Banality of Indifference

Banality of Indifference

by Yair Auron
     
 

The genocide of Armenians by Turks during the First World War was one of the most horrendous deeds of modern times and a precursor of the genocidal acts that have marked the rest of the twentieth century. Despite the worldwide attention the atrocities received at the time, the massacre has not remained a part of the world's historical consciousness. The

Overview

The genocide of Armenians by Turks during the First World War was one of the most horrendous deeds of modern times and a precursor of the genocidal acts that have marked the rest of the twentieth century. Despite the worldwide attention the atrocities received at the time, the massacre has not remained a part of the world's historical consciousness. The parallels between the Jewish and Armenian situations and the reactions of the Jewish community in Palestine (the Yishuv) to the Armenian genocide, which was muted and largely self-interested, are explored by Yair Auron. In attempting to assess and interpret these disparate reactions, Auron maintains a fairminded balance in assessing claims of altruism and self-interest, expressed in universal, not merely Jewish, terms.

While not denying the uniqueness of the Holocaust, Auron carefully distinguishes it from the Armenian genocide reviewing existing theories and relating Armenian and Jewish experience to ongoing issues of politics and identity. As a groundbreaking work of comparative history, this volume will be read by Armenian area specialists, historians of Zionism and Israel, and students of genocide. Yair Auron is senior lecturer at The Open University of Israel and the Kibbutzim College of Education. He is the author, in Hebrew, of Jewish-Israeli Identity, Sensitivity to World Suffering: Genocide in the Twentieth Century, We Are All German Jews, and Jewish Radicals in France during the Sixties and Seventies (published in French as well)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The Holocaust, with its establishment of death factories, marks a central horror of the 20th century. The Nazis implemented a policy of killing individuals who they thought might corrupt their race: Jews, gypsies, and mentally and physically defective Germans. Some writers have argued that the Nazi Holocaust was "unique," not comparable to any other genocidal action. As a consequence, crimes against other groups become minimized. In a valuable work Auron examines the genocide of the Armenian population by the Turks, which peaked during WW I and was one of the greatest atrocities of the last century. In one of the most valuable sections of the book Auron examines the debate about the uniqueness of the Holocaust. Fearing that the enormity of the crime against them may be ignored, some Jewish writers have thought to view the Holocaust as "a singular event in human history…" The author holds that recognizing the Nazi genocide against the Jews as a crime unique in history does not permit even Israeli Jews to accept or forgive other 20th-century acts of genocide. Graduate level.”

—G. M. Kren,Choice

"Yari Auron has written an engaging well-researched, and thought-provoking work that examines the attitudes of Zionists and Israelis to both the Armenian people and the Armenian genocide. His project engages the deepest ethical traditions of Judaism. It is perhaps one of the best works on the Armenian genocide to be written in the past few years and is worth serious consideration by Israelis and American Jews alike."

—Midstream

"Your book, no doubt, is pioneering research on the subject of the Armenian massacre. I am aware of the fact that Israeli officials did not acknowledge that horrible massacre out of concern for the Holocaust's unique place in the chronicles of human history."

—Shimon Peres, former prime minister of Israel

"Comprehensive and gripping...The Banality of Indifference is a truly rare history book: important in all aspects, [to be read] with bated breath, amid stirrings of conscience and constant shock, and out of unceasing thought for the present."

—Yohanan Reshet, Ha'aretz

"Auron's book is of great historic and moral valueit shocks the reader and forces him once more to take a stand on the issue. All in all, this is a book which must be read by every Israeli with a social conscience."

—Yitzchak Shur, Israel Radio

"The fruits of seven years of archival research in Israel, England and France [The Banality of Indifference] can be considered... one of the most important books published on the subject in the last decade"

—George Hintlian, Globus

"The Banality of Indifference and The Banality of Denial are groundbreaking works of scholarship and will soon become essential reading for students in a wide range of fields, including global politics, genocide studies, Zionism, and international ethics."

—Middle East Journal

"What Auron has done, therefore, is single-handedly to discover and bring to light new and important sources on the events, namely documents from the Yishuv and the Zionist archives. His is a pioneering work in revealing new sources of documentation and new venues for research on a traumatic and crucial period of recent history."

—Shofar

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560004127
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
03/31/2000
Edition description:
7TH
Pages:
405

Meet the Author

Yair Auron is professor at the Open University of Israel. He is the author of numerous articles that have appeared in Jewish Political Studies Review, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and Contemporary Jewry. In addition he is the author of many books on genocide and contemporary Judaism, including A Perfect Injustice: Genocide and Theft of Armenian Wealth, The Banality of Denial: Israel and the Armenian Genocide, and The Banality of Indifference: Zionism and the Armenian Genocide.

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