Yehuda Bauer, a renowned Holocaust historian, professor emeritus at Hebrew University and a veteran of the socialist-Zionist Mapam and now a supporter of Meretz, recently wrote this op-ed in Haaretz. I recently read his book of essays, which was first published in 2001, Rethinking the Holocaust, and I was enormously impressed. He is one of our most incisive thinkers.
The blogger, “Failed Messish,” summarizes and reflects upon his words:
… There are … two “states,” so-to-speak, the first a Western democracy [Israel within the Green Line], the second a primarily religious state governed by extremism [the West Bank].
If a peace deal is ever reached that calls for evacuation of significant parts of the West Bank or of eastern Jerusalem, the second “state” will clash with the first. [There is a real risk of civil war.] …
Bauer closes as follows:
…There is no truth to the well-known tradition that the Second Temple was destroyed due to baseless hatred or internecine rivalry. The Temple was destroyed because religious, messianic extremists forced the nation to rebel against a global empire that it had no chance of defeating. [A time may come] in which a radical religious minority thwarts peace because the fanatic political assassins of the Second Temple period have found worthy successors.
Failed Messiah seems worth a further look.
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