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Whither Argumentation? A Response to Louis Nayman

Whither Argumentation? A Response to Louis Nayman

Louis Nayman’s “Whither Zizek?: On Zionism and Jews,” a critical reply to my “Whither Zionism?” culminates in the following conclusion:

What Zizek’s argument comes down to is that everyone would be better off if Jews would only do the world a solid favor by repudiating that which makes us Jews, denying where we came from, and maybe—if it wouldn’t be too much trouble—disappearing as a nation from the face of the earth.

In short, even if I don’t advocate a new physical holocaust, I at least sympathize with a cultural version of it—a total erasure of the Jewish identity. How did Nayman reach this outrageous conclusion? The gist of his argument is contained in the following passage: “ ‘The lesson,’ ” writes Zizek, ‘is simply that every form of legitimization of a claim to land by some mythic past should be rejected.’ Presumably the ‘mythic past’ he would like Jews to forget is the Old Testament,” and then he goes on to quote a number of the testament’s passages.

This gap in argumentation seems to me beyond belief.

[Extract. Appeared in In These Times, on April 1st, 2015. (full text).]


Slavoj Žižek

Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst, and a senior researcher at the Institute for Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London. He has also been a visiting professor at more than 10 universities around the world. Žižek is the author of many books; his latest are Against the Double Blackmail and Disparities. This account is not monitored and is only maintained to give appropriate credit.

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