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Orientalism, intersectionality, and the ‘New York Times’

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It ‘s not a good time to be a Zionist. The Hadassah forum on the “tensions” between Zionism and Feminism, held on Thursday night in New York’s Town and Village Synagogue (and posted on Facebook), was evidence of how much the U.S. discourse has moved on the Palestine question. The panel of Zionist feminists were with one exception defensive and angry about the fact that they even need to counter accusations against Zionism from progressives — “as if they were being bullied, disempowered, for their views,” as Nada Elia wrote here.

The panelists seemed especially agitated about the degree to which Jews are no longer regarded as an oppressed group. The word Holocaust was often mentioned, the speakers seeking to remind the audience about Jewish insecurity in the west, and the role of Zionism as a liberation movement, as an answer to the stinging accusation that even to be a liberal Zionist is to be a “Zionist ho” or a “white supremacist.”

Pro-Palestinian activists fail to “recognize the Jewish experience,” writer Marisa Kabas said. “They only see what’s in front of them right now, which is the occupation. I don’t blame them, but it’s worth going a little further back, to see why people still support the state of Israel.”

I want to focus on one aspect of the forum: the tension between “intersectionality” and “orientalism,” and the role of the New York Times in mediating that divide.

Several panelists objected to assertions of “intersectionality” by the feminist movement. As I understand it, intersectionality is the idea that social injustices cannot be addressed singly without considering issues of class, race, gender, and identity. The “pledge of liberation” for the Women’s March links police violence to sexual violence to immigrant rights to economic justice to the need to end aggressive wars; and in this way women’s rights, LGBT rights, and the struggles of people of color are bound to one another. The rise of this paradigm shows how Trump has served to radicalize the left; thus, Linda Sarsour was very prominent in the Women’s March in Washington, notwithstanding her support of BDS and Palestinian rights, which would have gotten her barred from a rally if mainstream liberals were calling the shots.

“Why is Israel being singled out? I see the roots of that in intersectionality,” said the panel’s moderator Bari Weiss, an opinion editor at the New York Times. Weiss argued that intersectionality creates a “hierarchy” of victimhood in which Zionist feminists fall on the wrong side of the line.

Maybe she is right about the hierarchy of identity politics; but intersectionality is obviously the reigning Mood of the Left right now, and if you want to be in the left you must at the very least respect this political culture and appreciate the ways that it empowers people who were once exiled by elites– who have their own hierarchies.

This is the panel’s core anguish. They like to see themselves as progressive. But they don’t know if they can handle the company. “I felt this tiny shift to the right,” Marisa Kabas said, when she realized that something she’s never been that vocal about, her Zionism, was being called out by leftwing feminists. Libby Lenkinski, the Israeli liberal on the panel, said the upsetting thing about the Black Lives Matter platform published last summer citing Israeli “genocide” against Palestinians was that the black activists didn’t check that language ahead of time with their pro-Israel allies and then change the language, as traditional coalitions would have done. And that’s because being pro-Israel is just not considered progressive anymore– even if you support Palestinian women, as Lenkinski insists she does, working with the New Israel Fund.

Panelist Emily Shire went much further in expressing her discomfort with the left– into orientalism. As a feminist, she cares about the empowerment and protection of women. But if people are only speaking of Israel as an occupier and they don’t talk about “domestic violence, the lack of pro-choice, and honor killings” in the Palestinian community– “if they’re just talking about Israel’s fault”–  then she finds their intentions “a little fishy.” She said rates of domestic violence approach 40 percent in Palestinian households in the occupation.

As someone who tried to do this myself when I first got into this movement, talk about Palestinian cultural practices I disapproved of (for instance, girls being covered at a young age and not being able to participate in athletic events), my advice to Shire is, If you really are progressive, drop it. Palestinians are living under occupation. You cannot support a society that has its boot on all these people’s necks, and then lecture them about domestic abuse. That’s extremely condescending and is today seen as racist or orientalist, for good reason. If you actually get to know Palestinians, you will find that the educated (a remarkably high percentage) of that society recognize these problems, and want to address them, and often do, but that freedom is actually a more pressing matter for them: basic rights, which they are denied under apartheid. Humbly I’d suggest that liberal American Jews respect what the Palestinian community is telling them before they start telling them how to be enlightened. That’s the best part of intersectionality: giving communities that were shut out a voice.

