Author Archives: Marc H. Ellis

About Marc H. Ellis

Marc H. Ellis is retired Director and Professor of Jewish Studies at Baylor University and author of Future of the Prophetic: Israel's Ancient Wisdom Re-Presented.

Where was God in the Warsaw Ghetto? Or in Gaza?

Mahmoud Abbas was condemned for saying “Shall we recall Auschwitz?” in condemning the Israeli assault on Gaza. But the wanton destruction should cause Jews to reflect that the destructive power of Israel is as formative in Jewish life as the Jewish destruction in Europe during the Holocaust, says Marc Ellis at Mondo

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 19 Comments

Israel’s war is just beginning and has never ended

Marc Ellis writes, “The world is even deafer today than it was when outrage was first ramped up during Israel’s various military adventurers in the 1980s. Lebanon and the first intifada are distant memories. The lessons weren’t learned. The openings weren’t taken. . . Depressing for those of us watching Israel’s war machine once again exert its control? Worse for those who are being targeted. Much worse.”

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 12 Comments

Real and surreal in occupied Palestine

Thinking about settler violence, settler rampages, settler murders. The call from political authorities, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, to pipe down, show restraint, act civilized is disingenuous while the soldiers under his command invade and bomb, blow up homes and shoot children. What type of violence is worse – mob violence or state violence?

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 6 Comments

The rationality of Israel’s War

Militarism isn’t irrational at all – from the perspective of those who benefit from it. War isn’t a waste either – from the perspective of those who benefit from it.

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 31 Comments

Dream and Reality in Israel/Palestine: Excerpt from Marc Ellis’ ‘Future of the Prophetic’

Read an excerpt from Marc H. Ellis’s new book “Future of the Prophetic: Israel’s Ancient Wisdom Re-presented”.

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 33 Comments

Victory’s unintended consequences

The Presbyterian vote for divestment affirms the existence of Israel as a Jewish state and distances the church from the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement, Marc Ellis argues at Mondo.

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 37 Comments

After the celebration: Kidnapping and assaulting an entire nation

Even as we celebrate the divestment decision by the Presbyterians, we must recognize that Israeli soldiers move at will through Palestinian homes in the West Bank, arresting and delivering violence, Marc Ellis writes

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 28 Comments

Hunting for missing justice

The end of the two state solution is visible in the Israeli hunt for the missing teens, Marc Ellis writes. Palestine is that unique type of state that keeps declaring itself, is continually invaded with impunity and where the state’s government is expected to and even volunteers to cooperate with the invaders.

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 9 Comments


The hunt continues for the missing Israeli teenagers. The roundup of Palestinians also continues. More than 100 Palestinians have already been taken by Israel’s military. Have they, too, been kidnapped?

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Occupation | 109 Comments


How commendable that the Palestinian Authority is assisting in the search for the three missing Israeli teens. Though even this awful story is a story of occupation, says Marc Ellis

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 132 Comments


By divesting from fossil fuel corporations but refusing to do anything re the Israeli occupation, Union Theological Seminary has decided to speak boldly internationally except on the oppression of the Palestinian people, says Marc Ellis at

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 8 Comments

The Banality of Religion: ‘Prayer summit’ at the Vatican fails to inspire

Taking a title page from Hannah Arendt’s famous reportage on the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem, the “prayer summit” at the Vatican yesterday should be dubbed “The Banality of Religion.” Or worse.

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 54 Comments

A Papal confession to the Palestinian people

Pope Francis ought to scour the European soul of anti-Semitism on his visit to the Holy Land: Christianity’s involvement in the birth of Israel and the destruction of Palestine was crucial. Marc Ellis at Mondoweiss

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 39 Comments

Repentant Enablers: German Christians, the Holocaust and the resurgence of German power

Marc Ellis essay on the connection between the Holocaust, the birth and expansion of Israel and Germany’s reemergence into the world of civilized nations after World War II. He judges German repentance for the Holocaust to be real – and strategic. Without repentance, how could Germany show it was ready to begin again? Once readmitted to the world of nations, Germany has assumed its place as the central economic and political power of Europe. Without German money and military hardware, as well as its international political support, Israel would have a much more difficult time thriving and expanding. Contrary to the Christian imagination, resurrections seem unlimited. Israel and Germany have been resurrected together.

