This article explores what Gaza reveals about the extent, depth, and limits of contemporary metropolitan solidarity with Palestine. Focusing on Israel's recent wars on Gaza, I assess how these most explicit and spectacular manifestations of Israel's long-term policies there have been addressed in solidarity discourses and practices. Despite their apparent galvanizing powers, do such discourses and practices also act as sites of marginalization or occlusion? Where do we locate a Palestinian voice within them? My overarching objective in this inquiry is to reconsider solidarity from the standpoint of its beneficiaries, and to question the political, ethical, and cultural ramifications of such in context of the deep time of the Israel-Palestine conflict. In so doing, I freshly illuminate the limitations of solidarity in attending to Zionism as a schema of enforced ethno-nationalist differentiation that has undergirded and legitimated not just the Gaza wars but also the history of the conflict itself.
Gaza and the Limits of Metropolitan Solidarity: Affiliation under Duress
Karim Mattar is associate professor of English at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has recently completed two books, a monograph entitled Specters of World Literature: Orientalism, Modernity, and the Novel in the Middle East (2020) and, with Anna Ball, a coedited volume entitled The Edinburgh Companion to the Postcolonial Middle East (2019).
Karim Mattar; Gaza and the Limits of Metropolitan Solidarity: Affiliation under Duress. boundary 2 1 May 2021; 48 (2): 205–232. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-8677923
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