But as Nada Elia made clear, the panel had its own idea of hierarchy: It excluded anti-Zionist voices, and there was barely a word about Palestinian conditions.

As for the New York Times, the panel was moderated by Bari Weiss, an editor on the op-ed page. It was obvious that she is a conservative Zionist on these matters. “You have to check your Zionism and Jewish identity at the door if  you want to be a part of this rising feminist movement,” Weiss said witheringly. Later she offered a recommendation to the audience of those they should listen to for guidance: the organization Encounter (which seems like a good undertaking by the Jewish community) and the writers Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Christina Hoff Sommers. Those two writers are about as rightwing as you can get in polite society. Ali has said that Islam is the root of the problem between Muslim societies and the west, while Christina Hoff Sommers – a non-intersectionalist feminist, Weiss said approvingly – is a rightwing Israel-supporter at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute.

We often wonder about the support for Israel at the New York Times. Why does the newspaper have no anti-Zionist columnists? Why are three of the columnists so avowedly pro-Israel, including new hire Bret Stephens, who has said that the “Arab mind” is diseased? Why does Shmuel Rosner get a platform at the Times to call out a brave newspaper, Haaretz, as disloyal to the Jewish state? Bari Weiss is part of this problem; on Thursday night, she deemed it intellectually honest to conduct an all-Zionist-Jewish discussion on a matter that affects a great number of communities. I don’t think young Jews will see that kind of entitlement as part of their Jewish identity.

philweiss
About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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44 Responses

  1. Keith
    Keith
    June 10, 2017, 4:19 pm

    PHIL- “You cannot support a society that has its boot on all these people’s necks, and then lecture them about domestic abuse.”

    That is exactly correct. In fact, much of the criticism of the Arab regimes is invalid insofar as the conditions in the Middle East have been profoundly influenced by Western imperialism. For how long has the West opposed Arab secular nationalism while supporting religious fundamentalism (The Muslim Brotherhood, et al)? Without Western and Israeli support, most of these Arab monarchies would have been overthrown long ago. At one time both Iraq and Libya were relatively progressive compared to Saudi Arabia, etc. Not any more, thanks to us. Yet, these so called Zionist “feminists” are unconcerned with how neo-imperialism and Zionism affect the status of women and children in the Middle East. The primary concern of these imperial “feminists” and Zionist “feminists” is with the imperial glass ceiling and how it restricts their imperial power-seeking, preventing them from increasing their power and status within empire. For these Zionist women of privilege, “feminism” is simply another movement to be controlled and exploited for personal gain.

    • JosephA
      JosephA
      June 11, 2017, 1:52 am

      “At one time both Iraq and Libya were relatively progressive compared to Saudi Arabia, etc. Not any more, thanks to us”

      Iraq, Iran, and Libya weren’t just relatively progressive compared to Saudi Arabia… how about compared to USA! USA! In fact, Iran was quite progressive before we overthrew their democratically elected president Mossadegh. Iraq had free univereity and free public health care, and their systems of education and health care rivaled the United States in the 70s. It wasn’t until the Iran-Iraq war (divide and conquer) that the standard of living and progressive nature of both countries took a hit.

      Damn, I wonder what the world would have looked like without US foreign policy being what it was for the past 50 or so years.

      • Cazador
        Cazador
        June 13, 2017, 3:02 am

        Since the end of WWII in fact (starting with 5,000,000 Korean deaths, followed by 4,000,000 and counting Vietnamese deaths…), but you could go as far as the 1790s for the US’ need to war against countries and/or populations not at war with the US, as an example, the genocide attempt on the Natives.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      June 11, 2017, 12:39 pm

      Agreed

  2. festus
    festus
    June 10, 2017, 6:04 pm

    Can you imagine. These privileged, entitled, people upset they are not viewed as universally as an oppressed group.

  3. Keith
    Keith
    June 10, 2017, 7:53 pm

    PHIL- “The panelists seemed especially agitated about the degree to which Jews are no longer regarded as an oppressed group.”

