7 Marzo 2024

La femminista Judith Butler definisce le violenze di Hamas del 7 ottobre “atti di resistenza armata contro la violenza di stato”

Outrage as influential feminist academic Judith Butler calls October 7 murder and rape ‘resistance’
Remark criticised as ‘the thinking by which Hamas gets redefined as progressive’

Influential feminist and gender studies academic Judith Butler has prompted outrage after she described the rapes and murders that took place on October 7 as acts of “armed resistance” against state violence.

The longtime Israel critic made the remark during a discussion on the conflict hosted by the French YouTube show Paroles d’Honneur.

Butler said that the attacks were “anguishing” and “terrible”, but added: “We can have a debate about whether we think it’s right.

“It was an act of armed resistance. It is not a terrorist attack and it’s not an antisemitic attack; it was an attack against Israelis.

“You know I did not like that attack, I have gone public with this [and] I have got in trouble for saying it was for anguishing, it was terrible.”

Dave Rich, Head of Policy at the Community Security Trust, wrote in response: “This is the thinking by which Hamas, an intolerant, reactionary organisation whose beliefs and actions ought to repel every left wing value and principle, gets redefined as progressive.”

Spokesman for Israel Eylon Levy, wrote: “Narrator: If you believe burning whole families alive and raping girls is an act of armed resistance, you are not a voice for peace. Whether you’re a Jew either is arguable.”

Butler also told the discussion: “I would be very foolish if I … decided that the only violence in the scene was the violence done to Israeli people.

“This was an uprising that came from a state of subjugation and against a violent state apparatus. Now you can be for or against armed resistance, you can be for or against Hamas, but let us at least call it armed resistance and then we can have a debate.”

The academic continued, “The problem is if you call it armed resistance, you are immediately thought to be in favour of armed resistance, and it’s like, well actually, not that armed resistance.

“We can discuss armed resistance – it is an open debate,” they said.

Butler’s remarks have been widely shared, including by Hamas media outlet Quds News Network.

A professor in Comparative Literature at the University of Berkley, Butler’s ideas have made their way into most UK undergraduate arts and humanities courses.

Famed for their book Gender Trouble, the 68-year-old has written extensively about identity and coined the phrase “gender performativity”.

Butler is Jewish, and many of her opinion pieces and interviews about Israel and Palestine include the words “as a Jew”.

In October the academic used an essay in the London Review of Books to condemn the Hamas attacks: “The only possible response to such killings is unequivocal condemnation”.

In the same piece, Butler argued that Palestinians were “subject to apartheid rules, colonial rule and statelessness”. Butler is a frequent proponent of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) and in October called Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza a “genocide”.

The New Yorker described Butler as an “international celebrity academic”, while an entry for Butler in the Routledge Handbook of Marxism and Post-Marxism says they “bear some comparison with Marx”.

Their feminist and queer theories are part of a wave of academia that builds on the work of Frantz Fanon and seeks to challenge notions of identity.

Butler is an influential voice in that debate. Amazon Books showed 276 results for the academic, while Google showed over 25 million. Her work is recommended for sixth-form students to read before they make an Oxbridge application.

Photo Credits: The Jewish Chronicle