Gaza as Twilight of Israel Exceptionalism: Holocaust and Genocide Studies from Unprecedented Crisis to Unprecedented Change by Raz Segal and Luigi Daniele

PLEASE TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW AND SEND YOUR LETTER TO THE UN OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL ADVISER ON THE PREVENTION OF GENOCIDE AND THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT PROSECUTOR.

The very different ways in which Holocaust scholars, on the one hand, and those working in Genocide Studies, on the other, have responded to the unfolding mass violence in Israel and Palestine after 7 October point to an unprecedented crisis in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. We argue that the crisis stems from the significant evidence for genocide in Israel’s attack on Gaza, which has exposed the exceptional status accorded to Israel as a foundational element in the field, that is, the idea that Israel, the state of Holocaust survivors, can never perpetrate genocide.

…It is, of course, true that many cases of mass violence – past and present, genocide or not – have been and are marginalized and disavowed within Holocaust and Genocide Studies. But this moment of reckoning with a foundational case of marginalization and disavowal – and justification – of mass violence in our field holds potential for the kind of systemic change that goes well beyond calls for balance in the way we study and teach about mass violence. 

…The voices of Palestinians in the CCR case thus point, together with the voices of dozens of Holocaust and Genocide Studies scholars such as Trachtenberg, to a new era of Holocaust and Genocide Studies in conjunction with a new era of international law, past the denial of the Nakba and the silencing of Palestinians, perhaps even to the emergence of a new global focus on the Nakba as well as on the atrocities unfolding in front of our eyes in Gaza since October. In this way, if Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza exposed the futility of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, as political scientist Abdelwahab El-Affendi has argued in this forum, it has also prompted a process of unprecedented change in the field that may prove anything but futile.

Continue reading at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14623528.2024.2325804