    One of the key components of Zionism is the irrational belief in never-ending victimhood, empirical reality ignored in favor of Zionist mythology. A belief which has been reinforced through massive ongoing propaganda and the organized association with like-minded Jews. This “intersectionality” meeting a case in point.

  4. Tom Suarez
    Tom Suarez
    June 10, 2017, 8:26 pm

    Phil, HUGE thanks for the entire paragraph: “As someone who tried to do this myself when I first got into this movement… [etc]”
    Now, if only you were editor of the NY Times (along with MW)…

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      June 11, 2017, 12:45 pm

      Instead, while I’m reading this MW article & comments, Fox News trots out Israel’s long-time lawyer, Dennis Ross to give us average Americans the scoop on the Qatar crisis. I would die of shock if any of the cableTV infotainment shows trotted out Phil as a foreign policy guru. Too bad Donald T has not a single, trusted non-Zionist to consult on the I-P affair, or on why Qatar is being attacked: it threatens the Saudis as leaders of all Arabs & it does not demonize Iran or the Palestinians.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 11, 2017, 3:58 pm

        “Saudis as leaders of all the Arabs…”

        Speaking of which, this is interesting.

        “Remember President Trump’s big, triumphant arms deal in Saudi Arabia? It turns out it didn’t really happen.”

  5. gamal
    gamal
    June 10, 2017, 9:10 pm

    “It ‘s not a good time to be a Zionist.”

    oh please, i can remember when Wahhabis were a joke and will not bore you with my encounters with them, Vltchek has piece i would like to direct you to, they dun killed ol’ Islam:

    “In reality, the West has always been using (and finally it has managed to divert) Islam. Some great Muslim scholars, including those that I met in Teheran, actually believe that Washington, London, Paris and other centers of the Western imperialism and neo-colonialism, actually succeeded, in many parts of the world, to create a totally new and (to many true and intellectual Muslims) unrecognizable religion”

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47219.htm

  6. RoHa
    RoHa
    June 11, 2017, 3:45 am

    “As I understand it, intersectionality is the idea that social injustices cannot be addressed singly without considering issues of class, race, gender, and identity.”

    And yet many social injustices have been so addressed, with notable success. There were few feminists in the British Parliament when the Slave Trade Act (1807) and the Abolition of Slavery Act (1833) were passed. The slow increase in those eligible to vote first considered class, and only later gender and (for Australia) race. Identity was never considered, probably because the reformers had no idea what that could mean.

    “intersectionality is obviously the reigning Mood of the Left right now, and if you want to be in the left you must at the very least respect this political culture”

    There’s a left?

    There is certainly a totally ineffectual pseudo-left who chatter about this sort of thing, but old socialists like myself do not feel obliged to join.

    • echinococcus
      echinococcus
      June 11, 2017, 9:13 am

      In fact, the only thing that “intersectionality” can accomplish (besides fouling language with one more monster) is to make impossible any effective alliances to address particular problems. It limits the range of such alliances to the usual crowd of powerless but noisy liberaloids.

      Like our managers and fellow contributors here who, instead of only focusing on Palestine when they are writing here, draw the line at “antisemitism”, Holocaust(TM) denial, criticism of religion, dislike of homosexuals, neglect of social do-gooding, etc etc. That’s just the way to get the general US population to understand what’s going on in Palestine and make the US turn around its Palestine policy, isn’t it? “totally ineffectual pseudo-left” sounds like the right name.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        June 11, 2017, 12:53 pm

        Seems arguable to me that intersectionality, being so broad in its view of different types of status quo oppression, offers many additional forums, more publicity, for the Palestinian POV. This helps bring said POV to the US masses who remain nearly totally ignorant of the I-P conflict and its history thanks to US MSM.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 11, 2017, 3:32 pm

        .” It limits the range of such alliances to the usual crowd of powerless but noisy liberaloids.”

        Damn! And when the right was just about this close to embracing anti-zionism, instead of their usual mixture of petty anti-semitism, Zionism, and general racism.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        June 12, 2017, 12:39 am

        Mooser,

        Have fun playing with your own little club of “intersectionals” and throwing around nonsense words like “right” and “left”. What “left”, fercryinoutloud? You forgot you’re in the US of A? There is only the right. Only. Period. I’ll take an abortion-banning, bible-thumping guy who wants to cut all aid to Zionists any day rather than any warmongering Democrat who is “left” because he wants more gays and women in the commandos and speaks correct.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 12, 2017, 12:13 pm

        “I’ll take an abortion-banning, bible-thumping guy who wants to cut all aid to Zionists…”

        Which one? There’s so many to choose from I don’t know who you mean.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 13, 2017, 12:53 pm

        “I’ll take an abortion-banning, bible-thumping guy who wants to cut all aid to Zionists…”

        OK! “Have fun playing with your own little club of “intersectionals” – http://mondoweiss.net/2017/06/orientalism-intersectionality-times/#comment-177555

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      June 11, 2017, 3:39 pm

      “There’s a left?”

      Or maybe “left” is a meme, a label rightists use to tar good old American liberals, progressives and democrats with the color of Bolshevism, revolution and anarchism.

  7. annie
    annie
    June 11, 2017, 1:01 pm

    excellent article phil. i was just having a very similar discussion yesterday in conversation with a friend over nada elia’s article.

  8. Dan From Away
    Dan From Away
    June 12, 2017, 8:11 am

    @”Libby Lenkinski the Israeli liberal on the panel, said the upsetting thing about the Black Lives Matter platform published last summer citing Israeli “genocide” against Palestinians was that the black activists didn’t check that language ahead of time with their pro-Israel allies and then change the language, as traditional coalitions would have done.”

    I can well understand why BLM’s refusal to get pre-clearance for their language/words/terms is so upsetting to Organized Zionism: historically the assertion of language rights has been as a fire bell in the night to established elites. It is not for nothing that we have the First Amendment.

    Once subalterns get the idea in their heads that they can speak for and about themselves directly to the world, lordy things can get out of hand. It is exactly because of coverage such as this that I support MW: listening to Zionists speak unreservedly and in full-comfort-hubris mode is unquestionably a most effective way to educate Americans out of their anti-Palestinian stupor.

    Zionism’s outrage at BLM, BDS, SJP, Israeli Aparthied Week and the ever-expanding galaxy of Palestine solidarity is a perfect mirror reflection of the Southern slavocracy’s unhinged exasperation upon learning that enslaved African-Americans preferred their freedom above all else. As astounding to the slavocracy was that the enslaved had the language to do so poetically, heroically and creatively. Think Harriet Tubman. Think Frederick Douglass.

    Referring the assertion of language rights to the current US domestic dynamic – that is how intersectionality works – the Democratic Party would do well to understand that the Woke Progressives are demanding, first and foremost, a co-equal role vis-a-vis language. Think Democratic Party platform. Think Jerusalem plank. Think Gaza plank. Think Perez out and Ellis in.

    Sops will no longer suffice.

    Shift-Left-Now.

    1978 poster published by Jewish Alliance Against Zionism…early example of intersectionality-in-art:

    http://www.palestineposterproject.org/poster/being-jewish-is-not-the-same-as-being-zionist

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      June 12, 2017, 8:54 am

      I think you make a good point about language, but your example seems to go against intersectionality.

      “the black activists didn’t check that language ahead of time with their pro-Israel allies and then change the language”

      That sounds as though they addressed the social injustice singly.

  9. nada
    nada
    June 12, 2017, 10:06 am

    Thank you, Phil, for this necessary analysis. My own piece was very much a “rushed transcript,” I watched the panel online (audio was quite bad at times), jotted down notes, and within an hour or so I sent you my quick summary with just a few thoughts.
    But I have been meaning to write a follow-up, in which I elaborate on the intense pressure Palestinian-rights organized continue to be subjected to, to always include a Zionist voice or two, “for balance,” when Zionists don’t get such pressure. I would also discuss the impulse to huddle in a “safe space,” without opposing views, that beleaguered communities feel, and how this is now becoming standard among Zionists. But you took care of that.
    Thanks!

  10. Dan From Away
    Dan From Away
    June 12, 2017, 10:36 am

    @ ROHA

    Can you provide us with a list of Palestine and BLM’s “pro-Israel” allies?

