This piece was written after The Return to Palestine March, May 15, which saw 70,000+ Palestinians demonstrate at the border. It is written in response to criticism of the event.
We understand that this threatens those who maintain their positions of power based on defining this difference otherwise. But whom would I rather speak to? An individual with so-called “socially progressive views and values” who also happens to love going to Starbucks, who hires domestic slave labor, and who sends their children to elite private schools where they are shown Schindler’s List in history class? Or would I rather engage with those who are seen, described, and denigrated as being the exact opposite to the said views and values, but who understand concepts such as “oppressed” and “oppressor”? Who believe in the dialectic as the basis of understanding? For these “socially progressive views and values” are, in fact, reactionary, stultified, reductive and static. And they do not bring any semblance of freedom. You are not free until all are free based on the common will, not on, for example, an outdated French legal system, a relic of colonial times. And if you do not work toward this freedom for all, then you are just helping maintain the status quo; and it is this maintenance of the how-things-just-are that is killing four-fifths of the planet.