Israel & Russia Post-Holocaust (Matter & Memory)

netanyahu putin

I doubt there will be much notice of this event in the western press, but you can read about it here at Ynet Benjamin Netanyahu was Vladimir Putin invited guest at the Kremlin at the ceremony marking Russia’s World War II victory over Germany. Say what you want about these two monsters, but they are leaders of the two countries that bore the main brunt of the Nazi aggression. “‘We in Israel do not forget for a moment the great sacrifice of the Russian people and the Red Army in the victory over the Nazi monster,’ Netanyahu remarked at the beginning of their meeting, ahead of a parade commemorating the occasion.” The Israeli national anthem, Ha’Tikvah was played in Red Square as the prime minister commemorated the half million Jewish soldiers in the Red Army and liberators of Auschwitz. I don’t think this story, this Russia-Israel angle can be understood without comprehending how it is both profoundly cynical and profoundly moving, simultaneously. The cynicism lies in invoking the memory of the Holocaust to push narrow political agendas and oppressive structures of rule. What’s moving is the inflection of memory and matter, the matter of millions of lost lives during the war, the memory of utter devastation and yes, the recouping of that very dangerous thing, namely power.

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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1 Response to Israel & Russia Post-Holocaust (Matter & Memory)

  1. dmf says:

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