Thursday, January 12, 2017

Zygmunt Bauman, dead: his "liquid" Zionism

Bauman has died and the obituaries in the West did not bother to mention his interesting views on Israel and Zionism.  I don't support all his views on Israel: he refused the calls for boycott and gave lectures there in recent years.  He also had family ties to Israel. He was in Poland a hard-core communist and he was expelled from Poland after his father visited the Israeli embassy and inquired about emigration to Israel.  But when he moved to Israel he could not last: he said that he was escaping from nationalism.  He famously in an interview in Polish compared Israeli racist separation wall with the Nazi wall around Warsaw Ghetto.  That really infuriated Zionist hoodlums around the world.  He later tried to "clarify" his remarks but then added: that if the Palestinians were to have ignited the wall, the Zionists would have been the first to draw that analogy.  He was very critical of Israeli and Zionist political exploitation of the Holocaust for political ends.  But he believed in dialogue and all that.