What’s A Liberal To Do? Don’t Sign This Petition Against BDS

anti bds petittion

Not a lot, I recognize the names of a handful of Jewish Studies colleagues under this petition against BDS, i.e. against boycotting Israeli universities; not many, some of them are friends. The petition is based on the principles of academic freedom and a two state solution to the Israel- Palestine conflict, but as a liberal Zionist, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to sign. Why not? Probably because I first saw it pushed at the Weekly Standard. Not unlike the talking points developed by conservative pollster Frank Luntz , the petition feels like another example of rightwing organizers scavenging talking points off the carcass of liberal Zionism. The petition takes out the substance from the two-state idea, leaving only the rhetoric. That’s my suspicious reading. I would have signed happily had the petition committed its signatories to a territorially viable Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders as negotiated around the Arab Peace Initiative. It didn’t, so I won’t.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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4 Responses to What’s A Liberal To Do? Don’t Sign This Petition Against BDS

  1. j says:

    I don’t really care about your colonialist border adhering or your UN resolution saluting or your quibbling about whether or not Jewish institutions of learning should be ostracized. I don’t really care what part of your noble “not signing” is clear conviction, solidarity, embarrassment, confusion, fear of reprisal, careerism, distaste of Jewish “rightwing scavengers”. Statements like these are so privileged, safe, American, white. Yes white, European, derivative of the same mistakes that Europeans have been making about people of color for centuries… It is the Jews of color in Israel who make up the majority of the “rightwing scavengers” (you put your foot in it). At least they are from there and stayed there. Who are you? Where are you?

  2. j says:

    Just rereading your post. A more apt take on your description of the conservative zionist would be, “rightwing carcass scavengers”. I repeat, centuries old. As for me? I’ve taken a look, as a white American Jew, at what those centuries have piled on to me.

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