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March 16, 2016

LA Times Obscures Judith Butler's Anti-Zionism

Judith Butler lat.jpg
The Los Angeles Times identified Judith Butler, an anti-Zionist activist, as a professor "who has written on Zionism"

The Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists calls on journalists to "Identify sources clearly. The public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources." In her article today about the new University of California policy draft which includes anti-Zionism as a form of discrimination that is unacceptable on campus, The Los Angeles Times' Teresa Watanabe fails to clearly identify one on her sources as an extreme partisan on the issue ("UC proposal on intolerance says 'anti-Zionism' is unacceptable on campus").

She describes Judith Butler, a long-time anti-Zionist activist only as "a Berkeley professor of comparative literature who has written on Zionism." From Watanabe's incomplete and misleading description, readers would incorrectly conclude that Butler is an impartial academic who has written objectively about Zionism and who therefore is well positioned to give a balanced take on the UC draft.

The reality could not be further from the truth. Writing in Al Jazeera, Mark Levine, a professor of Middle Eastern History at UC Irvine, described Butler as "the literary critic and philosopher whose criticism of Israel and support for the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement have recently defined her in the public eye for more than her seminal research on feminist, queer, literary theory and political philosophy."

A member of the radical Jewish Voices for Peace, Butler's anti-Zionist views envision a "binational" state, commonly understood to mean the dissolution of the Jewish nation state.

Her anti-Israel views were on display in 2011 when she defended the anti-Israel terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah. She stated that "understanding Hamas, Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left, is extremely important."

Posted by TS at March 16, 2016 08:36 AM


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