The Exact Same Statement (Tel Aviv)


It’s one thing for someone outside the country to make a claim linking the recent terrorist attack in Tel Aviv with the occupation and with government policy. From a critic of Israel, an anti-Zionist, a well-meaning liberal Jew writing from abroad, this kind of claim might probably well come across as actually insensitive and genuinely gross. These kinds of statement tend to deflect responsibility back onto the victim. But it’s another thing when one of the people who makes the very same statement is the town’s mayor and another person who makes a similar statement is the father of one of the victims. You can read the mayor’s words here and the father’s words here. The ring of truth is moral and political. The truth content of a self-identical statement depends not just upon the substance of the semantic content. It depends profoundly upon the speaker who states it.




About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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