“After Zionism” discussion in New York brings thoughts on Gaza, Obama, Jews, Arabs and other related issues
Last week’s New York event for After Zionism with Mondoweiss founder Phil Weiss and me brings this interesting post about the discussion on Mondoweiss:
Last Tuesday Antony Loewenstein, the Australian co-editor of the new collection, After Zionism, and I, one of the contributors, gave a talk at the Brecht Forum in NY. It’s below. Loewenstein, on a book tour that is taking him from Palestine to Los Angeles, starts it out, on the one-state reality of Israel and Palestine, and the absurdity of the two-state discourse; and how we are going to get to a just resolution of the matter. Some of the other highlights: We talk about the possibility of a handshake on the White House lawn in the second Obama administration– the creation of a Palestinian state– and what such a deal would entail for Palestinians. I talk some about the American Jewish politics of the matter (and tell the story I do in this post) and speak of the optimism inherent in the book’s title. And in Saree Makdisi’s statement in his essay about Palestinian power. “[W]hat do you call the ability, without any other inducement than an appeal to the imagination, to move hundreds and hundreds of millions of people around the entire world, who have over and over again, for six decades, steadfastly demonstrated their support and solidarity with the Palestinian people and their cause? What do you call that capacity, that potential?” Later on in the dialogue, Loewenstein and I differ about whether putting the star of David on rubbish bins in Gaza is anti-Semitic. I say it is (and the same sensitivity westerners are called on to exhibit in distinguishing between the pronouncements of Islamic states and Islam should be demonstrated by Middle Easterners in not conflating Judaism and the Jewish state); though the crowd is against me. Jane Adas, who went to Gaza with me, engages me on that point late in the video.
Video is here.