An introduction

This is a semi-public place to dump text too flimsy to even become a blog post. I wouldn't recommend reading it unless you have a lot of time to waste. You'd be better off at my livejournal. I also have another blog, and write most of the French journal summaries at the Eurozine Review.

Why do I clutter up the internet with this stuff at all? Mainly because I'm trying to get into the habit of displaying as much as possible of what I'm doing in public. Also, Blogger is a decent interface for a notebook

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Diaspora politics is identity politics in its purest form. Struggling to maintain and demonstrate identity in a foreign land, migrants adopt symbols and political doctrines from their hoemland. These are exaggerated to fill the gaps left by other forms of identity, and lack the pragmatic restraints that could come from actually living in a place.

A long article in the New York Review of Books considers the growing division betwen Zionists and liberal Jews, both in Israel and the US. It touches on the diaspora politics overall, but also connects to the impact of personal experience, memory, and generational divisions:

When he probed the students’ views of Israel, he hit up against some firm beliefs. First, “they reserve the right to question the Israeli position.” These young Jews, Luntz explained, “resist anything they see as ‘group think.’” They want an “open and frank” discussion of Israel and its flaws. Second, “young Jews desperately want peace.” When Luntz showed them a series of ads, one of the most popular was entitled “Proof that Israel Wants Peace,” and listed offers by various Israeli governments to withdraw from conquered land. Third, “some empathize with the plight of the Palestinians.” When Luntz displayed ads depicting Palestinians as violent and hateful, several focus group participants criticized them as stereotypical and unfair, citing their own Muslim friends.

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