    It would be instructive if you elaborated on whether or not “pro-Israel” allies are Zionists or not.

    The distinction matters.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      June 12, 2017, 7:20 pm

      I don’t know much about BLM. You were the one who mentioned BLM’s pro-Israel allies, so I took your word for it that there were some. If you want a list, you will have to compose it yourself.

      I simply pointed out that BLM’s independence in the matter of language doesn’t seem like intersectionality as defined in the article.

      (And, so far, intersectionality seems like another example of the corn syrup and Sandler effect. But I am open to arguments to the contrary.)

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        June 13, 2017, 2:53 am

        RoHa,

        There are things in our unfortunate country even more diabetogenic than Sandler and more stultifying than corn syrup. Now I think of it, it was our Zionist Mafia that started the big intersection hoopla, lathering itself up as the prime defender of “gay” rights and women’s rights, iconic in drafting homosexuals and women as military assassins and torturers, practicing sexual emancipation by the abortion and Provera injections (forced, but you can’t have it all) of/to dark-skinned women, practicing socialism-in-action by redistributing my tax money to the Zionist entity, and third-worldism by mobilizing about Darfur.

        If all that isn’t intersectional, what is?

      • annie
        annie
        June 13, 2017, 10:39 am

        it was our Zionist Mafia that started the big intersection hoopla, lathering itself up as the prime defender of “gay” rights and women’s rights

        this is incorrect. zionist pinkwashing (the co-joining of pro zionists /gay rights) did not initiate intersectionality and is relatively new — this century as i recall. whereas, there’s a long history of Black-Palestinian solidarity going back decades as evidenced by the posters dan links to below (today at 9:24) and several examples cited in this article:

        https://www.liberationnews.org/history-black-palestinian-solidarity-html/

        arguably it was in response to that solidarity that pro israel groups sought to make inroads into the black community to shore up grass roots support for israel just as they sought to make inroads into the christian community (now the christian zionist cult) as a preventative measure.

        If all that isn’t intersectional, what is?

        recognizing and supporting intersectionality on the left (a left which you don’t recognize and mistakingly attribute to the establishment democratic party, or “warmongering Democrat” as you call them) doesn’t deny there’s intersectional pro zionist alliances on the right and the so-called “progressives”.

        terms can be slippery. owning terms and language such as “liberal zionist” or the idea that the term liberal implies progressive when neoliberal is anything but, can be deceptive. hence you have people seeking to identify as left while supporting imperialist goals. but that doesn’t negate the fact that there is a left in this country, because there is.

        i’m not sure about the benefit of denying something exists (intersectionality/palestine solidarity happening on campuses across the country) and/or demeaning/mocking it’s origin.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        June 13, 2017, 11:03 am

        echinococcus: …t was our Zionist Mafia that started the big intersection hoopla..
        —————–

        No, Zionists didn’t invent the intersectionality framework –but they have tried to co-opt it:

        http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/jewish-organizations-look-to-co-opt-intersectionality-in-the-fight-against-bds/

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        June 13, 2017, 11:15 am

        Annie,

        there’s a long history of Black-Palestinian solidarity

        Thanks, I hadn’t noticed until you told me today. In my 70+ years, I always knew them as alliances among different movements of the downtrodden and oppressed. Or, as some long-forgotten unhip fossils said “Workers of the world, unite!” Or just plain participation in more than one thing, but severally, one at a time.

        Until the liberaloids started infesting the earth and brought their sections, or interwatchamacallits.

        The difference is, if you want effective alliances you keep each of them to just only the point it is made for. As in, you don’t start Demolican vs Repucrat or Qa’ida vs Asad catfights on a site for solidarity with Palestinian resistance, or chase away those who don’t like pussy-hats from a BLM meeting, or start an “antisemitism” witchhunt against enemies of Zionism, etc. Short, you don’t bring your cat to a dog lovers’ meeting even if you like both species.

        What sotosay defines new fad words is their usage, and a survey of general usage for “intersectionality” indicates that it generally applies to making a big, fuzzy mess of all trendy “social justice” issues, good or bad or plain ludicrous, without paying attention to selecting the primary priority, and to avoid shooing away all the allies that may help you reach the general population.

