February 08, 2013

Brooklyn BDS event was, erm, an event

Well the Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti BDS meeting took place at Brooklyn College last night in spite of the mobilisation of various Israel lobbyists to prevent it.  "Arguments" against the meeting taking place ranged from the impression that the college was supporting BDS to the college was paving the way for a second holocaust.  Really, someone, an assemblyman no less, said that.

The content of Judith Butler's presentation is at The Nation but this little chunk is lifted from what looks like a grudging piece from the +972 Mag site by Lisa Goldman:
One could be for the BDS movement as the only credible non-violent mode of resisting the injustices committed by the state of Israel without falling into the football lingo of being “pro” Palestine and “anti” Israel. This language is reductive, if not embarrassing. One might reasonably and passionately be concerned for all the inhabitants of that land, and simply maintain that the future for any peaceful, democratic solution for that region will become thinkable through the dismantling of the occupation, through enacting the equal rights of Palestinian minorities and finding just and plausible ways for the rights of refugees to be honored. If one holds out for these three aims in political life, then one is not simply living within the logic of the “pro” and the “anti”, but trying to fathom the conditions for a “we”, a plural existence grounded in equality.
The +972 piece is titled Despite controversy, Brooklyn College BDS panel is a non-event.  Now I could well be missing some irony here.  Reading the article it looks like she might be saying that such a straightforward issue should be a non-event and in some ways it should.  But the fact that powerful or influential players (eg, Alan Dershowitz) mobilised to prevent the event taking place and the fact that other equally powerful players (New York's Mayor Bloomberg) expressed their support made the mere fact that the meeting took place at all an event in itself.

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