But When it Comes to Palestine

An excerpt from a recent Democracy Now interview with Marc Lamont Hill, the co-author of Except for Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics (2021).

…all the issues that are coming up right now really speak to the various ways that Palestinians have been made the exception to many of our progressive values and politics and actions, if you think about — or, rather, in activist circles. I’ll start there, in activist circles. You know, we have this person we call the ”PEP” — right? — the person who’s progressive except for Palestine. This is the person that’s outraged at Trump for his actions at the border, who’s disgusted by children in cages, who can’t stand to think about the erosion of civil liberties. But when it comes to Palestine, somehow, they don’t engage those same ideas in the same way.

And so, in our book, what we attempt to do is lay out the kind of policy groundwork. We lay out the frontier on which these battles are fought. We want people to understand not just the contradictions of the so-called left, but also to understand how those contradictions emerged. So, whether it’s questions about the right to exist, whether it’s questions about BDS, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or whether it’s the attempt to make Trump the exception rather than part of a more aggressive articulation of the American rule, we are attempting to show that the American left — those who identify as progressive, radical, liberal, what have you — have not held up the bargain in terms of matching their own ideals and values on this question of Israel and Palestine. And that’s something that we want to raise.

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It’s Not Just About What We’re Getting Rid Of

From Marc Lamont Hill, in a recent interview with Democracy Now.

An abolitionist vision, of course, ultimately is a world without policing and prisons. And that builds on the work of Critical Resistance, the wonderful work of Angela Davis and Mariame Kaba and Ruth Wilson Gilmore and other important Black feminist voices, radical Black feminists, who encourage us to have these ambitious sort of freedom dreams of what the world could be. It’s important to think about that.

But it’s not just about what we’re getting rid of. It’s what we want. We want a world where people’s needs are met, where people can have access to jobs, where people can have access to mental health support. And without those things, then we’re going to continue to end up with circumstances like this.

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