        While we’re at it, let’s make the new, sesquipedalian words longer and clunkier. They’ll get to be even more successful.

      • annie
        annie
        June 13, 2017, 11:22 am

        Thanks, I hadn’t noticed until you told me today.

        got it, i think i’ll just skip the rest of this exchange. ciao.

  11. Dan From Away
    Dan From Away
    June 12, 2017, 10:15 pm

    @ ROHA –
    You said that I mentioned BLM’s “pro-Israel” allies. I did not.
    I think you must have read the first para in my post, the one in quotation marks and identified with an initial @ … as my words. They are not. That text was lifted word-for-word from the article, hence the quotations marks.

    But to the point you made in your first post that:

    “I think you make a good point about language, but your example seems to go against intersectionality.

    “the black activists didn’t check that language ahead of time with their pro-Israel allies and then change the language”

    That sounds as though they addressed the social injustice singly.”

    My questions for you:

    By “singly” did you mean “independently” i.e., that they did not consult with anyone before issuing their statement?

    Or were you referencing Phil’s text that said: “As I understand it, intersectionality is the idea that social injustices cannot be addressed singly without considering issues of class, race, gender, and identity.”

    Difficult for me to honor your post until I understand your point more clearly. If you clarify I will respond.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      June 12, 2017, 10:43 pm

      Yes, I did skip over the quotation marks. It was the article you quoted, not you, that said that BLM had pro-Israel allies.

      “By “singly” did you mean “independently” i.e., that they did not consult with anyone before issuing their statement? ”

      Yes, and that therefore they did not consider “issues of class, race, gender, and identity” that the alleged allies would want them to consider.

  12. Dan From Away
    Dan From Away
    June 13, 2017, 9:24 am

    @ROHA…ok good now we are clear. To your point: intersectionality does not require, or even imply that one person or group must contact/consult with another before taking action. Intersectionality means, at base, that one recognizes in a distant struggle components of one’s own struggle. It is different, IMO, from solidarity in an important way:

    When I stand with you in solidarity I say: “I hope you succeed, I hope you are able to overthrow whatever system of oppression is tyrannizing you.” Good luck!

    With intersectionality I say: I am oppressed by the very same tyranny, and I see my struggle in your struggle and you are not alone. I will speak up/act out in such a way that one day we will both be liberated. Onward!

    One expression denotes good intentions and one denotes co-ownership of an issue.

    It is no part of intersectionality that BLM has to consult with anyone before it takes action. It does not surrender any part of its identity or freedom-of-action by being intersectional. This is because intersectionality is a set of principles and ideals: they are intrinsic and belong to all like-minded actors. I find your comment odd in that it seems to be the product of a desperate attempt to criticize BLM. Am I wrong about that? It seems to me that you wanted to find some aspect of BLM’s behavior that would validate Libby Lenkinski’s absurd expectation that Zionism must be consulted by its opponents before it can speak.

    It does not. It did not. In all likelihood it will not. Ever.

    Does this address your point to your satisfaction?

    59 Palestine posters on the subject of intersectionality:

    http://www.palestineposterproject.org/special-collection/intersectionality

    • Sibiriak
      Sibiriak
      June 13, 2017, 10:23 am

      Dan Walsh: I find your comment odd in that it seems to be the product of a desperate attempt to criticize BLM
      —————–

      I find your comments rather condescending and a tad truculent. Desperation was the last thing I sensed in RoHa’s remarks.

      • annie
        annie
        June 13, 2017, 11:07 am

        sibiriak, i think the exchange got off to a rocky start because roha mistakingly attributed dan’s citing of Lenkinski’s reference to “pro israel allies” as being initiated by dan, which it was not. that said, i am not sensing condescension or truculence in dan’s responses, as opposed to just seeking clarity. unlike regular posters here dan might not be familiar with roha’s routine penchant to play on words. i think it’s a fair question (to ask “Am I wrong about that?”).

        it does seem to me roha was making willful attempts not to grasp dan’s meaning but instead use his own words (or someone else’s quote, i can’t keep track) against his argument.

