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Political TheologiesPublic Religions in a Post-Secular World$
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Hent de Vries and Lawrence E. Sullivan

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226443

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823226443.001.0001

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Prophetic Justice in a Home Haunted by Strangers: Transgressive Solidarity and Trauma in the Work of an Israeli Rabbis' Group

Prophetic Justice in a Home Haunted by Strangers: Transgressive Solidarity and Trauma in the Work of an Israeli Rabbis' Group

Chapter:
(p.557) Prophetic Justice in a Home Haunted by Strangers: Transgressive Solidarity and Trauma in the Work of an Israeli Rabbis' Group
Source:
Political Theologies
Author(s):

Bettina Prato

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823226443.003.0029

This chapter focuses on the peace activism of Rabbis for Human Rights, a group of some ninety Israeli rabbis founded in 1988 in reaction to the military repression of the Palestinian Intifadah. Although in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict all sides seem entrenched in unmovable positions founded in two different histories and perceptions of collective trauma (the Shoah, on the one hand, and the Nakbah, the Arabic term for “catastrophe”, referring to the creation of Israel and the expulsion of Palestinian inhabitants, on the other), this chapter argues that the practical and ad hoc solutions proposed by the Rabbis for Human Rights succeed in negotiating the more abstract and ultimately universalist intent of the general declaration of human rights with the concrete and particular ethnico-identitarian concerns that govern the every politics of exclusion-inclusion on the contested ground of Israel/Palestine. The group's strategy is one of limited, practical resistance to the “ontological closures” of political Zionism, which sterner opponents have characterized in explicitly theologico-political terms as Constantinian Judaism.

Keywords:   Rabbis for Human Rights, Israel, Palestine, rabbis, human rights, peace activism, trauma, Nakbah, Judaism, Zionism

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