Thursday, July 7, 2016

Viet Thanh Nguyen, BDS

I have reviewed and praised Viet Thanh Nguyen's novel "The Sympathizer."

It seems the author now supports the BDS approach to the issue of Israel and Palestinians. 

Let me suggest, though it might take some thought to make the distinction, that there is a real distinction to be made between supporting Palestinian rights and supporting BDS.

The latter is full of misconceptions and, alas, some ugly Jew-hatred, disguised or revived by opposition to Israeli policy.

At its core, as expressed by its chief spokesman, Omar Barghouti, the goal is not to get back the West Bank in the formation of a Palestinian State. The goal to treat Israel itself as nothing but an occupying power of every acre upon which it exists.

This is an unobtainable and self-defeating goal for all concerned, including, if not mostly, Palestinians.

As for Viet Thanh Nguyen, his novel was distinguished by his painfully divided sympathies for both sides in the Vietnam War. He despises the Americans, without quite endorsing their opponents. He is as critical of Ho Chi Minh Thought as he is of American militarism.

He seems to have dropped that sympathizer status with regard to Israel and the Palestinians.

Too bad.

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