~ delia ruhe

    SEE: Israeli Democracy in Peril, By Daniel Levy, Slate.com, 01/06/12
    Why Daniel Levy thinks Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians is poisoning the Jewish state from within.

    (excerpts)…Israeli democracy has come under a twin assault…
    …The first part of that challenge to Israeli democracy relates to the ongoing friction between state and religion—the Jewish part of being a Jewish democratic state…
    …This is not the place to fully explore what is a complex issue, but suffice to say that the potential Haredi challenge to Israel democracy has no easy answer. It can, however, potentially be weathered…
    …Which brings us to the second avenue of assault on Israeli democracy—again, not of new vintage but recently turbo-charged. That is all about reconciling the democratic part of the Jewish democratic state equation…
    …The shortcuts taken by a nondemocracy in depriving people of rights (how Israel manages the Palestinians in the territories) have started to seep back over the Green Line into “Israel proper.” The inevitable moral corrosion that accompanies the maintenance of an illegal foreign occupation has blunted Israeli moral sensibilities at home. These are long-term trends.
    What is new is the increasingly vocal and open advocacy for implementing a version of the occupation’s nondemocracy in Israel itself. A coalition of the national religious (settlers, for shorthand) and nativist nationalists (themselves not infrequently immigrants from the former Soviet Union) are pursuing a Jewish ethnocratic state at the expense of a Jewish democratic state. The space of democracy and dissent in Israel is being squeezed by attempts to curtail the freedom of NGOs, to reconfigure the selection process for Supreme Court justices, and to enhance control over the media by the government and government-loyalists. (Remember, too, that Israel has always been a very imperfect democracy for its Palestinian Arab citizens.) The purveyors of this vision for Israel stake a strong claim to being the authentic Zionists. Today, they are the ones in the ascendancy. While Israeli liberals tend to obsess far more about the “Haredi threat,” it is the settler-nationalists that have a vision for all of Israel, not just for one sub-community—and it’s a deeply undemocratic one…

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://goo.gl/myw45

  3. Tom Hall

    In this televised conversation there is no discussion of the meaning of “Jewish state” in its theoretical or practical senses. Yehuda Bauer’s advocacy of a separate Palestinian state is an expression of Jewish exclusivity, not democratic values. He is plainly a charming, intelligent, congenial man, yet his remarks merely underscore the irredeemable injustice inherent in Zionism or in any movement predicated on naked ethnic discrimination. That he identifies the more extreme expressions of Zionist ideology as “dangerous” is an act of self-deception- a displacement of one’s own responsibility onto a less appealing representative of a shared position.

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