Stef Craps
The Future of Testimony: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Witnessing. Ed. Jane Kilby and Antony Rowland. Abingdon: Routledge, 2014. 179-92.
Publication year: 2014

This chapter explores the role of Holocaust memory in Caryl Churchill’s Seven Jewish Children, a short play written in response to Israel’s 2008-2009 attack on Gaza. Controversially, the play invokes the memory of the Nazi genocide of the European Jews to criticize Israeli violence against the Palestinians. To accuse Seven Jewish Children of anti-Semitism for allegedly equating Jews with Nazis, though, is to ignore the play’s complexity, multivocality, and indeterminacy. Seven Jewish Children does not deny the narrative of Jewish victimization but undermines the assumption that Jews have a monopoly on victimhood. The memory of Jewish suffering is mobilized in the service of a politics that seeks to diminish suffering universally.