Sept 20 2007: Joel Kovel: Zionism and its Discontents

Thursday, September 20th @ 7pm

Simon Fraser University, Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings – Room 1700

“Certainly, there are a lot of people who consider themselves to be on the left and also Zionists. It is a contradiction, however, to advocate the cause of universal justice while still supporting the Zionist project of conquest. This is an untenable position that must be ideologically and politically combated because it weakens both the overall struggles of the left and the struggle against Zionism. To me, you cannot be on the left, in a meaningful sense, and still support the state of Israel-it is like saying that you can be left-wing and still support U.S. imperialism.” Briarpatch Magazine, August 2007

Joel Kovel is an author, scholar, media commentator and activist. He has served as a professor in Psychiatry, Anthropology, Political Science, Social Studies and Communications. Since 1988 he has been Professor of Social Studies at Bard College, Annandale, NY. He is also editor-in-chief of the Capitalism Nature Socialism (http://www.cnsjournal.org/). Kovel has developed his distinctive approach, which draws on both psychoanalysis and Marxism, across a wide range of publications. His ten books include The Enemy of Nature: The End of Capitalism or the End of the World? (2002), White Racism: A Psychohistory (1970) and Red Hunting in the Promised Land: Anticommunism and the Making of America (1994).

As an activist, Joel Kovel has been engaged in struggles for peace and justice since the Vietnam War era. He has worked within the antiwar and antinuclear movements, the solidarity movements in Central America and the Caribbean, the movements for democratic media, and, increasingly, for ecological transformation. Kovel joined Pastors for Peace as they broke the US blockade on Cuba in their 1994 Friendshipment. He has acted in films, worked frequently with the Bread and Puppet theatre, and lectured on four continents.! Kovel joined the Green Party in 1990. In 1998, he was the Green Party candidate for US Senator from New York, and in 2000 sought their Presidential nomination.

In Overcoming Zionism, Joel Kovel argues that the inner contradictions of Zionism have led Israel to a ’state-sponsored racism’ fully as incorrigible as that of apartheid South Africa and deserving of the same resolution. He believes that only a path toward a single-state secular democracy can provide the justice essential to healing the wounds of the Middle East.
Presented in cooperation by Canada Palestine Support Network (Canpalnet) and Boycott Israeli Apartheid Campaign (BIAC).

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