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August 28, 2012 11:20 am

Frankfurt to Award Professor Who Called Hamas, Hezbollah Progressive (VIDEO)

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Frankfurt, Germany. Photo: wiki commons.

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.

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  • EthanP

    Why the surprise. Ant-semitism is so ingrained in Christian culture that now, even when Christianity has lost much of it’s influence, western society has no difficulty in blaming a tiny nation for the worlds problems. Else why the worlds preoccupation with the Palestinians. By any standard, they are not badly off. Compare their lot to the people of Tibet, Darfur, the Kurds, Zaire, Zimbabwe. These people are “oppressed”. In Zaire and Darfur they have been slaughtered in the MILLIONS. Yet the plight of the Palestinians dominates. As Thomas Friedman said, “the Palestinians are fortunate in their enemy. Their behaviour would not be tolerated if their enemy were not Jews.”

    • Superglue

      So I take it that you and Th. Friedman agree that Israel is the enemy of the Palestinians? Haven´t heard anyone admitting this so openly for a while. I actually don´t think that the “Jews” are…I happen to know Jews who have nothing against Palestinians.
      But what has your comment about Christian antisemitism to do with Judith Butler?…She is jewish herself…and what makes raising questions about Israeli politics antisemitic?..And besides: I can´t see a preoccupation with Palestinians either…but you should at least be fair: this particular problem has been around for much longer than the conflicts in Darfur…And the issue in Tibet pops up every now and then, too….