Chapter

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

Bettina Prato

in Political Theologies

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780823226443
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237043 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823226443.003.0029
Prophetic Justice in a Home Haunted by Strangers: Transgressive               Solidarity and Trauma in the Work of an Israeli Rabbis' Group

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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

Chapter.  16110 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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