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Deliberative Agonism and Agonistic Deliberation in Hannah Arendt

Giuseppe Ballacci

a counterexample of public disclosure: Adolf Eichmann. The case of Eichmann clearly reveals how an incapacity to judge and speak persuasively in public produces the opposite effect of political distinction: ‘banality’. In this sense Eichmann

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Cosmopolitanism and the Need for Transnational Criminal Justice

The Case of the International Criminal Court

Patrick Hayden

Writing in the aftermath of Adolf Eichmann’s dramatic prosecution in 1961 for his role in the Nazi genocide, Hannah Arendt suggested that the ‘need for a [permanent] international criminal court was imperative’ (Arendt 1963: 270). For Arendt, Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem symbolized the unfortunate triumph of national interests over the demands of universal justice. In Arendt’s analysis, the Eichmann trial was flawed for a number of reasons, most notably because the Israeli government rejected the possibility of establishing an international criminal tribunal, claiming for itself the competence and jurisdiction for trying Eichmann. In the end, Arendt notes, the failure of the Israeli court consisted of the fact that it represented ‘one nation only’ and misunderstood Eichmann’s crimes as being inherently against the Jewish people rather than against humanity itself, that is, ‘against the human status’ (Arendt 1963: 268-270). As the subsequent occurrence of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes in countries as diverse as Cambodia, Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, and East Timor starkly testifies, the relevance of a permanent international criminal court to contemporary world politics and international relations is undiminished more than 40 years after the Eichmann trial.

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The Roots of Crisis

Interrupting Arendt's Radical Critique

Nica Siegel

Although Hannah Arendt is often described as a radical thinker, this article argues that such a characterisation has occluded the question of what 'radicality' might mean within the particular horizon of Arendt's thought. While the battle over Arendt's legacy is fought on terms that oppose the radical to the conservative, Arendt herself is engaged in a different struggle, namely the opposition of the radical and the banal as it emerges in Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963). This article will investigate this tension and Arendt's response to its emergence. Beginning with an account of radicality in relation to Arendt's work on crisis in Between Past and Future (1961) before turning towards the interruption of Eichmann and 'the banality of evil', this article will end by articulating a trajectory towards The Life of the Mind, Arendt's unfinished attempt, demanded by the particular crisis of Eichmann, to think unradicality radically.

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Negating Diaspora Negation

Children's Literature in Jewish Palestine During the Holocaust Years

Yael Darr

For years, it had been assumed that since the end of the Second World War and up until the Eichmann trial in 1961, Hebrew culture in Israel tended to repress the Holocaust or narrate it according to the Zionist ideology's viewpoint – to accentuate the events of the rebellion against the Nazis and to infer from them a lesson of national revival and restoration. The consensus concerning children's literature, in particular, maintained that it had been utterly committed in the early decades of statehood to extracting out of the Holocaust a 'fortifying tale' bearing a national lesson. This paper, however, argues the existence of a developed Holocaust discourse in children's literature written in Jewish Palestine during the war years, and suggests that children's literature even predated adult literature in setting the Holocaust theme at centre stage. This article aims to shed light on a rare narrative in the Israeli public discourse of the Holocaust: the literary story told to Jewish children in Palestine during the years of the Holocaust. At the time, this new narrative for children was extensive and diverse. For the first time in the history of Zionist children's literature, it challenged the Diaspora-negating code that had been dominant since its beginning. Nevertheless, only a few years later, with the founding of the State of Israel, this new narrative was rapidly 'forgotten' by the Israeli collective memory and proceeded to be neglected by literary and educational research as well. Although it spanned a short time period and failed to leave a literary impact on writings for children in Israel, this Holocaust narrative is tremendously important, having evoked the unique voice of the Jewish settlement in Palestine (the Yishuv) during the Second World War. It also serves as a case study of the crucial function of children's literature within the public discourse during traumatic times, illuminating the advantages of children's literature as a marginal and peripheral form of communication in the public domain.

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Thinking on Film: Jaspers, Scholem, and Thinking in Margarethe von Trotta’s Hannah Arendt

Babette Babich

the contentious context of Arendt’s 1963 book Eichmann in Jerusalem . 2 The film itself generated both sociopolitical and philosophical controversy. At the same time, the overwhelming majority of both popular and academic responses to the film have

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The Multiplied Mind

Perspectival Thinking in Arendt, Koestler, Orwell

Milen Jissov

book, Eichmann in Jerusalem , in her teaching, and in her last major work, the philosophical treatise The Life of the Mind . 28 Her theorization of judgment is unfinished. She had planned The Life of the Mind to be a work of three parts, the last

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Something Gleaming

Exemplary Resistance and the Shadows of Complicity

Bronwyn Leebaw

contain important and neglected insights for those who reckon with systematic forms of abuse. In a dramatic passage of Eichmann in Jerusalem, Arendt describes testimony concerning the resistance activities of Anton Schmid as a ‘bright light in the midst

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Speaking of the Holocaust

From Silence to Knowledge and Back Again

Keith Kahn-Harris

insists that genocide cannot be moral. To speak the language of pleasure and pride when contemplating one's own role in genocide is to invite disdain and suspicion, even from those who should be allies. In Bettina Stangneth's book on Adolf Eichmann, she

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Ordinary Violence, Emotion, Information, and Anxiety

Some Themes in Recent Work on Colonial Violence

William Palmer

Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil , in which Arendt explored the career of Adolf Eichmann, the man best known for taking a leading role in organizing the Final Solution, by which the Jewish population was rounded up and transported to

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Out of the Whirlwind Reconsidered

Context and Appreciation

Michael Berkowitz

from the controversies arising from the apprehension and trial of Adolf Eichmann by the Israelis. The Eichmann trial is generically mentioned in Friedlander's introduction to the piece by historian Salo Baron, so it was clearly on his mental map. 33