The city of Frankfurt is set to award its prestigious Theodor Adorno prize to Professor Judith Butler, an avid proponent and supporter of boycotting Israeli products and cultural offerings.
The Adorno award, which is given for excellence in philosophy, music, film, and theater, is handed out every 3 years, and is named for a German-Jewish man who fled Nazi Germany but returned to the country after World War II to become a professor at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt.
The Jerusalem Post asked Butler about statements she once made, claiming that Hamas and Hezbollah are “social movements that are progressive, that are on the Left, that are part of a global Left.” In an e-mail, Butler responded by saying her comments were “taken out of context.”
“My remarks on Hamas and Hezbollah have been taken out of context and misrepresent my established and continuing views,” Butler said in an email message. “I was asked by a member of an academic audience whether I thought Hamas and Hezbollah belonged to the ‘global Left,’ and I replied with two points. My first point was that those political organizations define themselves as anti-imperialist, and anti-imperialism is one characteristic of the global Left. My second point was the following: As with any group on the Left, one has to decide whether one is for that group or against it.”
Taken from a video of the said event, posted below, her precise remarks were as follows: “I think, yes, understanding Hamas/Hezbollah as social movements that are progressive that are on the left; that are part of a global Left is extremely important….Again, a critical and important engagement, I mean I certainly think it should be entered into the conversation of the Left.”
Butler said that she has “never taken a stand on either organization” in her e-mail to The Post.
Dr. Charles Small, the director of The Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy and the Koret Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, told The Post that the logic being used by Butler in her campaign against Israel, is the same logic that was used to force Theodor Adorno out of Germany.
“Adorno — a true scholar and master of the study of totalitarianism and anti- Semitism — was also made into a refugee by this insidious ‘logic’ which will be on display when Butler is recognized,” Small said.
“…her stated opinion in the video is nothing short of amazing,” wrote Anonymous pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon, “A celebrated academic who is unabashedly left-wing goes out of her way to describe Islamist groups – groups that are anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-human rights and really totally opposed to everything that progressives say they hold dear – as part of the fabric of the Left, her Left, the political philosophy that she is proudly part of.”
To watch Judith Butler speak and answer questions at UC Berkeley, click below. Her reference to Hamas, Hezbollah appears at approximately 16:20.