Professor Amnon Raz Krakotzkin (BGU, Dept of Jewish History) has developed a sense of nostalgia for Brit Shalom, a small group of scholars and intellectuals who advocated for creating a bi-national state in Palestine before WWII. As a matter of fact, some of the figures involved in the bi-national movement such as Martin Buber, Gershom Scholem and Yehuda Magnes as well as Hannah Arendt who developed a serious case of misgivings about a Jewish national state, have been embraced by the current generation of bi-nationalists.
Raz-Krakotzkin and his bi-nationalist role models share the same disregard for the political mind-set of the partners for the proposed union, the Palestinians, most notably the Islamists. Conveniently, in his lecture he mentioned his friend Juliano Mer Khamis but he did not mention that Mer Khamis, another model for bi-national co-existence, was murdered by Islamists who adamantly oppose sharing of Palestine with Jews.
There is one more thing that Brit Shalom bi-nationalists and their current followers share: ensconced in academic Ivory Towers they have the luxury to spin utopias that can be only sustained by turning a blind eye to reality.
The lecture by Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin and the
Introduction by Wolf Lepenies can be seen here .
Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin is Professor for Jewish History at the Department of Jewish History and chairs the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He is also a senior research fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. Raz-Krakotzkin studies both early modern Christian-Jewish discourse and Zionist historical consciousness.
Among his publications are: The Censor, the Editor and the Text: The Catholic Church and the Shaping of the Jewish Canon in the Sixteenth Century (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007), for which he received the Zalman Shazar Prize for Jewish History, and Exil et souveraineté. Judaïsme, sionisme et pensée binationale (La fabrique, 2007).
In 2003/4 Raz-Krakotzkin was a fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and he is a member of the Collegium of “Europe in the Middle East—The Middle East in Europe.”