"...the thingness of something becomes apparent when it is no longer functioning as it did before or it becomes dysfunctional or if it appears in an unexpected place..."

Refusing to believe that the structures that now exist will exist for ever

I defend a politics of non-violence, in the knowledge that it cannot possibly operate as an absolute principle to be applied on all occasions. I maintain that liberation struggles that practise non-violence help to create the non-violent world in which we all want to live. I deplore the violence unequivocally at the same time as I, like so many others, want to be part of imagining and struggling for true equality and justice in the region, the kind that would compel groups like Hamas to disappear, the occupation to end, and new forms of political freedom and justice to flourish. Without equality and justice, without an end to the state violence conducted by a state, Israel, that was itself founded in violence, no future can be imagined, no future of true peace — not, that is, peace’ as a euphemism for normalisation, which means keeping structures of inequality, rightlessness and racism in place. But such a future cannot come about without remaining free to name, describe and oppose all the violence, including Israeli state violence in all its forms, and to do so without fear of censorship, criminalisation, or of being maliciously accused of antisemitism. The world I want is one that would oppose the normalisation of colonial rule and support Palestinian self-determination and freedom, a world that would, in fact, realise the deepest desires of all the inhabitants of those lands to live together in freedom, non-violence, equality and justice. This hope no doubt seems naive, even impossible, to many. Nevertheless, some of us must rather wildly hold to it, refusing to believe that the structures that now exist will exist for ever. For this, we need our poets and our dreamers, the untamed fools, the kind who know how to organise.

judith butler
the compass of mourning
LRB 13-10-23