The current debate about Israel politics in the US-specifically attempts to brand anti-Zionism as antisemitism and more generally to delegitimize criticism of the Israeli occupation and/or Palestinian advocacy-provides an opportunity to analyze the crossing of two trends instrumental for the consolidation of rightist hegemony in contemporary U.S. cultural-political discourse. The first is a dialectical intensification of Enlightenment rationality: under the banner of perspective or belief, individuals are now capable of using “rationality” to undo reason, leaving them unable or unwilling to recognize reason, evidence, facts, and expertise that contradict affectively reinforced views. The second is the way in which what in the past would have been recognizable as intellectual positions are increasingly legible as, indeed only as, identity positions; thus do political or ideological oppositions-ideally amenable to adjudication and debate-become oppositions between different kinds of people-which are in essence intractable. This crossing has two outcomes: first, thought in our identitarian age renders compromise as a violation of personhood rights, and thereby as a scene of grievance; and second, the left currently lacks the means to best the right on the terrain of identity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences(all)