Defending democracy

This book looks at the theoretical issue of how a democracy can defend itself from those wishing to subvert or destroy it without being required to take measures that would impinge upon the basic principles of the democratic idea. It links social and institutional perspectives to the study, and includes a case study of the Israeli response to Jewish extremism and violence, which tests the theoretical framework outlined in the first chapter. There is an extensive diachronic scrutiny of the state's response to extremist political parties, violent organizations and the infrastructure of extremism and intolerance within Israeli society. The book emphasises the dynamics of the response and the factors that encourage or discourage the shift from less democratic and more democratic models of response.

‘Are you still my brother?’

In this study, the various aspects of the way the Jews regarded themselves in the context of the lapse into another religion will be researched fully for the first time. We will attempt to understand whether they regarded the issue of conversion with self-confidence or with suspicion, whether their attitude was based on a clear theological position or on doubt and the coping with the problem as part of the process of socialization will be fully analysed. In this way, we will better understand how the Jews saw their own identity whilst living as a minority among the Christian majority, whose own self-confidence was constantly becoming stronger from the 10th to the 14th century until they eventually ousted the Jews completely from the places they lived in, England, France and large parts of Germany. This aspect of Jewish self-identification, written by a person who converted to Christianity, can help clarify a number of

2 Marx's defence of Jewish emancipation and critique of the Jewish question The Jew … must cease to be a Jew if he will not allow himself to be hindered by his law from fulfilling his duties to the State and his fellow-citizens. (Bruno Bauer, Die Judenfrage ) 1 The Jews (like the Christians) are fully politically emancipated in various states. Both Jews and Christians are far from being

in Antisemitism and the left
Jürgen Habermas and the European left

5 The Jewish question after the Holocaust: Jürgen Habermas and the European left I have, of course, long since abandoned my anti-Zionism, which was based on a confidence in the European labour movement, or, more broadly, in European society and civilisation, which that society and civilisation have not justified. If, instead of arguing against Zionism in the 1920s and 1930s I had urged European

in Antisemitism and the left

This article describes the powerplay around the recent discovery (summer 2015) of eighteenth-century Jewish graves in the French city of Lyon. Prior to the French Revolution, Jews had no right to have their own cemeteries, and the corpses of the deceased were buried in the basement of the local catholic hospital, the Hôtel- Dieu. In recent years this centrally located building was completely renovated and converted into a retail complex selling luxury brands. The discovery and subsequent identification of the graves – and of some human remains – led to a complex confrontation between various actors: archaeologists, employed either by the municipality or by the state; religious authorities (mostly Lyons chief rabbi); the municipality itself; the private construction companies involved; direct descendants of some of the Jews buried in the hospital‘s basement; as well as the local media. The question of what to do with the graves took centre stage, and while exhumations were favoured by both archaeologists and the representatives of the families, the chief rabbi – supported by the construction companies – proved reluctant to exhume, for religious reasons. In the first part of his article the author details the origins of this Jewish funerary place and current knowledge about it. He then goes on to analyse what was at stake in the long negotiations, arguing that the memory of the Holocaust played a role in the attitude of many of the parties involved. By way of conclusion he considers the decision not to exhume the graves and elaborates on the reasons why this led to some dissatisfaction.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal

3 Theological confrontation with Christianity’s success Apostasy and Jewish identity Theological confrontation with Christianity T he success of the Christians in defeating the Muslims in the Holy Land, conquering it and establishing a Christian colony there, particularly in the Holy City of Jerusalem, was a harsh blow to the Jews from a theological viewpoint. The theological difficulty, which emerged during the course of the twelfth century, became a central issue, one which also affected the status of voluntary converts to Christianity. The Jewish sources

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Open Access (free)

1 Early beginnings Apostasy and Jewish identity Early beginnings I n a society defined by religion, the attitude towards those who leave it or who wish to join it is one of the fundamentals of self-definition. The attitude of Jews in the Christian world of the Middle Ages towards those Jews who converted to Christianity, or to Christians who sought to join the Jewish religion, reflects the central characteristics of Jewish self-definition as a unique, monotheistic group, chosen by God, which sees itself as fulfilling a particular task in the world.1 In the

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Open Access (free)

7 Converts to Judaism Apostasy and Jewish identity Converts to Judaism T he Jewish ethos sees the Jew as unique, by virtue of his being the offspring of the chosen group of people who left Egypt, stood at Mount Sinai, received God’s Torah, and entered into an eternal covenant with God. This ethos constituted the foundation of the Jew’s identity during the Middle Ages. The concept is expressed in the personality of the Jew and is transmitted in a direct and unmediated way to his descendants. Thus, only a Jew, himself the descendant of Jews, can recite the

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe

4 Self-definition and halakhah Apostasy and Jewish identity Self-definition and halakhah T he halakhic definition of Jewishness is one of the prime factors fashioning the Jew’s understanding both of himself and of his environment. The halakhic attitude towards those Jews who voluntarily embraced Christianity, or who were forced to accept that religion, shaped the disposition of those Jews who remained Jews as against those who became Christians. While the halakhic literature contains decisions deriving, by and large, from explicitly halakhic considerations

in Apostasy and Jewish identity in High Middle Ages Northern Europe
Attitudes towards subversive movements and violent organisations

: Democracy will cease to exist – if we debilitate it, render it incapable, powerless and devoid of effective defensive measures. So that … if democracy in Israel seeks to continue to exist and last for many days, it must be equipped with self-defensive means and tools of action and implementation that will prevent minorities – and not only non-Jewish minorities, but rather Jewish minorities as well – from gaining control by use of internal or external force. 7 Israel’s intolerant disposition at the time towards manifestations of Jewish violence

in The Israeli response to Jewish extremism and violence