New Essays On Zionism

This tactful avoidance, if avoidance it is, of the proposed task of deconstructing Zionism, may yet have deeper causes than political anxiety.It may lie not only in the nature of Zionism, but also in that of deconstruction itself.Despite the editors’ robust anticipation of the charge of anti-Semitism, it is difficult not to sense a continuing anxiety regarding any critique of what seems a singularly Jewish political philosophy and enterprise.Marc Ellis’s discussion of how this dilemma functions for “Jews of Conscience” (his somewhat polemic name for Jewish critics of Israel) surely redounds with even greater force on the non-Jewish critic of Israel and Zionism: It may be that the historical situation of Israel’s existence is too complex and immediate for Jews of Conscience to probe.

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The way in which Zionism envelops racial exclusivity in the fabric of emancipation, and settler colonial apartheid in the guise of democracy and civil rights, cries out, indeed, for deconstruction.) in the Middle East while indulging in legal and political coercion abroad and practicing apartheid policies domestically.Deconstruction, and here I agree with the editors, is one way to show that such contradictions are intrinsic to Zionism in its very being.The book is necessary because, at a time when the often overheated nature of this debate has led to attempts to suppress any critique of Zionism, proposes a moment of stepping back from immediate political engagement in order to reflect.Reflection is not, of course, the same thing as detachment, and its editors take a strong position: “Deconstructing Zionism is a matter of urgency,” Vattimo and Marder write, “because the past, present, and future victims of Zionist oppression demand justice.” The essays gathered here, they say, are “practical and political interventions, responding to the singular demands of justice.” Many readers will no doubt question the practicality of the essays, if only because few of them present what one might call a practical proposal.¤ If is a necessary book, it’s nonetheless an odd one.The first of its oddities is how few of the essays actually practice deconstruction, despite contributions from such critical theory luminaries as Judith Butler, Slavoj Žižek, Luce Irigaray, and Walter Mignolo.What if deconstruction is, in the sense that Derrida tentatively unfolds with regard to psychoanalysis in -deconstructionist, was himself a Zionist, liberal or otherwise, though Ranjana Khanna recalls, in an epigraph that cites his “Abraham, the Other,” his ambiguous insistence on “the still exemplary phenomenon that is the state of Israel.” Neither Derrida’s individual Jewishness nor his adherence or disaffection from the state of Israel is what is in question in pressing the relation of deconstruction to Jewishness, to Judaism, or finally to Zionism, none of which can ever be in any simple way identified with one another.Wise presses the issue at stake more bluntly, if in a rather vertiginous cascade of guilt by associational logic: The exalted status accorded to the concept of the messianic in Derrida’s later writings, both in its overtly theological sense as historical “messianism” and in its allegedly more “neutral” or universal sense as “messianicity”, reinforces troubling mythologies of blood nobility that are influential not only among messianic Zionists in Israel and the Occupied Territories but also among militant and fundamentalist Christians in the US.Surely no better example of a faith in the “eternal, immutable, originary and unitary character” of a people and its spirit could be found?And yet, for the most part, the essays in this volume seem to sidestep the task of “deconstructing Zionism” that the volume’s title promises it will undertake.

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  1. Even though you’ve already done this once (maybe more), restating the quote is a perfect way to signal to the reader that you’re concluding your essay, as well as remind the reader of the exact wording of the quote. Next, remind the reader of the main points of your body paragraphs, being sure to include the piece(s) of literature you used as the support for your position.