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SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER

by Ted Schmidt

In my last essay I suggested that Christians, when addressing the conflict in the Middle East, needed to move beyond the guilt trap and speak some candid truth to power, in this case, Israel. For far too long, Christians in the west have been muted in their criticism of Israel. The main reason I suggested was that we have been psychologically hobbled by the spectre of the Holocaust, and the Christian complicity in same. We often have felt that, since there is some truth in this accusation, we now have no right to be critical of the Jewish state. The Holocaust then acts as a permanent roadblock to Christian criticism.

      Many Jews also reflect on this phenomenon for Jews. Writing in Tikkun, an American Jewish periodical, two Israeli scholars, Azoulay and Ofit reflected thusly: "We are the last place in Europe where the Nazi past is still profitable –because the State has converted the destruction of European Jewry into a national property, symbolic capital." In this view, the
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