In her first-ever academic course on the Holocaust, Professor Niamh Hansens took a dig at the current political climate in Israel.
The professor, who has taught at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said that Israel is currently embroiled in a political crisis due to the rising popularity of the Israeli right wing.
She said that it is impossible to explain the current situation without acknowledging the fact that many Jews have been living in the Israeli political landscape for years, with no end in sight to the ongoing conflicts.
“There are many ways to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” she said.
“Many Jews in Israel today have never felt so much pressure to live according to a certain set of ideas, to follow the Jewish narrative, to conform to the Jewish way of life, to adhere to Jewish values and traditions.
If you are Jewish, you should feel ashamed that you have a Jewish identity. “
As a Jew, you must also feel that there is a certain amount of shame attached to you.
If you are Jewish, you should feel ashamed that you have a Jewish identity.
You have been raised by Jewish parents, you have been taught Jewish values.
There is no other identity.
And if you are not Jewish, what else do you have?”
Hansens said that the current Israeli-Arab conflict is being used as a tool to push a Zionist agenda.
“The current Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a means to create a state that is a Jewish state in name only, but without the rights of citizenship or the equality of citizens of Israel,” she told the students.
“It is a state in which Jews can live in their own homelands.
And that is what Zionism is all about.”
She added, “As Jews, you also have to be ashamed of the way you are living in a Zionist state, for that is the state of Israel that you are creating.”
But despite the political turmoil, Hansens also told the audience that Israel has “never been more relevant.”
She said she hopes the students take the course and learn to think critically about their own identities and understand the importance of their identity as Jews.
The Jewish student also spoke of the importance that Jews have placed on their history.
“We are part of a rich heritage,” she noted.
“I feel that Judaism, with its Jewish values, should always be respected.”