David Lloyd: On the malevolence of occupation and necessity of BDS

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David Lloyd, the Distinguished Professor, poet, activist and signatory to both the Irish Academics’ and Irish Artists’ pledges to boycott Israel, has a wonderful piece entitled ‘The Malevolence of Occupation’ in the new issue of the Dublin Review of Books. Below is an excerpt, you can read the full piece here.

Above all, boycott is an instrument of civil society. We call for a boycott when the means to redress an ongoing injury are denied by the legal or political institutions that ought to intervene. In December 2009, Israel launched its catastrophic “Cast Lead” assault on Gaza ‑ as it would again in 2012 and 2014. Before it was over, Israel had killed some 1,400 Gazans, mostly civilians with nowhere to hide and no means of escape. At the height of this indiscriminate slaughter, the US House and Senate passed a resolution in support of Israel’s campaign that was mendacious in almost every clause, including blaming Hamas for this long-planned and disproportionate assault. Only four courageous representatives dissented. Given such lock-step support of Israel, even as the IDF was pursuing what the UN’s Goldstone report would later establish was a criminal and utterly asymmetrical war on an imprisoned population, it became apparent that American ‑ or European ‑ institutions would never hold Israel accountable without some countervailing pressure from grassroots social movements.

That’s why, in January 2009, a handful of US-based scholars launched the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. Boycott, as we understood it, was not simply an expression of our very lively disgust at Israel’s indiscriminate and overwhelming slaughter. It was, first and foremost, a response to the call from Palestinian civil society for boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel (BDS), directed not to the powers that had consistently and for decades failed them, but to global civil society. We committed to helping shape a social movement that would breach the blockade on achieving justice for Palestinians that Israel and its well-funded lobbies had for generations maintained.

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[Dublin] An evening with GHADA KARMI to launch her new memoir ‘Return’ (IPSC & AFP)

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On Thursday September 8th 2016 you are invited to spend an unforgettable evening with acclaimed Palestinian author, academic and activist Ghada Karmi as she launches her latest book, ‘Return: A Palestinian Memoir‘ (Verso, 2016).

The event, jointly hosted by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Academics for Palestine, will take place in the Ballroom in Wynn’s Hotel, 39 Abbey Street Lower, Dublin 1 at 7pm. Entry is free.

Ghada Karmi will be in conversation with well-known academic and journalist Harry Browne, and there will be time for questions from the audience.

PLEASE JOIN & SHARE THE EVENT ON FACEBOOK HERE.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase on the evening and the author will be pleased to sign them.

About the Book

An extraordinary memoir of exile and the impossibility of finding home, from the author of ‘In Search of Fatima‘ (Verso, 2002) and ‘Married to Another Man: Israel’s Dilemma in Palestine‘ (Pluto, 2007)

“The journey filled me with bitterness and grief. I remember looking down on a nighttime Tel Aviv from the windows of a place taking me back to London and thinking hopelessly, ‘flotsam and jetsam, that’s what we’ve become, scattered and divided. There’s no room for us or our memories here. And it won’t be reversed.’”

Having grown up in Britain following her family’s exile from Palestine, doctor, author and academic Ghada Karmi leaves her adoptive home in a quest to return to her homeland. She starts work with the Palestinian Authority and gets a firsthand understanding of its bizarre bureaucracy under Israel’s occupation.

In her quest, she takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the heart of one of the world’s most intractable conflict zones and one of the major issues of our time. Visiting places she has not seen since childhood, her unique insights reveal a militarised and barely recognisable homeland, and her home in Jerusalem, like much of the West Bank, occupied by strangers. Her encounters with politicians, fellow Palestinians, and Israeli soldiers cause her to question what role exiles like her have in the future of their country and whether return is truly possible.

Praise for the Book

“Not just life writing but writing that is alive. With perfectly attuned fidelity to the experiences it narrates, it offers a deeply engaged and engaging meditation on what it means to stay together as a people. Revolving this question in ways both existentially Palestinian and universally human, it is a literary memoir to be placed alongside those of Mourid Barghouti and Mahmoud Darwish.” – Caroline Rooney, Professor of African and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Kent

“’In Search of Fatima’ was a beautifully written and moving narrative… Return is both a sequel and a stand-alone memoir.” – Avi Shlaim, The Guardian

“Personal, warm and accessible, Return describes a life trajectory that captures the story of modern Palestine in a most unique and sensitive way. Beautifully written, it brings to the fore the human being behind the colonized, occupied and fragmented realities of present-day Israel and Palestine. It is an individual journey into the heart of the occupation’s darkness, where people, and not abstract ideas, are struggling with the impossibility of leading a normal life, or any life at all.” – Ilan Pappe, author of The Idea of Israel

“Eloquent and moving.” – David Shulman, New York Review of Books

Organised by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Academics for Palestine.

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