Friday, September 08, 2006

UC Berkeley Hearts Hizbullah

Judith Butler Spinning the Situation to Adoring Fans

The Berkeley Hizbullah love fest of Thursday, September 7 (see poster) was even worse than I expected. I am hoping to be able to give a more comprehensive report tomorrow. Judith Butler was in great form - you won't get sophistry finer than hers anywhere in the US - and as N anticipated, she played her Jewish card at the end too. The audience filled a large lecture room, with many people in the aisles and on the stage. Nothing brings them in like some good old Israel-bashing. Endless applause and canned laughter; intolerable smugness dripping down the walls. It was a truly sickening exercise in group-think. Most astounding statistic: Over a period of two hours, with five speakers and a dozen questions, the fact that Hizbullah fired rockets at Israeli cities was mentioned ONCE. In one of many propaganda pieces for Hizbullah through which we suffered that evening, Charles Hirschkind, a professor in the Anthropology Department at Cal, referred to the organization's "inaccurate but sometimes deadly missile attacks." And that was the only reference to the katyushas all evening.


Noah Kaye said...

"Quassams," sadly, wasn't an applause line, or a punch line. Though, I'm not kidding, "Hezbollah" and "Hamas," tout simplement, were.

Asaf said...

amos, i would urge you to address the complex arguments raised by the speakers, even if you think they were unbalanced, rather than simply "bashing" them in. besides, the panel yesterday was certainly no more unbalanced than this blog is, and butler definitely didn't engage in sophistry as crude as you, amos, just did in your report. butler "played her jewish card"?? do you, amos, or anyone else have a monopoly on what judaism means and what political positions it can sustain? and if you mention statistics, how many times did this blog ever discuss the magnitude of the destruction wrought by israel upon lebanon in this war? "sickening exercise in group-think": is that how you always dub displays of solidarity by your ideological adversaries? does this blog display any less "group-think"?
i can go on, but this will do for now. i think you went too far this time, amos.

John said...

מה אכלת הבוקר יא בן אדם?? מה קרה לך?

Maybe you should give him more time to digest the conference before you pounce. Let a person vent a little before he's forced back into the academic straitjacket... It's not easy sitting in a place like that for several hours. I can attest to that from my personal experience at various academic events in Montreal.

Amos said...

Hey Asaf,

Let me say for now though that 1) I don't think you're right in calling my post sophistic (polemical and mean-spirited I can accept), and 2) I think my charge of group-think is accurate, given that this was a university-wide event meant to "teach" people something. I saw very little teaching going on there. I can assure you that if I had organized a "teach-in" on antisemitism, for example, I would not have stacked the panel with Dershowitz, AIPAC, and the ADL. Whether or not this blog displays any less group think is a valid question, though I think that make-up of the blog's contributing team (3 siblings and 2 friends), makes the charge a little less lethal.

Given all our conversations outside of this blog, I think you know very well that I don't believe that I hold a monopoly on what Judaism means or what a proper Jewish political position constitutes. Hopefully, my post will make clear what I meant when I used the expression "playing her Jewish card."

Anyway, sorry, I seem to have made you angry. I'll follow up with a full report soon. I was too tired and busy yesterday.