Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Not really Palestinian...

Re-packaging Nadia Abu el Haj:

The odd thing is that Kramer goes to great lengths to deny that Nadia Abu El-Haj is a Palestinian at all. "Is Nadia Abu El-Haj a Palestinian?" asks the interviewer. Answer: "No, she's actually an Episcopalian from the United States, born in Long Island. Her father was Palestinian." Kramer again: "She [Abu El-Haj] came to this project [of Israeli archaeology] as an American with no particular axe to grind." (Amazing quote, that.) Kramer even scolds Paula Stern, Barnard alumna and author of the petition against tenure for Abu El-Haj, because Stern "didn't know Abu El-Haj wasn't Palestinian."

Well, by these criteria, (New York-born) Rashid Khalidi and (Champaign, Illinois-born) Lila Abu-Lughod and (Washington-born) Ali Abunimah aren't Palestinians either. They were born here, not there, and they're U.S. citizens. (As for being an Episcopalian, so was Edward Said.) Jane Kramer is so clueless that she seems not to have figured out that "Palestinian" can be an identity. To judge from Nadia Abu El-Haj's choices--from keeping her father's Arabic name to working exclusively on undermining Israel's claims--it's obvious that her Palestinian identity is profoundly meaningful (and useful) to her...

Read the post on Solominia, and Martin Kramer's comment


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