Friday, April 24, 2015

Cornel West and Palestine

I am glad to see the strong stand that Cornel West has been taking on Palestinian.  But West's stance on Palestine has--shall we say in the terminology of American politics--"evolved" over the years.  As West moved away from the mainstream of American intellectual spectrum, especially after his disillusionment with Obama (who did not deserve West's hope and support in the first place), he became more vocal and courageous in his criticisms of Israel.  In his book, Race Matters, West's pronouncements on Palestine were most problematic on more than one level: 1) he belittled the solid Israeli alliance with Apartheid South Africa; 2) he accepted the insistence of Zionists to blur the lines between rejection of Zionism and anti-Semitism (and West didn't even mention that many Zionists in the US specially are characterized, nay motivated, by anti-Semitism (the case of Sen. Lindsey Graham is only a most recent example; 3) he basically marked the ills and brutality of the state of Israel with the rise of the Likud. He actually implied that all was well prior to Likud.  He in fact associated the savagery of Israel with the persons of Sharon and Sharmir--only Sharon and Shamir; 4) he basically believed that the ills of Zionism are confined to the West Bank and Gaza.  Nevertheless, I am gratified now with the stance of Cornel West.