Palestine and the culture of denial – Middle East Monitor

One of the most surprising aspects of Israel’s ongoing takeover of historic Palestine is how, despite the catalog of human rights abuses, violations of international law and the practice of criminal apartheid, the Zionist project was able to maintain support for its cause among large sections of the Western liberal community. It is quite common, for example, to find celebrities and politicians instinctively anti-racist, donating generously and offering their support to pro-Israel causes whose main function is to preserve a system of apartheid and ethnic cleansing. .

This bizarre phenomenon, which has come to define the hypocrisy of liberals who continue to support Israel, has been given a special label: progressive except for Palestine (PEP). The term was coined last year by Mark Lamont Hill and Mitchell Plitnick in their book, Except for Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics. It received the Best Academic Award at the 2021 Palestine Book Awards. In addition to exposing criminal double standards in Western discourse on Palestine, the book sparked a serious conversation about the moral and political cost of maintaining support for Israel. , while it was close a global consensus crystallized on the practice of apartheid by the occupation state.

Saree Makdisi takes this discussion further, responding to the How? ‘Or’ What question. How was Israel able to get away with its brand of apartheid or, in the words of the author himself: “How can a violent project of colonial dispossession and racial discrimination be repackaged – via a system of emotional investments, organized perceptions and carefully staged pedagogical exercises – into something that can be imagined, felt and deeply believed, as if it were the exact opposite?”

In other words, what is the mechanism by which Israel, despite well-documented evidence of racism and human rights abuses, has long been embraced by the most liberal sectors of European and American society as a manifestation progressive values ​​of tolerance, plurality, inclusiveness and democracy and, therefore, a project that can be passionately defended for its lofty ideals.

This book is on the shortlist of the Palestine Book Awards 2022, please click here to read the full review on the Palestine Book Awards website.

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