Burning Children
138 Pages

Burning Children


138 Pages


This collection of commentaries, written during the recent Gaza war as it unfolded, represents an attempt of one Jew on behalf of Jews of Conscience everywhere, to come to grips with the state of Israel as it is rather than what it purports to be. Though written from a geographic distance, one feels the pain Palestinians experienced as a challenge to Jewish history.
Have Jews survived the Holocaust only to recreate scenes of horror Israel now visits upon the Palestinian people? Or is there a way forward for Jews and Palestinians beyond mutual recrimination, displacement and war? Using the burning children of the Holocaust as the core of Jewish ethical post-Holocaust life, these commentaries ask Jews, the state of Israel and all those in solidarity with Jews and Jewish history, to hold Israel accountable for its assault on Gaza and provide a vehicle for a future where Jews and Palestinians live together in justice and peace.



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Published 29 September 2017
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EAN13 9781498245128
Language English
Document size 3 MB

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“History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” James Joyce
“History is a mysterious approach to closeness.” Martin Buber
To all those who witness at the the end of Jewish history as we have known and inherited it.
Burning Children AJ E W I S HG A Z AWA R I N O F T H E  V I E W
M A R C H . E L L I S
Wipf and Stock Publishers 199 W 8th Ave, Suite 3 Eugene, OR 97401
Burning Children A Jewish View of the War in Gaza By Ellis, Marc H. Copyright©2014 by Ellis, Marc H. ISBN 13: 978-1-5326-1907-6 Publication date 3/20/2017 Previously published by New Dispora Books, 2014
Table of Contents
Missing 1 Kidnapped 5 Hunting for Missing Justice 9 After the Celebration:KidnappingandAssaulting anEntireNation13 Victory’s Unintended Consequences 17 The Rationality of Israel’s War 21 Real and Surreal in Occupied Palestine 25 Israel’s War is Just Beginning and Has Never Ended29 Where was God in the Warsaw Ghetto? Or in Gaza? 33 Ceasefire, Tightening the Gordian Knot? 39 I Am a Jew. Israel is NOT My State. 43 Israel’s Iron Fist 47 The Other Side of History 51 Burning Children 55 Israel’s Defeat 61 Fabricated Martyrdom? 65 Amira Hass and the End of Jewish Ethical history 69 Liberation Theology and the War in Gaza 73 Amos Oz on Gaza 77 The Withdrawal That Isn’t 81 Elie Wiesel Plays the Holocaust Trump Card in Gaza 85 After Gaza 89 Looking for the Palestinian Kirk Douglas 103 Boycott Israel? 105 Knight in Shining Armor? 109 Witnessing Gaza 113 Epilogue The Jewish Prophetic Comes Home 117
For many years I have been writing on Jewish identity, the Holocaust, Israel and Palestine. Throughout, I have been searching for a way out of the violence that has engulfed Palestinians and Jews.
During these years, there have been times of reckoning, times when the world watched and wondered. Could this go on forever?
With the Gaza war we have arrived at another reckoning. We cannot afford to let this moment pass without a change of heart – and direction.
The suffering of Palestinians is extreme. Israel’s denial of Palestinian statehood has consequences. One of them is violence seemingly without end. Caught in that violence are mostly civilians – many of them children.
As I write, the death toll in Gaza has reached two thousand dead with thousands more injured. How many more will die until Palestinians are free in their own homeland?
I write as a Jew on behalf of Jews of Conscience in America, in Israel and around the world.
Jews of Conscience want to live a life of integrity and justice in light of our own history. Jews are known for our forced wandering and persecution  and for our pursuit of justice. Jews cannot rest easy when others suffer because of us.
From the time three Israeli youth went missing in June 2014, through Israel’s subsequent invasion of Gaza in July and August, I wrote commentary for Mondoweiss, an online journal that explores the difficulties and possibilities of IsraelPalestine.
Burning Children AJ E W I S HG A Z AI N O F  V I E W WA R T H E
My series title, “Exile and the Prophetic,” suggests the position of Jews of Conscience in exile from the mainstream Jewish community struggling to practice the indigenous of Jewish life, the prophetic. In these commentaries I ask myself, other Jews and people of good will what is to be done to create a future of justice and reconciliation for Jews and Palestinians.
For if we as Jews come after the Holocaust, we also come after Israel and what Jews have done and are doing to the Palestinian people. What does it mean to be faithful as a Jew after the Holocaust and after Israel?
For Christians and Muslims in solidarity with Jews and Palestinians, the road is far from easy. Charges of antiSemitism lurk in the background and the difficulties Jews have faced in history are cautionary. Nonetheless, Israel has gone off the rails in its violence. Israel’s violence in occupation and war must be stopped.
No desire for security can explain the crimes Israel has committed in Gaza.
The title of this book comes from the writings of Rabbi Irving Greenberg, an Orthodox Jew and a leading Holocaust theologian. Referring to the burning children of the Holocaust many years ago, Rabbi Greenberg wrote: “After the Holocaust, no statement, theological or otherwise, should be made that would not be credible in the presence of burning children.”
The challenge of burning children of the Holocaust is so monumental that Greenberg, again as an Orthodox rabbi, suggests a nontheological response: “The act of creating a life or enhancing its dignity is the countertestimony to Auschwitz. To talk of love and of a God who cares in the presence of the burning children is obscene and incredible; to leap in and pull a child out of a pit, to clean its face and heal its body, is to make the most powerful statement – the only statement that counts.”
During Israel’s invasion of Gaza, Jews of Conscience responded to Rabbi Greenberg’s plea. That the burning children of today are Palestinian suffering at the hands of Jews represents one of the great reversals in the annals of history. Where once Jewish fidelity was defined as support for Israel, today