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Collaborators in the War Against the Jews: Marc H. Ellis By: Steven Plaut
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, August 24, 2009

Some of the individuals waging an all out war on American college campuses against Israrel and the Jews are themselves Jewish.  Some have called them "non-Jewish" or "self-hating" Jews.  What is undeniable is that in the role they have chosen, these individuals are collaborating, often openly and without apology, with groups such as Hamas and Hizbollah and states such as Ahmadinejad's Iran that call for a new genocide.  Over the next few weeks, Frontpage will profile some of these Jewish collaborators in the war against Israel and the Jews and show how they give and and comfort to the Islamist enemy -- The Editors.

The campus war against Israel and the Jews is led by a group of anti-Semites, many of them faculty members, who have made a career for themselves by traveling from one university to another supporting Arab terrorism.  They invariably pretend that they are promoting peace.  But in the Orwellian bubble where they live, Arab aggression and terror become self-defense and Israeli self-defense becomes aggression and terror.  Israeli democracy is apartheid, while Arab genocide is liberation.

One of the most bizarre aspects of this campus war against the Jews is how common self-hating anti-Semitic Jews are in the ranks of the movement to achieve the annihilation of Israel.  For reasons that only a psychiatrist could fully understand, these people use their birthright to give authenticity to the campaign of delegitimizing and demonizing Israel.  Today the leading promoters of “divestment” and of boycotting Israel are academic Jewish leftists, some of them from Israel itself.   In a few extreme cases, this detestation of Israel is combined with a fawning courtship of Islamic terrorists, American and European Neo-Nazis, and even Holocaust Deniers.

One of the most public of these Jewish collaborators in the Arab war against Israel’s survival is Marc H. Ellis, a Jewish  “professor of theology” and director of the Center for American and Jewish Studies at Baylor, a Baptist University in Waco, Texas.  For most of the academic world, especially the world of Jewish scholarship, Ellis is a bigot residing in the lunatic fringe.  But in the eyes in the eyes of Holocaust Deniers and Arab terrorists, he is a distinguished theologian.  The racist Reverend Jeremiah Wright is a fan of Ellis’ books and often recommends them.

The theology that Ellis teaches is the theology of Jewish evil.  Ellis is essentially a Norman Finkelstein look alike. Unlike Finkelstein, who was fired from DePaul University because his “scholarly” books were Jew-baiting propaganda in disguise, Ellis has a job.  But, in fact, there are surprisingly few differences between the ranting anti-Semitism for which Finkelstein was fired and the "scholarly work” for which Ellis has been rewarded. Indeed, the two have a long history of collaboration.  They appear at one another's conferences and on one another's web sites, standing together in a sort of anti Semitic mutual assistance pact.  

Like Finkelstein, Ellis is honored and cited as a Jewish anti-Jewish and anti-Israel authority who helps debunk the "myth" that there ever was a Holocaust of Jews by neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers,  notably on the web site of recently deported Canadian Nazi Ernst Zundel, by the Neo-Nazi "Institute for Historical Review" or

Ellis has hosted Finkelstein in Texas on numerous occasions, and the two sit together on the boards of a number of pro-jihad anti-Israel propaganda organizations such as the Deir Yassin Remembered Organization, which also includes among its members such notables as Saudi-financed Paul Findley, Swedish Neo-Nazi Israel Shamir, PLO spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi, and Israeli convicted spy and traitor – the communist Mordecai Vanunu who recently spoke at the York University anti-Semitic conference calling for Israel to be exterminated.    

Ellis has publicly endorsed not only Finkelstein's The Holocaust Industry, but also Finkelstein's scurrilous attacks on Nobel Prize winning writer and concentration camp survivor Elie Wiesel.  Ellis and Finkelstein are listed together in Gabriel Schoenfeld’s review of Holocaust pseudo-scholarship in The Return of Anti-Semitism.  

Ellis has been a full-time basher of Israel for decades.  He holds a PhD from Marquette University, a Jesuit institution in Milwaukee which has never distinguished itself as a serious research center on Jewish thought.  His first position after graduation was at Maryknoll School of Theology, a Catholic school in New York that it is evidently not accredited as a research university, although it has had its fair share of "liberation theologists.  He moved to Baylor University in 1998 as a full professor and now directs "Jewish Studies,” by himself, the sole faculty member at the “Center of American and Jewish Studies.”  The Center web site lists endorsements by a "Christian feminist theologian," by Noam Chomsky and a few other anti-Semites, but not by a single scholar of Judaism. 

