“It’s ugly, it’s vicious, it’s brutal”: Cornel West on Israel in Palestine — and why Gaza is “the hood on steroids”

One of the fundamental questions with regard to the critique of — and activism against — the Israeli occupation: How does this connect up with other social movements, and other struggles? Is the case of Israel and Palestine so specific, so complex, as to resist analogy? And if so, what does that mean for those who would be inclined to sympathize with the plight of the Palestinians, but unable to see their way clear to act in solidarity with them, as they might for others?

These are pressing and difficult problems, yet increasingly, and especially on college campuses, and in academic organizations, people are willing to discuss and debate things like divestment, as well as academic and cultural boycotts that refuse to endorse the status quo. Indeed, earlier this month a group of 600 artists that included Ken Loach, Brian Eno, Khalid Abdalla and Haim Bresheeth announced they were endorsing a cultural boycott of Israel.

Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle

Cornel West speaks with a Stanford professor about the divestment effort and Palestinian activism
David Palumbo-Liu, writing in salon.com, Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015

Cornel West (Credit: Albert H. Teich via Shutterstock)

One of the fundamental questions with regard to the critique of — and activism against — the Israeli occupation: How does this connect up with other social movements, and other struggles? Is the case of Israel and Palestine so specific, so complex, as to resist analogy? And if so, what does that mean for those who would be inclined to sympathize with the plight of the Palestinians, but unable to see their way clear to act in solidarity with them, as they might for others?

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