By Philip Broadhead, Damien Keown
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Additional resources for Can Faiths Make Peace?: Holy Wars and the Resolution of Religious Conflicts (International Library of War Studies)
21 As a result, while the authority of the traditional ulama (religious scholars) has not been entirely undermined – and indeed surveys suggest that trust in the ulama remains higher than that in most state or commercial institutions – the whole field of religious authority has been substantially reconfigured. As Starrett writes: This combination of religion and modern education has proved dangerous to the religious establishment and the government that relies on it for legitimacy, because in the world of mass literacy, mass marketing and mass (not to mention international) communication, the exclusive interpretive authority of local, state-based ulama has been permanently broken.
As he framed it, ‘[t]he Allies knew of the annihilation of the Jews and did nothing. Israel learnt that we can trust no one but ourselves. ’8 The West was ready to remember 60 years later, but it did not really want to remember how little was done to rescue European Jewry at the time. Jewish communities so often felt abandoned by their neighbours and the states that were supposedly committed to defend them. Somehow as citizens they seemed dispensable. Was this a mask for anti-Semitism? For years before 1948 there were many views in Jewish communities in relationship to Zionism and there were numerous movements, for instance, Bundist movements in Eastern Europe that were fiercely anti-Zionist.
Rather than Jewish pain and suffering of the Shoah sensitizing to the pain of others, this has often produced insensitivity to the sufferings of others. Guilty at their own powerlessness to intervene to prevent the destruction of European Jewry at the hands of the Nazis, Israelis often took refuge in heroic masculinities that hardened them against recognizing what their policies were doing to others. Often unable to experience vulnerability they feared any signs of ‘weakness’ and reassured themselves that it was only overwhelming force that ‘Arabs’/Palestinians could respond too.