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Resisting GenocideThe Multiple Forms of Rescue$
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Jacques Semelin, Claire Andrieu, and Sarah Gensburger

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199333493

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199333493.001.0001

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From the Memory of Rescue to the Institution of the Title of “Righteous”

From the Memory of Rescue to the Institution of the Title of “Righteous”

(p.19) 1 From the Memory of Rescue to the Institution of the Title of “Righteous”
Resisting Genocide

Sarah Gensburger

Oxford University Press

This chapter retraces the creation of the title ‘Righteous among the Nations’ (a translation from the Hebrew Hasidei Ummot Ha-Olam) in Israel in the 1950s to honor non-Jews who saved Jews by risking their lives. It highlights the gap that exists between the meaning currently given to this category — a vehicle for national reconciliation — and the notion of social relations between Jews and non-Jews that presided over the establishment of the award. Whereas Israel created ‘Righteous among the Nations’ as a foreign policy tool, today it is perceived as a domestic policy tool by most governments and organisations that use it, particularly in addressing inter-ethnic relations.

Keywords:   non-Jews, Righteous among the Nations, Israel, Jews, national reconciliation, social relations, foreign policy, inter-ethnic relations

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