Judith Butler on Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism

In the following video, Judith Butler discusses some of the themes, arguments, and experiences that shape her book Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism (now available in paper).

Butler considers Israel’s policy in Palestine and the Jewish response to the occupation and state violence. A critic of Israel, who believes Israel’s occupation violates international law, Butler argues that her critique is not anti-Jewish. In the video, Butler also briefly addresses her own sense of Jewish identity and her family’s suffering during the Holocaust.

3 Responses

  1. Regrettably, Butler relies on false narratives and willfully ignores the context of creation of Israel and its struggles for survival. Butler willfully and clearly supports double standards and never mentions the status of Jews in a future Palestinian state or in the Arab world in general. She has lent implicit and explicit support to the most violent homophobic, anti Jewish organizations in the world. Sadly, the extreme anti Jewish sentiment prevalent among the extreme left provides justification for the polarization of all parties to achieve a lasting peace.

  2. The Palestinians’ right of return isn’t mysterious or undecidable or negotiable. It is founded in the usual human rights documents (Geneva, UDHR) and in UN General Assembly Resolution 194, clause 11: “Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible. . . .”

    Of course, some sophistry can be and has been directed at “practicable.”

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