In this episode of “Occupied Thoughts,” host Peter Beinart is joined by Palestinian academics Rashid Khalidi and Nadia Abu El-Haj to discuss a recent statement on the IHRA working definition of antisemitism, signed by 122 Palestinian and Arab thought leaders.
Peter Beinart is a Non-Resident Fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He is also a Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York, a Contributing opinion writer at the New York Times, an Editor-at-Large at Jewish Currents, and a CNN Political Commentator.
Nadia Abu El-Haj is Ann Olin Whitney Professor in the Departments of Anthropology at Barnard College and Columbia University, Co-Director of the Center for Palestine Studies, and Chair of the Board of Directors, The Society of Fellows/Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia. The recipient of numerous awards, including from the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner Gren Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Harvard Academy for Area and International Studies, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, she is the author of numerous articles and essays published on topics ranging from the history of archaeology in Palestine to the question of race and genomics today. Abu El-Haj has published two books: Facts on the Ground: Archaeological Practice and Territorial Self-Fashioning in Israeli Society (2001), which won the Albert Hourani Annual Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association in 2002, and The Genealogical Science: The Search for Jewish Origins and the Politics of Epistemology (2012). While Abu El-Haj’s two books to date have focused on historical sciences (archaeology, and genetic history), her third book, forthcoming from Verso, considers the post 9/11 wars and contemporary U.S. militarism through an exploration of the complex ethical and political implications of shifting psychiatric and public understandings of the trauma of American soldiers.
Rashid Khalidi is Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University. He received a B.A. from Yale University in 1970 and a D. Phil. from Oxford University in 1974, and has taught at the Lebanese University, the American University of Beirut, and the University of Chicago. He was President of the Middle East Studies Asociation, is co-editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies. He served as an advisor to the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid and Washington Arab-Israeli peace negotiations from October 1991 until June 1993. Khalidi is author of eight books, including The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: Settler-Colonial Conquest and Resistance, 1917-2017 (2020), and Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (rev. ed. 2010), and has co-edited three other books and published over 110 academic articles. He has written op-eds in the New York Times, Washington Post, and many other newspapers, and has appeared widely on TV and radio in the US and abroad.