Nov 2, 2011

#BDS: Israel’s Exceptionalism: Normalizing the Abnormal

"In the Palestinian and Arab struggle against Israeli colonization, occupation and apartheid, the “normalization” of Israel is a concept that has generated controversy because it is often misunderstood or because there are disagreements on its parameters. This is despite the near consensus among Palestinians and people in the Arab region on rejecting the treatment of Israel as a “normal” state with which business as usual can be conducted. Here, we discuss the definition of normalization that the great majority of Palestinian civil society, as represented in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, has adopted since November 2007, and elaborate on the nuances that it takes on in different contexts.

It is helpful to think of normalization as a “colonization of the mind,” whereby the oppressed subject comes to believe that the oppressor’s reality is the only “normal” reality that must be subscribed to, and that the oppression is a fact of life that must be coped with. Those who engage in normalization either ignore this oppression, or accept it as the status quo that can be lived with. In an attempt to whitewash its violations of international law and human rights, Israel attempts to re-brand [1] itself, or present itself as normal -- even “enlightened” -- through an intricate array of relations and activities encompassing hi-tech, cultural, legal, LGBT and other realms."

Read more: