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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Newest pseudo-academic anti-Israel buzzword: "Spacio-cide"

If you need an example of how anti-Israel academics use the veneer of scholarship to target Israel, here's a good one by Sari Hanafi at the American University of Beirut:
This article argues that the Israeli colonial project is ‘spacio-cidal’ (as opposed to genocidal) in that it targets land for the purpose of rendering inevitable the ‘voluntary’ transfer of the Palestinian population primarily by targeting the space upon which the Palestinian people live. The spacio-cide is a deliberate ideology with unified rational, albeit dynamic process because it is in constant interaction with the emerging context and the actions of the Palestinian resistance. By describing and questioning different aspects of the military-judicial-civil apparatuses, this article examines how the realization of the spacio-cidal project becomes possible through a regime that deploys three principles, namely: the principle of colonization, the principle of separation, and the state of exception that mediates between these two seemingly contradictory principles.
In summary, Israel is evil, and therefore we must find a way to define everything it does as inherently evil and then explain it afterwards. The author has to admit that Israel isn't engaging in genocide - even academics can only stretch the truth so much - so he has to come up with a new, similarly-evil sounding construct.

But there is one simple way to prove that there is nothing academic about this paper, even without reading it. A real academic would choose an appropriate Latin root word to coin a new word. In this case, -cide means "killer" or "act of killing."

Can space be killed? Is Israel killing anyone even if it was wantonly confiscating land from Arabs?

By coining the word spacio-cide, Hanafi proves that he just wants to create anti-Israel propaganda by evoking the idea of Israel being a murderous regime.

The irony of course is that Palestinian Arabs living in Lebanon suffer from the inability to build anything outside of their hugely crowded camps that they are forced to live in, and now tens of thousands of Syrian Palestinians are being forced into those same camps rather than with the other Syrian refugees. But an Arab academic criticizing an Arab country is unlikely to advance very far in his career. Creating a ridiculous anti-Israel word (much like "pinkwashing" or "homonationalism") is apparently the newest trend among pseudo-academics.

(h/t Omri)