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.

Burning children

Thane Rosenbaum in the Wall Street Journal treats Palestinian civilian casualties as almost a rite of passage for Jews. Let’s talk about Hamas, he says. But Marc Ellis recalls the words of Rabbi Irving Greenberg on the Holocaust: any statement about violence must be considered by how it would sound to the children burned by the Nazis.

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 23 Comments

The other side of history

Violence has come to define Jews as a people, witness the cheering of Gaza deaths. But the world’s condemnation won’t dissuade Israel of this choice; and Palestinians are now on the other side of history.

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 7 Comments

Israel’s iron fist

This latest invasion of Gaza is less about genocide, contra Ilan Pappe, though his points, as always, are well taken. Rather, the point of Israel’s invasion – like its continuing actions in the West Bank under Gaza’s cover – is to finalize what most of the world, including the Arab world, really wants. What the world wants is a policy that contains Palestinians and leaves the Middle East order, at least what’s left of it, in place. If the policy of containment should be called genocide, so be it, but politically the strategy is a policy of managing a collective. Terminology like this might seem harsh. It is.

Posted in Gaza, Israel/Palestine | Comments Off

‘I am a Jew. Israel is NOT My State’

Israel is not just attacking Palestinians, it is trying to eliminate Jewish conscience that calls it to account. Marc Ellis’s sons Isaiah and Aaron aren’t having any part of that.

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 43 Comments

Ceasefire. Tightening the Gordian Knot?

Israel’s invasion of the West Bank and bombing of Gaza has further strengthened its stranglehold on Palestine. And with Israel exercising ever-greater control over the territories, no Palestinian government can succeed.

Posted in Israel/Palestine | 35 Comments

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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