Friday, December 02, 2011

Schliesser
I am, however, skeptical of all manner of academic efforts that seem primarily aimed at DE-legitimatizing Israel as a Jewish state. I have no trouble admitting that Israel was founded on historic injustice(s) many of which it continues to perpetuate. But I don't think Israel is particularly special in this regard (sadly), and I have never seen an argument for an academic boycott of Israel that wasn't also part of a wider campaign (including the persistent analogy with South Africa)--again, this is not to deny there are all kinds of second class citizens in Israel.
How is it possible that a state built and maintained in the interest of one community (as ES describes and defends it above: "a Jewish state") not relegate its other citizens to secondary status?
But I don't think Israel is particularly special in this regard (sadly)...
He's left defending what he's sad about. At the very best he's no more than an ethnic separatist and he should admit that he wants Arab citizens of Israel to leave.

My comments were removed as was Schliesser's response, which included this:
The folk that tend to obsess about Zionism, in particular, tend to have a peculiar focus.

Mondoweiss

Every text will have a subtext or a context that's read or seen first by outsiders. Schliesser can't think of himself as a bigot. He refers to his philosophical interest as scientific, but a Palestinian housewife can offer the rebuttal to his logic more powerful than any by those he would consider peers.

As always:


Recent posts at NewApps include "Increasing the percentage of female full professors"; "Freedom University", about college professors in Georgia organizing to teach illegal immigrants; "Take the pledge! Support UC Davis colleagues! Demand Katehi's resignation!", on the pepper spraying at UC Davis. The post on Israel and the Shalem center is real discussion, something that wouldn't have happened even 5 years ago, but it's not on the same level. Any of the others could just as well have the Palestinians as subjects: "Increasing the percentage of Arab full professors" in Israeli universities, teachers volunteering in refugee camps. The Palestinians are moving into our consciousness but Israelis are our friends: we treat each differently. That will change too, but that will not change the way things change.

I don't care about Schliesser's bigotry, only about the intellectual model that says it can't exist.
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update: the debate is heating up
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And now it's over. They can all agree about the rights of women in the American academy.

Schliesser's definition of nationalism conflates the nationalism of the French at home and in Algeria. To the Palestinians the Israelis are Pieds-Noir, and an Israeli university the equivalent of a Chinese school in Tibet, or one run by the BJP in Kashmir. The Palestinians are not wrong to think that.

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