British Writers In Support of Palestine

September 11, 2012

Judith Butler Adorned: PACBI salutes an engaged intellectual

Filed under: Boycott Israel — Naomi Foyle @ 10:15 pm
Tags: , ,

BWISP congratulates renowned American scholar Judith Butler, who was today awarded the prestigious Adorno Prize in Frankfurt.  Butler, a staunch supporter of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS), has been forced to defend her acceptance, speaking out in Mondoweiss against Zionist critics who sought to block the award with slurs of anti-Semitism. Here, she credits her own Jewish schooling as a founding force in her ethics, stating that ‘I was taught at every step in my education that it is not acceptable to remain silent in the face of injustice’.  BWISP is pleased to circulate this statement by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), saluting Judith Butler’s integrity and courage.

Adorn Butler with the Adorno Prize: She will add to its worth

Occupied Palestine, 10 September 2012 — The Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE), the General Union of Palestinian Writers, the Association of University Teachers-Gaza, and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) stand in solidarity with Judith Butler in the face of the recent vicious attacks and bullying by Israel and Zionist groups in the West in their attempt to deny her the prestigious German award, the Adorno Prize [1].  Judith Butler’s humanism, critical thought and distinguished intellectualism entitle her without doubt to this and many other awards.
The main reason for this crusade against Judith Butler is her outspoken support for the Palestinian-led, global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.  BDS calls for ending Israel’s occupation, colonization and apartheid against the Palestinian people through sustained, effective, morally-consistent pressure on Israel, on its complicit institutions, as well as on international corporations and entities that are implicated in Israel’s violations of international law.  In endorsing BDS, Butler is being consistent with her long tradition of standing up for freedom, justice, self determination and equal rights in other causes.  The fact that she evokes her Jewish identity and social justice principles associated with it to challenge Israel’s and Zionism’s cynical appropriation of Jewishness is what made her a particularly urgent target for propaganda campaigns waged by Israel and its lobby groups.
The great Palestinian thinker Edward Said once wrote:
“Nothing in my mind is more reprehensible than those habits of mind in the intellectual that induce avoidance, that characteristic turning away from a difficult and principled position that you know to be the right one, but which you decide not to take. … For an intellectual, these habits of mind are corrupting par excellence.

Personally, I have encountered them in one of the toughest of all contemporary issues, Palestine, where fear of speaking out about one of the greatest injustices in modern history has hobbled, blinkered, muzzled many who know the truth and are in a position to serve it. For despite the abuse and vilification that any outspoken supporter of Palestinian rights and self determination earns for him or herself, the truth deserves to be spoken, represented by an unafraid and compassionate intellectual.” [2]
Judith Butler is such an “unafraid and compassionate intellectual.”  We salute her courage and call on every self-respecting academic and intellectual to stand with her against the hopeless, vindictive, yet taxing, attempt to silence her mind.
– Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE)
– General Union of Palestinian Writers
– University Teachers’ Association-Gaza

– Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)


[2] Edward Said, Representations of the Intellectual, The 1993 Reith Lectures

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