Ellis has a publication record that consists almost exclusively of anti-Israel propaganda tracts.  These all largely promote liberation theology1 mixed with his thoughts about the Holocaust and Israel's endless track record of "inhumane crimes.”2  Most of these works are published with "Fortress Press,” a non-academic church publisher associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Ellis sits on the editorial board of  Tikkun, a far-leftist, anti-Israel, Sixties-fixated magazine, which touts Marxism and New Age liberation theology dressed up in some nominally Jewish emblems and slogans.  Ellis is a regular on the Bash-Israel lecture circuit, especially before Muslim audiences, and is a speaker in demand for the "Palestine Solidarity” events that have become central part of the anti Israel, anti Semitic displays on American college campuses.  

The centerpiece of Ellis’ crusade against Israeli survival is a warped view of the Holocaust that rivals Norman Finkelstein’s.  He has authored a number of books that claim to be “Holocaust scholarship,” including Ending Auschwitz: The Future of Jewish and Christian Life (Westminster John Knox Press, 1994), O, Jerusalem: The Contested Future of the Jewish Covenant (Fortress Press, 1999), and Israel and Palestine: Out of the Ashes (Pluto Press, 2003), the latter two purporting to extract some "lessons of the Holocaust" for use in resolving the Arab-Israeli war. 

Ellis summarizes his ambivalence about the Holocaust in these words:  "To speak of the Holocaust without confessing our sins towards the Palestinian people and seeking a real justice with them is a hypocrisy that debases us as Jews. Surely, the ultimate trivialization is the use of memory to oppress others and this, rather than the `industry', is responsible for the difficulties facing those who seek to communicate the historic suffering of European Jews."    

A central assertion in Ellis’ campaign against Israel is his insistence that Jews have abandoned "Prophetic Ethics.”  But there is little in his books to indicate that he has the slightest idea of which ethics the Prophets of the Bible really promoted, nor even that he has ever bothered to read those books of the Bible.  He evidently is willing to take Tikkun editor Michael Lerner's word on what they contain.3   

Ellis' idea of defending the ethics of the Hebrew Prophets is to write Israel-bashing pieces for the same al-Ahram Egyptian daily that regularly prints blood libels about Jews and cites the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" as an authoritative source.4 Industriously, if somewhat mysteriously, Ellis finds sources in the Books of the Prophets for the Palestinian "Right of Return,” which he so passionately endorses,5 although (or perhaps because) it means an end Jewish national existence.  Ellis thinks that Jews should turn their High Holidays into days of mourning for their "crimes" against "Palestinians."6

One of Ellis’s recent books is called Judaism does not Equal Israel, and he has touted it in numerous talks on and off the Baylor campus.  Its theme is that Israel is not just an evil threat to the region but to Judaism itself.   It features a foreword praising Ellis’ negative take on Judaism written by fellow Israel-basher Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  (The fact that Ellis could not find a Jewish theologian to praise his “take” on Judaism is significant.)

Another work in which he reiterates his insistence that the Holocaust needs to be converted into a weapon against Israel's survival is Israel and Palestine: Out of the Ashes (Pluto Press, 2003.)  The first hint one has of the real orientation of this atrocious little book, which purports to be a theological re-examination of what it means to be Jewish after the Holocaust, is that the only people Ellis and his publisher could find to endorse the book on the jacket are Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, and others favoring Palestinian terrorism.  Pro-terror and Islamist web sites have given the book rave reviews.  So has the PLO's web site.  The leftist publication The Nation recently praised the book's call for Israel to be eliminated, although expressing dislike for the fact that Ellis thinks religion still has some positive roles to play in the 21st century. 

The only thing of value that Ellis thinks Jews should derive from their experiences during the Holocaust is a duty to unambiguously denounce Israel and to support the demands and agenda of the Palestinian terrorists.  He denounces all Jewish denominations and all rabbinic institutions for their failures to endorse Palestinian violence unreservedly.  He is as hostile to the Jews of America as he is to those of Israel: "We as Jews come after the Holocaust, but we also come after the illusory promises of Israel and America. And we cannot find our way alone, only with others who realize that the promises they have been handed are also illusory."

