Monday, May 24, 2021

Still staying at the top. Last one I think.

More than 500 Biden campaign and Democratic Party staffers urge president to do more to protect Palestinians, hold Israel accountable
We write to you as proud alumni of your campaign. Each of us worked tirelessly in your headquarters and in states across the country to ensure your victory. 
...The very same values that motivated us to work countless hours to elect you demand that we speak out in the aftermath of the recent explosive violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, which is inextricable from the ongoing history of occupation, blockade, and settlement expansion.

The middle has shifted. Middling America has been redefined. It's not a "victory" for "the left", or the romance of radicalism. Radicalism had a great rhetorical power once, but that's in the past. Hearing it or reading it now, spouted by teenagers or college professors, the institutional bourgeois, is annoying.

Christian Science Monitor

When Hamas escalated a crisis in Jerusalem rooted in forced evictions and an Israeli raid of Al-Aqsa Mosque into a war of missiles, it tapped into Palestinian feelings of helplessness and frustration – and seized a political lifeline.

Hamas are not "radicals"; they're a conservative party who used politically radical actions to defend the interests of their people. They've moderated. They've become corrupt, like Fatah, and Israel has become more extreme. More from the past, related to a link below. The links in this post by Helena Cobban are dead, but the articles are still up: Cobban on Hezbollah, in the Boston review, and  Women of Hamas in Salon.


Beinart forgets how honest he once was.
"I'm actually pretty willing to compromise my liberalism for Israel's security and for its status as a Jewish state." 
The new article/interview in the New Yorker
Last summer, he made a clean break. “The painful truth is that the project to which liberal Zionists like myself have devoted ourselves for decades—a state for Palestinians separated from a state for Jews—has failed,” Beinart wrote, in a long essay for Jewish Currents

I added the highlights and the link.  The passive voice and the evasion of responsibility. Israel never wanted a Palestinian state and was never going to allow it. repeats of repeats.

Peter Beinart is now to the left of Bernie Sanders on Israel. I haven't seen that mentioned anywhere.

We walked outside, Ben‐Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question: ‘What is to be done with the population?’ B.G. waved his hand in a gesture which said, ‘Drive them out!’

“Allon and I held a consultation. I agreed that it was essential to drive the inhabitants out. We took them on foot towards the Bet Horon Road, assuming that the legion would be obliged to look after them, thereby shouldering logistic difficulties which would burden its fighting capacity, making things easier for us.

“'Driving out’ is a term with a harsh ring,” the manuscript continues. “Psychologically, this was one of the most difficult actions we undertook. The population of Lod did not leave willingly. There was no way of avoiding the use of force and warning shots in order to make the inhabitants march the 10 to 15 miles to the point where they met up with the legion.

“The inhabitants of Ramie watched and learned the lesson. Their leaders agreed to be evacuated voluntarily, on condition that the evacuation was carried out by vehicles. Buses took them to Latrun, and from there, they were evacuated by the legion.

“Great suffering was inflicted upon the men taking part in the eviction action. Soldiers of the Yiftach Brigade included youth‐movement graduates, who had been inculcated with values such as international brotherhood and humaneness. The eviction action went beyond the concepts they were used to.

“There were some fellows who refused to take part in the expulsion action. Prolonged propaganda activities were required after the action, to remove the bitterness of these youth‐movement groups, and explain why we were obliged to undertake such a harsh and cruel action.”

Have any experts on Mill or Rawls said anything? That's a rhetorical question.
It's nothing but the fucking "social scientists", making it into an intrafamilial feud. It didn't use to be this way; literature professors and geologists just signed on as teachers. There are other Palestinian and Arab academic and professional organizations, and broader ways to organize. Real politics is made by amateurs.
The overestimation of academia by academics on all sides.
American academics are provincial because Americans are provincial.
Liberals and liberals who call themselves leftists: Even for those who speak, tribal loyalty means they say nothing about friends' silence. And then the standard for the purest "leftist" technocrats, like liberals, is "both sides" and a shrug: the reflexive inability to criticize illiberalism when it's defended by your peers. Quiggin repeats himself and so do I.

A Jewish state for a Jewish people.
 And again. Riots now across Israel.

5/11. Why not?

Peter Beinart in 2010

I'm not asking Israel to be Utopian. I'm not asking it to allow Palestinians who were forced out (or fled) in 1948 to return to their homes. I'm not even asking it to allow full, equal citizenship to Arab Israelis, since that would require Israel no longer being a Jewish state.

And 2021: 

Even for many Jews passionately opposed to Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, supporting Palestinian refugee return remains taboo. But, morally, this distinction makes little sense.... These arguments are not only unconvincing but deeply ironic, since they ask Palestinians to repudiate the very principles of intergenerational memory and historical restitution that Jews hold sacred. If Palestinians have no right to return to their homeland, neither do we.

If any of this had to do with enlightened reason you'd expect the officially enlightened and reasoning to lead. They didn't. They never do.

Update 5/10. The Jewish state is doomed. Liberals lied to themselves and this is where it ends. No surprises. 

Two from Leiter

Equity-cum-demographic diversity is not a value in scholarship, redux

[R]acial or demographic equity in citations is not a value in scholarship; truth and knowledge are the only values.

 Philosopher Pamela Hieronymi (UCLA) discusses Strawson's "Freedom and Resentment"... The Polonsky Salon with philosopher Daniel Telech (Van Leer Institute, Jerusalem). It's this Thursday, May 13.

Cause and effect, the contradictions of means and ends. Diversity increases knowledge; command reinforces itself.

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