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The Sacrosanctity of the Holocaust and its Influence on Judaism and the State of Israel

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image of International Journal of Public Theology

The Holocaust maintains a status of inviolability in the Christian religious public sphere and also the mainstream media. The scale, gravity and sheer atrocity of the Holocaust still commands a response. The article argues that questions demanded by the Holocaust of the Christian church and the free world’s passivity in the face of genocide, led to a Christian support for the State of Israel driven by guilt and a sense of moral obligation which side-lined the impact of the State on the Palestinian people. With the Israel-Palestine conflict in its seventh decade, the imperative to overcome the hegemony of Holocaust memory is more urgent than ever. Seventy years after the Holocaust, its legacy in public and theological memory dominates questions of Judaism within the polity and the State of Israel. Two legal cases, which attracted media attention, illustrate how Holocaust memory is evoked in response to questions of Jewish practice in the European polity. Two further examples demonstrate how the pernicious influence of Holocaust memory and rhetoric colour responses to criticism of the State of Israel.

Affiliations: 1: University of


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