Ellis’ concept of Israel is of a bunch of "bullies" riding about in helicopters and firing senselessly at poor innocent Palestinian civilians for absolutely no reason at all (an image repeated ad nauseum in many of Ellis’ screeds). Suicide bombers blowing up Israeli buses and other perpetrators of mass atrocities against Jews do not interest him. Ellis' Israel is a belligerent selfish entity, mistreating and enslaving (yes, he uses that term) the Palestinians, as part of some sinister grand design of the settlers in the "Palestinian" territories.    

Ellis pretends never to have heard of the Oslo "peace process" and writes about Israeli "conquest" and "occupation" of the Palestinians as being "complete," this long after Israel turned almost all of these unfortunates to the Hamas’ and the PLO's tender rule.

The theme of Israel and Palestine: Out of the Ashes is the same that Ellis preaches nonstop on the lecture circuit.  He asserts that the Jews have utilized the Holocaust as a gimmick to grasp power, steal property, and oppress the poor Arabs. Further, he asserts that Israel's original sin was to utilize the Holocaust as an excuse to occupy "Palestinian" land. The only "massacres" of any consequence that have occurred in the long Mideast struggle, in his view, are Jenin and Deir Yassin (neither of which was in fact a massacre.)  What the Palestinians suffered in these ambiguous encounters was, he says, the moral equivalents of the Holocaust of the Jews.   But in the 2002 Jenin battle, less than twenty civilians died in the midst of a military operation by Israel against terrorists hiding in the town. And Deir Yassin was the scene of a 1948 battle in which some 100 civilians were killed, in an action immediately condemned by the leadership of the Haganah, the Jewish community’s main paramilitary force, and by the area’s two chief rabbis.  To put these events in the scale of atrocity with the Holocaust is simply obscene.

Ellis is openly contemptuous of any talk about Jews being in need of any national empowerment.  Such things constitute "Constantinian Judaism,"7 to use Ellis' favorite nonsense term, a malapropism picked up - one suspects - after spending too much time misrepresenting Judaism at Christian theological institutions.  What he means by this term is the conscripting of religion to serve the agenda of the militarist state.  (Ellis uses it to describe Jews who support either Israel OR the United States - and of course those evil malicious Jewish "settlers.”) Jews can only fulfill their proper ethical role in history, which - Ellis is persuaded - is to promote socialism and leftist fads, if they are stateless and suffering.

Ellis never finds time in all his discussions of the theological implications of the Holocaust to consider the mass murder of Jewish children by his beloved Palestinians. Uniformed Jewish youths certainly have no right to ride around in helicopters to prevent such things. Nor is he willing to acknowledge that any "mistreatment" of Palestinians, such as the assassination of some of their leading terrorists, might have anything at all to do with the atrocities committed by Palestinians against countless Israeli Anne Franks.  In a book supposedly about the lessons of the Holocaust for the Jews, there is not a single word about the Nazi-like demonization of Jews by the PLO and its affiliates, nor about the daily Islamofascist calls for genocide against Jews.

Ellis even rejects the political positions of Israel's Far Left as insensitive, brutal, and insufficiently "progressive.” He is a passionate supporter of the "One-State Solution," in which Israel will simply be eliminated as a Jewish state and will be enfolded within a larger Palestinian-dominated state that stretches from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. (This is also known as the “Rwanda Solution” because of the atrocity that would surely follow its implementation.)  He preaches it at conference after conference, insisting that such a fate is the ultimate realization of the Jewish mission and the only permissible lesson that Jews may learn from the Holocaust.

The main theological lesson that Marc H. Ellis draws from the Holocaust and preaches wherever he goes is that Jews must stop trying to defend themselves against violent anti-Semites and that instead "progressive Jews" such as himself should see to it that Israel is destroyed.  The only real lesson that Ellis wishes the world to learn from the Holocaust is that Israelis are now behaving like the Nazis who murdered six million of their forbears and that Jews who assist the Palestinian violence in achieving its aims are ethically equivalent to the “good Germans” who rescued Jews in World War II from the Gestapo.   

Steven Plaut is a professor at the Graduate School of the Business Administration at the University of Haifa and is a columnist for the Jewish Press. A collection of his commentaries on the current events in Israel can be found on his "blog" at www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com.

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