Anguished Hope: Holo­caust Schol­ars Con­front the Pales­tin­ian-Israeli Conflict

Leonard Grob and John K. Roth, eds.
  • Review
By – January 9, 2012

Ask­ing Holo­caust schol­ars to ana­lyze and inter­pret the polit­i­cal real­i­ties of the con­flict between Israel and the Pales­tini­ans was a bril­liant con­cept, but Anguished Hope works on some lev­els and fails on oth­ers. The con­flict with the Pales­tini­ans has trans­formed Israel’s Jews, the quin­tes­sen­tial vic­tims fol­low­ing the Holo­caust, and put the coun­try in the role of van­quish­er. In the eyes of many peo­ple around the world, David has now become Goliath. It is also unde­ni­able that the Arab world asserts that Israel uses the Holo­caust as an excuse to oppress the Palestinians. 

Set up as a dia­logue between the writ­ers and the edi­tors, the book pos­es ques­tions and devel­ops answers about crit­i­cal eth­i­cal issues that can and should be dealt with in a post- Holo­caust world. 

Con­spic­u­ous­ly absent from the book is a con­tri­bu­tion from the world cen­ter of Holo­caust stud­ies in Israel. The book records none of the think­ing of Israel’s Holo­caust schol­ars. The schol­ars who con­tributed are from mod­est Holo­caust study pro­grams like Mont­gomery Col­lege, Alver­no Col­lege, Whit­man Col­lege, Keene Col­lege, and the Hebrew Stud­ies coor­di­na­tor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin in Mil­wau­kee. Includ­ed also is a schol­ar from Eng­land, one from Emory, and one from Ger­many. Rather than being Holo­caust schol­ars, most of those offer­ing their opin­ions in this book are teach­ers of Holo­caust with an exper­tise in anoth­er field, such as film or lit­er­a­ture or theology. 

The book is insight­ful. If only the Israeli dimen­sion had been includ­ed, not only would the idea have been great but the book would have been great as well. 

Mic­ah D. Halpern is a colum­nist and a social and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Ter­ror, and main­tains The Mic­ah Report at www​.mic​ah​halpern​.com.

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