False Dichotomies

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Archive for March, 2012

The Banality of Consistency: A Response to Yousef Munayer

“Liberal Zionism is a contradiction in terms,” is the premise of Yousef Munayer’s debut post on Peter Beinart’s Zion Square blog, where he seems to have been enlisted as the token anti-Zionist. First, he says that Liberal Zionists “construct an artificial dichotomy between the states and the settlements; they pretend that the Israeli State and its settlements are somehow separate or separable.” Specifically, he objects to Beinart’s use of “undemocratic Israel” to describe the West Bank, as opposed to the “democratic Israel” inside the Green Line. Munayer goes on to point out that settlements exist because of the policies of successive Israeli governments, which is why BDS must “target the state, not just the settlements”. Read more

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Embellishing the Myth: Alan Hollinghurst’s The Stranger’s Child

The critical praise for The Stranger’s Child was probably inevitable, and in many ways reflects the ecstatic reception given to Jonathan Franzen’s similarly uninteresting epic, Freedom, in the United States. Both novelists’ previous works – The Line of Beauty and The Corrections respectively – were superior, and The Line of Beauty was a worthy winner of the 2004 Booker Prize. But one acknowledged classic should not mean a free pass for subsequent works; particularly as The Stranger’s Child is so obviously inferior to its predecessor. Read more

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