      • annie
        annie
        June 13, 2017, 11:14 am

        that said, the ol ‘check with me before you speak’ is a supremist notion. it’s a lot different than ‘check with me before you speak for me’. blm was not speaking for zionists, they were speaking for themselves which they have every right to do. but this tactic of controling the discourse has a long history in US/israel relations and reminds me of israel’s ‘we should work these things out in private behind closed doors’ diplomacy.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        June 13, 2017, 8:10 pm

        I don’t see any truculence or condescension in Dan’s replies. He is trying to clear up my confusion about intersectionality. (And, no, I am not trying to misunderstand him. I genuinely don’t understand how BLM’s independence in the language is an example of intersectionality. )

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        June 13, 2017, 11:05 pm

        Okay, RoHa, I see you are genuinely confused. I’ll step out of this and Dan can continue to explain his own take on intersectionality, if he so chooses.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      June 13, 2017, 8:15 pm

      No, I wasn’t trying to find anything to criticize about BLM. I’m trying to understand how the BLM independent use of language counts as intersectionality.

      From my point of view, BLM can use any language they choose to indulge in without checking with anyone. If the rest of us don’t like it, we can damn well tell them. And they, in turn, will probably tell us what to do with our complaints.

      • annie
        annie
        June 13, 2017, 11:39 pm

        I’m trying to understand how the BLM independent use of language counts as intersectionality. –

        it doesn’t have to do with their “independent use of language”. let’s go back:

        As I understand it, intersectionality is the idea that social injustices cannot be addressed singly without considering issues of class, race, gender, and identity.

        sin·gly
        adverb
        one at a time; separately or individually.

        read their platform. https://policy.m4bl.org/platform/

        note how blm did not address social injustices without considering issues of class, race, gender, and identity? they addressed many issues, inclusive of the viewpoint dan pointed out “that one recognizes in a distant struggle components of one’s own struggle

        Lenkinski’s complaint, and use of the phrase “their pro israel allies” implies blm are allies in the same struggle with Lenkinski or zionist groups, they are not. although individually they may have allies who consider themselves pro israel, or pro israel people who support the blm movement, but their intersectional allies are other oppressed people, the opposite of those who oppress or support the apartheid supporting oppressor. israeli jews, for the most part, are not oppressed. they are blatantly not oppressed in the same system as palestinians. american jews are not oppressed in our society nor in israel, they are, for the most part, part of the white middle to upper classes, they enjoy and have the advantage of systematic white privilege. therefore, Lenkinski ‘concern’ that blm did not ‘check’ the language with supporters of the oppressors, doesn’t contradict blm’s intersectionality.

        [dan]“By “singly” did you mean “independently” i.e., that they did not consult with anyone before issuing their statement? ”

        [RoHa]Yes, and that therefore they did not consider “issues of class, race, gender, and identity” that the alleged allies would want them to consider.

        in consideration of “class, race, gender, and identity” blm did not consider the issues of the oppressors or their supporters. again, zionists are not part of the oppressed class. tho they very much want to be in the ‘in group’ they are unhappy they are not included.

        does this make sense? and to get back to this singly vs independently issue. what it means is you cannot address a social issue, like for example feminism, independent of a consideration for supporters of systems or regimes of oppression that kill and oppress women. it’s hypocritical. ‘i am a feminist zionist’ is a contradiction as long as zionism is the cause of oppression. it has nothing to do with speaking independently per say.

        and people who say ‘my definition of zionism is as a liberation movement for jewish self determination’ — it doesn’t matter. because one cannot consider zionism “independently” of “issues of class, race, gender, and identity”. as long as it operates as an apartheid system, which it does, one can’t build ones own liberation on the backs of others suffering.

  13. Dan From Away
    Dan From Away
    June 13, 2017, 11:00 am

    @ Sibiriak

    “condescending” and a “tad truculent” … and I was trying so hard to be civil. I am not being coy or snarky at all.

    How would you have worded a sentence meant to convey that you thought ROHA (or anyone for that matter) was fishing for something to criticize? Or do you think it is condescending to even suggest such a thing?

    • annie
      annie
      June 13, 2017, 11:17 am

      dan , when responding, i would urge you to try using the reply feature closest (above) to the comment you are responding to instead of starting a new subthread with every comment.

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