[Marxism] FB comment on Zizek by Jacob Bard-Rosenberg

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Aug 6 06:00:31 MDT 2016

Yeah, people need to stop giving him airspace. A few of us had a pretty 
much stand-up row with him in Ramallah at the end of last year. He 
parachuted into our conference - which was pretty sensitive and full of 
a mix of artists, writers, activists, academics, some Palestinian, many 
from other Arab contexts, and many Europeans. He proceeded to give us 
his usual spiel: half an hour of graphic description of sexual violence 
against women; behaving like his audience is made up of some archetype 
of liberal, Western female grad students who for some reason he believes 
would be the just victims of said violence. Luckily some amazing women 
in the audience basically forced him to shut up. He then started 
cracking anti-Semitic jokes. Nothing I would normally be upset about so 
much except it was a conference full of those of us who do political 
work in Palestine and with Palestinians, and it is exactly what the 
Israeli state wants, to be able to call us all anti-semites. Literally 
had a screaming argument with him about this - and he just couldn't get 
that the complaint was about *us* and not about *him*. Thick, 
narcissistic bastard. His mate Udi Aloni also turned up, defended the 
anti-Semitic comment, but was forced to shut up quickly when a friend 
who works in theatre in Palestine pointed out that Udi takes advantage 
of the fact there is no copyright in Palestine to rip off artists in 
making his films. And of course Zizek came to Udi's defence. Heard from 
other friends in Turkey that the two of them decided to repeat the 
anti-semitism act in Istanbul a few months later.

This is just an anecdote I guess. He's done far worse. His commentary on 
the refugee crisis has been ridiculously racist, his piece about trans* 
stuff was disgusting, and literally every time I've heard him speak it's 
just endless graphic descriptions of violence against women always 
presented in a way that not only trivialises it (I don't think all jokes 
do this by any means, but his do), and which function on the level of 
transforming all women into the sorts of archetypes he believes would 
either justify or trivialise that violence.

I don't agree with what was said above about the whole Slovenian school 
by someone. Some of them I think can be decent - when heard Alenka 
Zupancic and Mladen Dolar speak I've found them both sympathetic and 
interesting, even if I would disagree with them on all sorts. Zizek on 
the other hand is another thing, and people need to stop inviting his 
opinions and presence.

More information about the Marxism mailing list