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Tel Aviv University
TAU Ariella Azoulay - If One Picture is Not Worth a Thousand Words Add Text

Dr. Ariella Azoulay

Email: rellyaz@netvision.net.il

Editorial Note:
IAM has reported that radical scholars have compared the IDF's treatment of the Palestinians to that of Jews during the Holocaust. Neve Gordon (BGU) implied that the fence around Gaza is akin to that around concentration camps in Europe, and B'Tselem ran ads in Haaretz depicting the Gaza Strip as large ghetto and/or concentration camp behind barbed wires. Adi Ophir, the head of the Political Lexicon Project at the Minerva Humanities Center (TAU) declared that Israel operates at the same ontological plane of evil as Nazi Germany. Ariella Azoulay, his frequent collaborator, an MA art program instructor whose title at the Minerva Humanities is Director of Photo-Lexic Research, has manipulated photographic images to prove that the Nakba and the occupation are the Holocaust of the Palestinians. Unfortunately for Azoulay there is no evidence to support the "Nakba-as-Holocaust" theory, but the ever resourceful expert in visual arts relied on text to make sure that the audience does not miss the connection.

In the image below, she writes that the Palestinians "force the soldiers to chase them as if they were chasing (Jewish) prisoners under the Nazi regime." The fence, of course,adds to the "Holocaust atmospherics" as it is not explained that Israel was forced to erect a separation barrier after more than a decade of suicide attacks on its civilians. 

As the world commemorates the UN International Holocaust Day, we post a couple of pictures from the Holocaust to protest the specious comparisons that Azoulay and her radical comrades make. This practice is especially egregious given the fact that the European Union considers "nazification of Israel," illegitimate. In fact, the British Liberal Democratic Party is planning to discipline an MP who compared Israel to Nazi Germany. Previously, the Labor Party expelled George Galloway for the same offense.

We have no illusion that it would change their minds; as long as the Israeli taxpayer supports this type of dubious scholarship under the flag of academic freedom, Azoulay can use the legitimacy of being a Tel Aviv University faculty to travel abroad to mount exhibitions to support her theory.


When the Body Politic Ceases To Be an Idea

Ariella Azoulay


Civil awakening at this time / sheds a new light on the great revolutions of the eighteenth century / exposes the fact that they are the revolutions of ruling powers / which, on behalf of the nation’s right to self- determination / expel entire populations / And in the name of the capital they covet / recruit all who are allowed to remain or enter / as the nation’s sentries.

For every horror / that today might seem a novelty / a precedent is found in regimes that rose, inspired by those great revolutions / revolutions that created / an ongoing regime-made disaster / A disaster for the mere fact that based / on religion, nationality, gender or race / not all governed are recognized as citizens / A regime-made disaster in which / the body politic is abstracted from all who are governed / and becomes an idea / A product of a ruling power / that by brute force decrees: these—yes, those—no.

Those who were distanced from the body politic / created in the great revolutions of the eighteenth century / women, blacks, the poor, and children / are the ones whose civil awakening moved revolution
/ But the civil revolution was immediately replaced by governmental power revolution / and instead of partnership among members of the body politic / they became ruled.

Since then, when sometimes against all chances / Opportunity appears on the horizon / Citizens have not given up / The possibility of imagining another life / Once in a while they re-emerge and declare: / Without
us there is no body politic; only an idea on paper.

Here they are in the pictures / sweating, shouting, putting up tents / surrounding policemen, holding fishing rods as well as pots and pans / with ropes and in underwear, sharing the space and claiming
a re-partitioning / Determined to be, and not to be evicted / They transform time and again / Turn civil language into a spoken one / A language learnt in the body / and written in pictures / spoken in the plural / together with others / Anyone who speaks it is present as a living reminder / of the fact that she is not a resource / neither she nor the world in which she lives / That rule is merely a temporary deposit / and when it does not enable being-together / it must be re-constituted.

