Thursday, February 13, 2014

Israel: Professor Likens the Occupation to Slavery

It’s time to get riled up again: writing in Haaretz, a prominent Israeli academic has compared the Israeli occupation of the West Bank to slavery. 
Or rather, she sort-of did. “I do not claim that slavery and the occupation are equivalent,” Eva Illouz wrote in her lengthy essay. “They differ significantly. But there are some analogies, in that the Jewish world has become splintered around two intractable moral claims about the treatment of Palestinians…. The debate about the occupation is not equivalent to the debate about slavery, but it bears, here and there, some resemblance to it. And it is for this reason that I use it as a strategy for thinking.” 
A prominent sociologist and a professor at the Hebrew University, Illouz was less equivocal on which conclusions, if applied, her strategy for thinking might help one reach. “Slavery,” she writes, “is not only the fact of being turned into a tradable property. It is a set of social conditions that make someone’s existence closely determined by someone else’s decision, will and power.” And such a set of conditions, she argued in great detail, exists in the case of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.

More: Tablet Magazine

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