The violence between Israelis and Palestinians is once again in the forefront of the news. Those who support Israel see themselves defending it against the prophesied destruction of the nation and the Jewish people. Palestinian supporters witness for a people who have been denied the basic human need for dignity and statehood. The dualism is stark. To be for one side is to be against the other, and from the perspective of Israel’s defenders, to speak on behalf of Palestinians is to desire the annihilation of the state of Israel.
Marc Ellis is University Professor of American and Jewish Studies and director of the Center for American and Jewish Studies at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. His most recent book is O, Jerusalem!: The Contested Future of the Jewish Covenant (Fortress).