“Zionism” On Campus (A Final Word from Steven Salaita)


Apparently it’s Zionism that ails the neoliberal university, along with everything else amiss in the world. You can read here his goodbye at the Nation. What reads like it was taken straight out from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the complaint that Zionism occupies the American mind and the American university expands as a logical next step on the basic view from the tweets and the book that “Zionists” are enemies of humanity, supporters of war crimes, adorn themselves with the teeth of Palestinian babies, etc, etc. Don’t be surprised when the next stage in on-campus Palestinian solidarity activism takes aim at purging U.S. academe of “Zionism,” namely Birthright, Hillel, study abroad in Israel, Israel Studies, and Jewish Studies.


 It’s not merely ideological Zionism that leads upper administration to support Israel—or, to be more precise, to entertain and normalize Zionist activism. Palestine solidarity represents democratization, grassroots organizing, anti-racism, and decolonization; it’s deeply involved in ethnic studies and other subversive fields. An upper administrator needn’t be amenable to West Bank settlement to understand the value of Zionism in his line of work.

Zionism is part and parcel of unilateral administrative power. It lends itself to top-down decision-making, to suppression of anti-neoliberal activism, to restrictions on speech, to colonial governance, to corporatization and counterrevolution—in other words, Zionism behaves in universities precisely as it does in various geopolitical systems.

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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7 Responses to “Zionism” On Campus (A Final Word from Steven Salaita)

  1. polemicmag says:

    Seems like “safe spaces” are for everyone except Jewish students.

  2. efmooney says:

    I think we should anticipate book burnings (as well as attacks on Jewish students not certifiably anti-Israel.

  3. DrVexid says:

    There have been many attacks on students who are not certifiably pro-Zionist, who raise the call for justice against Israeli war criminals.

    • zjb says:

      i don’t think SJP events are regularly disrupted. if anything, what you might mean are student activists being disciplined when they cross certain lines regarding the protected free speech of others.

  4. Pingback: Steven Salaita | The Nation | Anti-Semitism | BDS

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