Philosophers Alain Badiou and Slavoj Zizek and filmmaker Udi Aloni were invited yesterday in New York (peculiarly enough, hosted by St Paul’s Church in Manhattan which seems to have an interesting priest) by the famous Jenin Freedom Theater (located in Jenin’s refugee camp in the West Bank) in order to expose their thought about the current Palestinian situation.
It would be hard for me to make a coherent summary of those three talks and I am unfortunately lacking of time to do so; however I wanted to report several points which were evoked yesterday:
– The Palestinian weakness is and has to be an affirmation of existence
– Under the name of Palestinian lies something universal
– Palestinians are being presented but not represented
UDI ALONI (who wanted to talk as an “Israeli Jew”):
– It is very important to distinguish which art if the official art and which one is the resistive one. Films like Waltz with Bashir or Lebanon are the official art.
– The difference between Tel Aviv’s population and Jerusalem’s population is that Tel Aviv’s is racist but think it is liberal whereas Jerusalem’s know it is racist and acts like it.
– Colonization does not really happen between “what is happening” (in reference of what interests Western medias). Colonization is a slow and invisible process enforced by a Kafkaesque bureaucracy system
– Joke: “In an old joke from the defunct German Democratic Republic, a German worker gets a job in Siberia; aware of how all mail will be read by the censors, he tells his friends: ‘Let’s establish a code: if a letter you get from me is written in ordinary blue ink, it’s true; if it’s written in red ink, it’s false.’ After a month, his friends get the first letter, written in blue ink: ‘Everything is wonderful here: the shops are full, food is abundant, apartments are large and properly heated, cinemas show films from the West, there are many beautiful girls ready for an affair — the only thing you can’t get is red ink.”
That is our role to be the red ink.
– Israeli liberals want “decaffeinated Palestinians” (in reference of his observation on nowadays’ society who wants coffee without caffeine, beer without alcohol, cream without fat, warfare without casualty, sex without sex etc.)
– Western Countries (especially in Europe currently) are acting for a “reasonable racism”, a “barbarism with human face”, a racial oppression that does not kill.
– “Antigone is a true bitch”. He advices the Jenin Freedom Theater which wants to play Antigone to change the script during the fight between Antigone and Creon by an exasperation of the people of Thebes who proclaim a revolution and kills both of them (!).
I know that it is sometimes risky or irrelevant to extract those quotes from their context (each ot their talks last for thirty minutes), but I thought it was worth it to have a bit of the substance of what have been said.