Derrida on Levinas on Israel

But today
Sinai
is also,
still in relation
to the singular
history
of Israel,
a name
from modern
ity. Sinai,
the Sinai:
a metonymy
for the border
or frontier
between
Israel and
the other nations,
a front and a frontier
between
war and
peace,
a provocation
to think
the passage between
the eth­
ical, the messianic,
eschatolo
gy,
and
the political,
at a mo­
ment
in the history
of humanity
and of the Nation-State
when
the persecution
of all these
hostages-the
foreigner,
the immigrant
(with
or without
papers)
, the exile,
the
refugee, those
without
a country
, or a State, the
displaced
person
or popula
tion
(so many
distinctions
that call for
careful
analy
sis)-seems,
on every
continent,
open
to a
cruelty
without
precedent.
Levinas
never
turned
his eyes
away
from this violence
and this distress,
whether
he
spoke
of it directly
or not, in one way or another.
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