During the past few classes, we have compiled principled points of analysis that we are learning from our readings and discussions and want to enact in our politics. Comment for further discussion!
BDS as anti-apartheid solidarity activism, 12/07/2010
What is Israeli apartheid? The systemic oppression of Palestinians through the separation of Palestinians from Israelis as a result and part of Israel’s exclusivist colonial-settler state expansion. This can be seen in the racist system of laws underprivileging Palestinian citizens of Israel including land ownership, state resource allocation, the occupation and control of Palestinian people outside of Israel proper. Control of movement reinforced by border militarization. Political power disparities between Israelis and Palestinians in Israel and occupied Palestinians in the world.
In what ways does it resemble South African apartheid? – Bantustans – racially/ethnically segregated ghetto that is product of and reinforces systematic oppression of population, ie: Gaza, villages in the West Bank entirely encircled by the separation wall – Social and cultural racialization of Palestinians as inferior, sub-humans which reinforces Israeli political superior power.
In what ways do/did the two situations differ related to apartheid structure? The South African apartheid regime was white-controlled in a majority black country. Within Israel “proper,” the government is Jewish-dominated in a Jewish-majority population (though Palestinian representation is disproportionately small compared to the population size).
Structures of labor/labor exploitation – how SA was a system of labor exploitation in contrast to the oppression of Palestine being based on racist/colonialist separation by nature? ** How do repressive/racist economic (eg. employment) policies reinforce and/or profit from apartheid but not constitute it?
Comparing Jewish “Law of Return” to Palestinian “Right of Return” – Law of Return: legislated with Israeli body – enforced, abstract – premised on 2000 year history, political history of present situation unrelated to ancient history, no family generational attachment. Similar: global scope, palestine refugees around the world/global jewry given access from anywhere, enforced through border patrols and citizenship rights ** need clarity on these – Right of Return: legal under international law – not enforced, concrete – specific location of familial legacy, recent generational phenomenon.
Questions: what will return mean for increasing generational gaps? What does it look like given development of the landscape into something totally different and not inhabitable.
For further exploration: *Components of BDS *Connection with struggle against U.S imperialism
anti-Zionism as anti-racism, 11/16/2010
Anti-racism: (written from point of view of white allies- recognition of the room, of the positions and tenses in which this was written)
- recognizing histories and present experiences of racial subordination and challenging their legacies in institutionalized racism
- recentering the voices/experiences of people of color directly affected by racial oppression
- recognizing white privilege as power received at the expense of the self- determination of people of color
- actively confronting/interrupting moments of racism
Zionism as racism:
- requires the dehumanization of Palestinians and their ethnic cleansing in all its present forms of violence
- constructed image of “the new Jews” as strong Ashkenazi patriarch, subordinating Jews of Arab/Asian and African descent
- portraying Arab women as extremely oppressed non-agents requiring western (imperialist) liberation
- constructing image of hyperviolent irrational Arab men–from history of Orientalist demonization of colonized peoples
- controlling Palestinian women’s bodies for control of population
- reinforces/informs US domestic racism towards Arabs
- Zionist hegemony subtly and actively silences criticisms of zionism in anti-racist framework
anti-Zionism, comprised of three parts:
-[content] ideological analysis based on anti-racism
-[form] practice anti-racism in anti-zionist organizing
-vision for palestine (for Palestinians to determine)
anti-Zionism as anti-racism:
- putting Palestinian voices and experiences first and at the core of anti-Zionism
- supporting the Palestinian vision for the future of Palestine
- supporting organizations of color in their critiques of Zionism, providing resources to fend against Zionist backlash
- being vocally and actively anti-racist not just in solidarity with Palestine
- fighting the silencing of Arab and Muslim critiques of Zionism, fighting ignorance and harmful stereotypes of Palestinians and Arabs and Muslims, and fighting the war on terror and the way Palestinian struggle is demonized as part of “global islamic fundamentalism opposed to western freedom”
- challenging white dominance of Palestine solidarity organizations in the US
Confronting pinkwashing: anti-occupation and pro-queer liberation counterpoints, 11/30/2010
Zionist “pro-queer” hasbara:
- Israel is only gay haven in the Middle East, queer people/relationships are legally supported and socially accepted
- Palestinian society is ruled by Muslim fundamentalism and queers aren’t safe
- Palestinian queers have been able to escape their oppressive societies to Israel which embraces them
Counterpoints: anti-occupation and pro-queer liberation
- – The status of Israeli queers is neither a cover or justification for the occupation of Palestinian society. The occupation oppresses queer Palestinians and non-queer Palestinians alike- checkpoints, roadblocks, military violence do not discriminate- The liberation of queer people in Israeli society rife with sexism and chauvinism is nowhere near complete- there is some legal support which was achieved very recently however there is still strong stigmatization of queers in Israeli society, particularly by the more religiously traditional but not only. That is no indication of queer liberation. Open service of queer Israelis in the Israeli Occupation Forces is not progressive
- Occupation is not a liberating force for queer or non-queer Palestinians. Those who try to justify the occupation with queer experiences are neither queer Palestinians nor concerned about queer Palestinians as Palestinians. There are openly queer Palestinians who are struggling for inclusion and acceptance in their societies as is relevant for their lives- no one else can tell them how to do that
- As Palestinian queer activist said herself: “Israel “legally enshrines the rights of gay people,” but it enshrines only some rights for some gay people. Restricted freedom of movement, routine human rights abuses, detentions, checkpoints, and bombing campaigns are among the legally enshrined “rights” of Palestinians, whatever their sexual orientation, in the West Bank and Gaza.” Israel does not grant legal asylum to Palestinians, queer or not.
- the occupation oppresses all, queer and not
- Israel is not a queer-liberated society
- That can’t be used by non-queer Israeli PR whose primary interest is not queer people
- occupation doesn’t liberate queer Palestinians
- Israeli PR speaks for queer Palestinians and is not concerned with queer Palestinian issues
- There are openly queer Palestinians struggling for inclusion int heir own societies- no one can tell them how to do that
- no Palestinian is legally granted asylum to Israel, queer or not