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13 Sep, 20 tweets, 4 min read
Israel dispossesses Palestinians on the basis that "we're Jews and they're not".

Israel subjects Palestinians to apartheid on the basis that "we're Jews and they're not".

Israel kills, starves, and blockades Palestinians on the basis that "we're Jews and they're not".
Some Palestinians respond to this by using harsh language against "Jews".

That is, using language which doesn't always distinguish between "Jews" and "Israelis".
Firstly, this is surely understandable. When an oppressor is oppressing on the explicit basis that "we're X and they're not", it makes sense that some of the oppressed would express anger at X.

It is the ethnonationalists who make this about race, not those responding to them.
Especially as expecting all of the oppressed, all of the time, to - in the midst of their grinding oppression - take pains to make careful distinctions to not offend their oppressors that the oppressors themselves don't make.
Secondly, and most crucially, to look at a situation where there is a literal, explicit, *ethnonationalist* movement – carrying out dispossession, killing, and other oppressions explicitly in the name of that ethnonationalism –
and focus on the racism of some of the language of some of those objecting to the racism intrinsic to the very concept of ethnonationalism itself.
Again, it is the ethnonationalism which makes this about race in the first place.

It is mindboggling to say to those being persecuted on the basis of ethnonationalism "you shouldn't being the ethnicity of the ethnonationalists into this".
Israel defines itself as being for only one particular ethnic group, and against the context of that backdrop people police the responses of those who oppose this ethnonationalist settler-colonialism – opposition to ethnonationalism being tautologically anti-racist – for racism?
We're talking about a country which literally imposes ethnic segregation even on tourists:

That's the context in which accusations of racism are being lobbed at the other side.
Like chastising African Americans under Jim Crow if some of them occasionally expressed frustration against "white people", or women if some occasionally expressed frustration against "men".
Straight from the horses mouth:…
Thirdly, this thread:

Policing the supposed racism of some Palestinians is grounded in the west absolving itself of responsibility for its own specific crimes, and making them "crimes by humanity" everyone is similarly culpable for.
Fourthly, a lot of the discourse on Palestinians implicitly assumes they are not regular human beings like westerners.

The purported understandings of Palestinian motives and actions proffered only make sense if the working model of Palestinians in
people's minds is that they are not affected by things in the same way westerners are, nor do they form intentions or decide how to act in the same way.
May God grant justice and ease to the Palestinians and the Uighurs and the Rohingya, and all other Muslims killed and driven out of their homes on the basis of their religion, and all people oppressed in the world.
Addendum: Americans love to advocate things like "the castle doctrine" and "stand your ground". And also, that one's rights do not come from the state.

But somehow, Palestinians cannot defend their homes or stand their ground. Or that as they don't have a state,
they don't have a right to self-defence - that having a state is a requirement for that right.

(Not to mention that if a people require a state for a right to self-defence, if you oppress a people by rendering them stateless you can now act carte blanche against them.)
Addendum 2: What's more, claims of Israeli "self-defence" are ludicrously decontextualised:

The idea that the Palestinians need to take their violent oppression lying down, and if they react their oppressors have a right to "self-defence", is outrageous.
Addendum 3: People who have spent years denying that implicit racism is widespread and arguing that the prejudices of recent history are gone, are now finding anti-Semitism everywhere.

People who have denounced "cancel culture" and called for "free speech" are now silent.
"[The Palestinians] are chided, like children, for losing their temper with an abusive parent who should be allowed to beat up the child in peace."

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More from @Evollaqi

26 Mar
I strongly identify with being British and English, think my country is terrific in most respects, and even support Brexit – but I think there is something deeply wrong with those who make their country their fundamental source of value, the thing they most ultimately believe in.
Firstly, what these people in fact believe in is an imagined fantasy. A vague and inchoate abstraction, and to the extent it carries any particulars they for the most part do not and have never reflected the actual country.
Secondly, even if this imagined fantasy was real it would not be worthy of being the fundamental value.

Something being contingent doesn't make it not meaningful, but it should make it not of ultimate meaning. Why make a deity out of the accidents of history and geography?
Read 17 tweets
6 Feb
Politically-active western Muslims are so often into "human rights", "economic justice", woke-ism, etc.

By and large, I don't think this is *ultimately* a product of being intellectually convinced by this set of ideas, or left wing intuitions.

I think it's ressentiment.
Because of the last few centuries of human history, they feel as though they're on the bottom of a hierarchy.

They want to upend this perceived hierarchy, so that they're on top or at least not on the bottom.
Hence the anger at the prevailing state of affairs (presented as "it's so unjust!"), and support for whatever dissolves it or subverts it.

Had Muslims instead been at the top of the perceived global hierarchy, many of these same people would be ardent conservatives.
Read 7 tweets
27 Dec 20
Perhaps the key political cleavage is as follows:

On the one side, those who wish to use the state to remake individuals and civil society so as to make them more free, equal, and prosperous.
On the other, those who see equality as equality under the law, freedom as the state acting to protect a narrow well-defined traditional set of rights whilst otherwise leaving individuals and civil society alone, and prosperity as best accomplished via the former two principles.
Hayek might call the former tendency 'rationalist-constructivism' whilst the latter 'classical liberalism'.
Read 82 tweets
14 Dec 20
This is not really an argument, and 100% applies to myself as someone who spends an inordinate amount of time thinking about political philosophy, but:
There is something sinister about people locked away in an ivory tower somewhere – people who we usually wouldn't trust with anything nor deem them as paragons of virtue – pontificating about how exactly society's resources, labour, talents, traits, etc ought to be distributed
as if they own it all and get to decide what to do with it.

Likewise, when those same people pontificate about how society's norms, relationships, and institutions ought to be torn down and built up according to their whims, as if they're entitled to rule over society.
Read 22 tweets
13 Dec 20
If you don't understand the theory how can you have a justified belief in its truth?

Obviously we have to defer to epistemic authorities in most things, but in a field as contested as political theory how do you know who to take as your epistemic authorities
without at least some understanding of the theory and of competing theories?

This just looks like a blind faith committment in a black box you non-rationally just desire to be true on a whim.
The attitude of the person in the video isn't surprising, unfortunately.

Most people, most of the time, have no incentive to arrive at true political beliefs.

Accordingly, few people even try.
Read 9 tweets
13 Dec 20
This is a good thread, and Jonathan Brown is certainly right that continental Europe isn't a good place for Muslims compared to some other states.

But I think he partially misidentifies why this is the case. There's a projection of Anglo liberalism onto the continent
when he says "Muslims are just minding their own business and protecting their rights, so the European opposition to them must be to things like dress".

Continental liberalism has always been about using the state to aggressively assimilate people into specific modes of life.
Whereas Anglo liberalism, whilst having tendencies towards that, also has the tendency that we're familiar with and which you wrongly project onto continental liberalism: namely "the state should leave people alone to pursue their plural modes of life".
Read 18 tweets

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