The Palestine Exception

Mitchell Plitnick, author of the recently published book Except for Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics, discusses how concern for Palestinian human rights is often excluded from the  progressive political agenda in this country. Drawing on his years of experience working for a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians, Plitnick assesses the recent Israeli election and its likely outcome. He compares the muted response to cuts in aid to Palestinian refugees during the Trump administration with the outcry over the administration’s treatment of migrants at the border to highlight his and co-author Marc Lamont Hill’s contention that legitimate criticism of Israeli has been unfairly stigmatized as anti-Semitic. Raised in a strongly Zionist Orthodox Jewish family, he discusses his own intellectual evolution as it applies to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as some of the fictions that often circulate about the conflict in defiance of the facts. He says liberals don’t need to support the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement, but they do need to recognize the legitimacy of boycotts as a form of free speech and a vehicle for social change.

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