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 32 Comments

Israel’s clanging prison bars

Israel’s prison bars clang shut on an Orthodox youth, Uriel Ferara, who refused to serve in the occupation. For Marc Ellis, the story recalls Elie Wiesel’s famous question, Where was God in Auschwitz?

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 16 Comments

Mourning the age of Netanyahu

Nowadays most Jewish thinking is associated with Netanyahu’s injustice or some progressive interpretation of Jewish life that surrounds Palestinians with a verbal Wall much like the concrete Wall they experience daily. Who wants to hear from Jews about Jewish history and theology, the Holocaust and the prophetic?

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 17 Comments

When the Holocaust shows up

Actress Natali Cohen Vaxberg’s performance at Yad Vashem: “I am the Holocaust, the best thing that ever happened to you! How could you justify 1948 and 1967 without me?”

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 67 Comments

J Street rejected from the imperial court of contemporary Jewish life

Yesterday, J Street was denied admission to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Should we care that J Street didn’t make the irrelevant Jewish establishment team? Not really – except for the fact that they wanted in. Because wanting to be in the mainstream of Jewish life at this point in history is to solidify one’s culpability in injustice. You surrender whatever dissent you proposed – if, in fact, you were dissenting in the first place. This, rather than their exclusion yesterday, is the real issue with J Street.

Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 13 Comments

J Street woos the lobby as Israel considers annexing the West Bank

This week there will be a vote on whether or not to admit J Street to the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. Meanwhile, political leaders in Israel are calling for unilateral measures against the Palestinians, including the possibility of annexing large parts of the West Bank.

Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Occupation | 13 Comments

Jewish Voice for “Real” Peace

Whether Jewishness can exist for long without justice at the center is uncertain. Whether Jewishness without justice can exist without devolving into apathy and cynicism is unknown. Does JVP – do Jews of Conscience – have another Jewish gear that can get us out of this dark place?

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, Israel/Palestine | 37 Comments

Walter Benjamin’s theory of fascism

A new biography of the philosopher Walter Benjamin, who died in 1940 escaping the Nazis, says that in 1929 he became a political writer, battening on to the radical right in Germany, which was given to “war mysticism,” contempt for international law, and nationalist idealism. Much of Benjamin’s critique of these fascists can be found in Max Blumenthal’s critique of the radical right in Israel, in his book “Goliath.”

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 23 Comments

The interfaith agreement on the ‘errant weeds’ of Christianity, Islam and Judaism

Most religious believers are offended when their religion is connected with violence. That spreads the guilt too widely and implicates ordinary believers and their leadership – assimilationist as both usually are – with elements they disavow. It’s the old trope that the violence done in the name of your religion isn’t about your religion at all. Religions are good. Religions are for peace and equality. Don’t allow our religions to be “hijacked” by terrorists. But terror in the name of religion – and religious and ethnic identity – is widespread historically and today.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Politics | 8 Comments

From McMecca to McJerusalem

McMecca is Islam updated for the Saudi militarized version of a religious modern world. Now behold gentrified Jerusalem. Look at the City of David and the military police everywhere. Judaism updated for the Israeli version of militarized Jewishness. McJerusalem?

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 3 Comments

John Kerry and the Pope set to face off with Jewish Knight Templars on the Temple Mount

This is the week that supposedly spells the end of the peace process or its end. Marc Ellis’s money is on a continuation that has no real substance or direction. What’s the alternative?

Posted in Israel/Palestine | Comments Off

Passover Auto-Pilot

Some Jews I’ve known mock the Easter-driven “He is Risen” church billboards which, surprisingly, aren’t much different from the Facebook postings by our more enlightened Christian comrades in arms. Our thoughts: Christians can’t help themselves. They’re on self-congratulatory auto-pilot. But then, how do our Passover liberation greetings sound to those outside the Jewish community?

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 29 Comments