In December of 2013, the American Studies Association made headlines when its members voted to endorse the Association's participation in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. According to the ASA website,
The boycott is part of a larger movement, BDS, which stands for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions.... In 2005, a majority of Palestinian civil society groups and organizations organized together in protest against Israel's violations of Palestinian human rights. These organizations have called for non-violent tactics of boycotts, divestments, and sanctions against Israeli academic and cultural institutions.
This decision has brought national attention to the BDS movement. Don't miss Nation Books author Max Blumenthal in conversation with Ali Abunimah at New York University on March 10th. The panel will discuss BDS, the fate of the two-state solution, and a potential path to a more hopeful future.
The latest work from Blumenthal is Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel. In an article for Al-Monitor, Akiva Eldar — a former chief political columnist and editorial writer for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, where he worked for 35 years — writes,
Unlike most Jews — American or Israeli — Blumenthal chose to leave his comfort zone, go into disputed territory and examine the burning questions for himself. In fact, Blumenthal's greatest strength and interest is in events on the ground and the people who live there, far from the "peace process" and diplomatic salons.
Blumenthal immerses himself like few other journalists inside the world of hardline political leaders and movements. In Goliath, Blumenthal reveals an Israel where right-wing leaders are sacrificing democracy on the altar of their power politics; where there is an organized assault on civil liberties; and where mob violence targets Palestinians and African asylum seekers scapegoated by leading government officials as "demographic threats."
Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist whose articles and video documentaries have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Daily Beast, The Nation, and many other publications. His book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party (Nation Books, 2010) was a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller.
Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University, says, "Goliath lifts the carefully maintained veil concealing the reality of Israel as it actually is today, a reality that is elided in most reportage from the region…. Blumenthal's book is packed with remarkable vignettes illustrating the dangerous path Israel is currently following." And James Fallows at the Atlantic says, "Goliath is a particular kind of exposé-minded, documentary-broadside journalism whose place we generally recognize and respect.... Blumenthal has made a sobering prima facie case that there are extreme forces [within Israel's current political-social dynamics] to be aware of, and reckoned with more fully than American discourse usually does."
Ali Abunimah is a world renowned Palestinian journalist and writer. He is co-founder and editor of the Electronic Intifada, has written hundreds of articles on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, including his first book One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. His forthcoming book put out by Haymarket Books is The Battle for Justice in Palestine.
Moustafa Bayoumi, the author of How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America, calls Abunimah "the most astute commentator writing on Palestine today." In addition, Joseph Massad, professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University, calls The Battle for Justice in Palestine "the best book on Palestine in the last decade."
Watch Blumenthal on Democracy Now! Part II is available here.
You can purchase Goliath here.
The event is on Monday, March 10th, at 7:00pm at NYU's Global Center for Academic & Spiritual Life. For more information, click here.