Friday, December 06, 2013

Mandela and Palestine

While it won't get much airplay in the US and it will certainly never be mentioned by any "radical" American academics, Nelson Mandela and the ANC were strong supporters of the Palestinian liberation movement which they saw as similar to their own. In 1997 Mandela gave this speech on International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The hypocrites like Claire Potter, "The Tenured Radical" who claim that there is no comparison to the situation in South Africa under white rule and Palestine have simply ignored everything Mandela ever had to say on the subject. Her radical opposition to taking any type of concrete stand against apartheid in Palestine stands in very sharp contrast to the position of Mandela and the ANC. Unfortunately, the position of Claire Potter and Cary Nelson seems to be the orthodox position of "radicals" and "progressives" in US academia. The position of Mandela, however, has received a recent unexpected boost as people in favor of human rights for Palestinians have pushed back against the orthodox "radical" and "progressive" position as represented by Potter. The American Studies Association following in the footsteps of the the Association for Asian American Studies has endorsed an academic boycott of Israel.

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