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Parting Ways Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism

ISBN-10: 0231146108

ISBN-13: 9780231146104

Edition: 2012

Authors: Judith Butler

List price: $27.95
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Description:

Judith Butler follows Edward Said's late suggestion that only through a consideration of Palestinian dispossession in relation to Jewish diasporic traditions will a new ethos for a one-state solution emerge. Butler engages some forms of Jewish intellectual criticism of political Zionism and its practices of illegitimate state violence, nationalism, and state-sponsored racism. At the same time, she moves beyond communitarian frameworks, including Jewish ones, that fail to arrive at a radical democratic notion of political cohabitation, As important as it is to dispute Israel's claim to represent the Jewish people, it is equally important, Butler argues, to show that a narrowly Jewish framework cannot suffice as a basis for an ultimate critique of Zionism. She promotes an ethical position in which the obligations of cohabitation do not derive from cultural sameness but from the unchosen character of social plurality. Recovering the arguments of Jewish thinkers who offered criticisms of Zionism or whose work could be used for such a purpose, Butler disputes the specific charge of anti-Semitic self-hatred often leveled against Jewish critiques of Israel. Her political ethic relies on a vision of cohabitation that exposes the limits of every communitarian framework, including Jewish ones, to overcome the colonial legacy of Zionism. Her own engagements with Said and Mahmoud Darwish are important to her articulation of the displacement of communitarian thought.Butler draws upon some Jewish traditions of thought to consider the rights of the dispossessed, the necessity of plural cohabitation, and the dangers of arbitrary state violence, showing how they can be extended to a critique of Zionism, even when that is not their purpose. Butler engages thinkers such as Edward Said, Emmanuel Levinas, Hannah Arendt, Primo Levi, Martin Buber, Walter Benjamin, and Mahmoud Darwish. She revisits and affirms Edward Said's late proposals for a one-state solution. Butler's startling suggestion: Jewish ethics not only demand a critique of Zionism, but must transcend its exclusive Jewishness in order to realize the ethical and political ideals of living together in radical democracy.
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Book details

List price: $27.95
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 7/24/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Size: 6.30" wide x 9.09" long x 0.85" tall
Weight: 1.034

Judith Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature and the Co-director of the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California, Berkeley. She is presently the recipient of the Andrew Mellon Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in the Humanities.

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction
Self-Departure, Exile, and the Critique of Zionism
Impossible, Necessary Task
Said, Levinas, and the Ethical Demand
Unable to Kill
Levinas Contra Levinas
Walter Benjamin and the Critique of Violence
Flashing Up
Benjamin's Messianic Politics
Is Judaism Zionism?
Or, Arendt and the Critique of the Nation-State
Quandaries of the Plural
Cohabitation and Sovereignty in Arendt
Primo Levi for the Present
"What Shall We Do Without Exile?"
Said and Darwish Address the Future
Notes
Index