28th August 2012
Here is Judith Butler’s response, with the missing context included.
“Understanding Hamas/Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the left, that are part of a global left, is extremely important. That does not stop us from being critical of certain dimensions of both movements. It doesn’t stop those of us who are interested in non-violent politics from raising the question of whether there are other options besides violence.”
It’s only fair to point out that she says she’s not a supporter of violent resistance. And that’s all fine and good. But Hamas and Hezbollah both explicitly say, in Arabic and in English, that they seek the destruction of Israel. There is no non-violent way to destroy a country.
I’d like to ask her, though, what makes Hezbollah a “progressive social movement”? Because it builds hospitals and schools? That hardly makes a movement “progressive.” Has any modern political entity not built hospitals and schools when it had power? Adolf Hitler built hospitals and schools, as did everyone from Augusto Pinochet to Georgios Papadopoulos. So what?
Hezbollah is notoriously hostile to every social value liberals and progressives hold dear, from women’s rights to gay rights, with one exception. Hezbollah says the United States and Israel are the Great Satan and the Little Satan. That’s it. That, all by itself, is enough to get a socially retrograde totalitarian terrorist organization labeled “progressive” even by a professor who adheres to non-violent politics.