Civil language is not new / It is being revived today / because all over the world / simultaneously / more and more women and men speak to each other in civil language / The broad expansion of this language creates an opportunity to rethink Palestine / To suspend, ad hoc, solutions proposed by oppressive politics / of which nationality, capital and war are its syntactic foundations / To reconstructpossibilities of being-together in which Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies / To recognize refugees as an ongoing “occupy” movement / to claim a civil state to which refugees return and shape their destiny as full citizens for all purposes / To realize the potential of the world’s political map, showing that / of all places, Palestine, whose people were expelled and oppressed for decades / has been spared the “award” entitled “nation-state” and the lie of self-determination / To contest the conformist idea that a nation needs self- determination and a nation-state / No state better demonstrates how the nation-state oppresses than the State of Israel / All those who do not belong to its people / Fortification of borders / Refusal of refuge to those who seek it within its area / and Use of the force vested in it by its citizens to intimidate them / and in the name of their security / Expel those marked as its enemies.

To reconstruct a civil link among sense data, what people do and experience and the system of words and notions that serves them as they exist and act / To deconstruct ruling language and its Justifications which will appear as acts of violence towards all those governed / To deepen civil syntax / While the various expressions of this language / serving citizens the world over / appear in one sequence / Revolution is revealed as a civil language / a form of partnership that renews itself / no one can claim to be its sole author / and deny it to others / and no ruling power is entitled or capable of killing it / Out of civil revolution one can begin to imagine a being together that is not subject to the sovereign power of capital and nation.

A huge number of civil language speakers in places far and wide / are learning and using it nowadays, simultaneously / The revival of civil language on a global scale / is a golden opportunity to reconstruct / rich repertoires of past civil actions / and to re-weave all its performances / that have been consistently oppressed by sovereign national regimes.

For the first time in history / civil awakening has managed to break through the shackles of the nation- state / Today in Bahrain, tomorrow in Montréal / yesterday in Ramallah / next week in Tel Aviv / in June in Seoul / and in October in San’ah.

The hour of Palestine has come / the time to revive Palestine / as a beacon for all nations—state in which / Palestinians and Jews will live together as citizens.

Information with which to complete the list of photographers is welcome.

Bil’in, July 12, 2012
In this act, too, Palestinians are the ones who will be arrested. This time, however, they force the Israeli soldiers to chase them as if they were chasing (Jewish) prisoners under the Nazi regime. The soldiers can insist that these are only Palestinians, but the photographic act preserves the meaning with which Palestinians wanted to imbue the situation.
© Photograph Haitham Khatib / Haitham Khatib Photography


Brown University


Conference: Habits of Living
(Brown University, March 21-23, 2013)

This international conference will bring together prominent and innovative scholars and artists at Brown University. There will be ninety-minute panels (each with two speakers), a keynote address by the RAQs Media Collective, a series of concurrent "unconferences" (informal sessions to be run by the audience), a scrapyard challenge, and an exhibition of work running in parallel. Speakers includeAriella Azoulay, Elizabeth Bernstein, Biella Coleman, Didier Fassin, Kara Keeling, Laura Kurgan, Ganaelle Langlois, Colin Milburn, Nicholas Mirzoeff, Elias Muhanna, Lisa Parks, Raqs Media Collective, Nishant Shah, Ravi Sundarum, Tiziana Terranova, and Nigel Thrift.

This event is designed as a large public conference whose major segments are participant-driven "unconferences." Unconferences are fluid events of casual five-minute "lightning" presentations and informal dialogue generated through group interactions. To facilitate discussion around networked societies, the multiple unconference sessions will focus around topics generated in advance by all the participants in the audience who will be guided through a quick and easy sign-up process. The unconferences are meant to take a more improvisational form, so the themes and locations will remain flexible, and entirely driven by audience participation.

Attendance at the conference is free, but please register here.

Habits of Living is generously sponsored by Brown University via the Dean of the FacultyThe Malcolm S. Forbes Center for Culture and Media StudiesThe Cogut Center for the HumanitiesThe Humanities InitiativeThe Vice President for International Affairs, and The Brown India Initiative. Additional sponsorship provided by RISD Digital + Media.

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