Amos Goldberg teaches Holocaust studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is co-editor of the bilingual Journal: Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust. His research explores issues of trauma and testimony during and after the Holocaust. Goldberg sees tight connections between his field of research and his political activism in Ta’ayush, the Children of Abraham and Solidarity Sheikh Jarach and is currently editing, together with Dr Bashir Bashir, a book on the Holocaust and the Naqba.
The Holocaust and the Naqba: Traumatic Memories and (bi)National Identities in Israel-Palestine [Shoa, Israel]
During 2008 Jewish and Palestinian Israeli educators met twice a month in the Van Leer Institute of Jerusalem to learn and talk about the Holocaust. The discussions were intense and quickly included the Naqba. At the end of that year the group flew to a oneweek seminar in Germany. In this session I will explain what it means to remember the Holocaust and the Naqba together, and why I think it’s a worthy way to remember both.
The Struggle over Jerusalem [Israel]
In recent years one of the main leftwing-activist struggles against the occupation is taking place in Jerusalem. The battle is basically over the attempt to Judaize the Palestinian areas around the ‘Holy Basin’ which include the neighborhoods of Silwan, Sheikh Jarach, Issawia and their surroundings. This effort ,which is meant to jeopardise any future agreement between Jews and Palestinians, is accomplished by right-wing settlers’ organisations with the support of state and municipal institutions.
How Democratic Is Israel Today and Where Is It All Going? [Israel]
Israel is becoming more and more ‘Jewish’ in a very narrow and chauvinistic sense while willing to abandon basic democratic principles. All recent polls show the support of democracy among the young is extremely low. The Knesset is legislating new laws that seem to limit basic human rights and the government makes every effort to silence human rights organisations. These processes are the consequence of deep unresolved contradictions of what Israel has defined as its Jewish character and identity.
Never Again... Until the Next Time: Lessons Learned from the Holocaust [Shoah, Jewish General Interest]
The rallying cry since the Holocaust has been ‘Never Again’. The mantra 'Never Again' has generated all kinds of thoughts about working with the legacy of the Holocaust to ensure it is never repeated. Yet we have seen Rwanda, Sarajevo, Darfur, among others.
In this session, four thinkers and activists will interrogate the underlying assumptions of 'Never Again' and will consider critically what Holocaust education has brought to the world. Have our efforts emphasised anti-semitism and neglected other racial hatred? Or is our determination weak in comparison to the forces of prejudice that lead to genocide?
What's Halacha got to do with it? [Text, Jewish General Interest, Panel]
Does God care if you have separate pots and pans for meat and milk? Is halachik Judaism too technical and legalistic? Or is halacha the cornerstone of spiritual expression in a physical world? The halachik imperative is the subject of divergent views across the Jewish world and raises questions about how we relate to the divine. In this panel discussion, leading thinkers will expound their perspectives on these central questions in modern Jewish thought.