What do we make of right-wing incitement against Islam in America, and Arab Americans like Rashid Khalidi? Because it is primarily directed at Jews, despite the fact that most find themselves drawn to Obama, how are we to effectively interpret it, and work to minimize it’s potential consequences? Surely there is serious damage being done here.
Such forms of agitation are designed to erect the most vulgar of barriers between peoples, in this case, two American communities, both of whom share roots in the Middle East and bear unique personal witness to that region’s troubles. In the same way that US foreign policy has made it even more difficult to reconcile Jews and Arabs in the Levant, we must recognize that these kinds of practices also tend to inscribe similar kinds of divisions in the Diasporas we share.
Indeed, it is hard to not see in the kind of language used to classify Obama as a Muslim, and Khalidi a terrorist, a perverse desire to bring the war back to the West, and make sure that the same stresses that characterize life in the Middle East also make themselves felt in America as well. It seems that wherever we go, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is inescapable.
-From an article in progress