At Princeton, this fall, for the first time, a course is to be given on “Decolonizing Trauma Studies” — the trauma in question resulting from the horrors visited on the Global South by the mean old settler-colonizers of the Global North, still run by a cabal of cis-gendered white males spouting their hegemonic discourse and bell-curvical racism.
The main text to be used in this course, written by one Jasbir Puar, a “queer theorist” who is a professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at Rutgers University, is The Healing Humanities: The Right To Maim. And the course itself is called “Decolonizing Trauma Studies from the Global South.” So far, so predictably bell-curvaciously awful. But wait — there’s more! And you can find it here: “Book claiming Israel harvests Palestinian organs taught in Princeton humanities course,” by Daniel Edelson, Ynet News, August 6, 2023:
Princeton University has included in a syllabus for a fall semester course: Decolonizing Trauma Studies from the Global South, a book written by Jsbir Puar called The Healing Humanities: The Right to Maim in which she claims the IDF was harvesting the organs of Palestinians.
Duke University Press, that published Puar’s book, is proud of her “pathbreaking” work. Here is what it says in praise of Puar:
In The Right to Maim Jasbir K. Puar brings her pathbreaking work on the liberal state, sexuality, and biopolitics to bear on our understanding of disability. Drawing on a stunning array of theoretical and methodological frameworks, Puar uses the concept of “debility”—bodily injury and social exclusion brought on by economic and political factors—to disrupt the category of disability. She shows how debility, disability, and capacity together constitute an assemblage that states use to control populations. Puar’s analysis culminates in an interrogation of Israel’s policies toward Palestine, in which she outlines how Israel brings Palestinians into biopolitical being by designating them available for injury. Supplementing its right to kill with what Puar calls the right to maim, the Israeli state relies on liberal frameworks of disability to obscure and enable the mass debilitation of Palestinian bodies. Tracing disability’s interaction with debility and capacity, Puar offers a brilliant rethinking of Foucauldian biopolitics while showing how disability functions at the intersection of imperialism and racialized capital.
Yes, of course, the book is a “brilliant rethinking of Foucauldian biopolitics” that shows “how disability functions at the intersection of imperialism and racialized capital.” Need I say more? At least I attempt to write in English, not double Dutch. The Ynet News report continues:
In the summary of the book on which the course is based, Israel is allegedly “supplementing its right to kill with the right to maim.” The book itself claims that Israel over the years has enacted a policy of targeted shooting of Palestinians “to maim, not to kill.”
No, what the IDF tries always to do is “not to kill” if it possibly can be avoided. It has two ways of doing this. First, the IDF uses tear gas and rubber bullets to halt menacing mobs, such as those that tried to breach Israel’s security fence as part of the ballyhooed “Great March of Return.” But if those methods prove ineffective, then — most reluctantly — the IDF will use live fire. Its soldiers are instructed to aim at the legs only, away from critical organs. And so they do as instructed. Of course the wounds will sometimes heal completely, and sometimes heal imperfectly — hence the “maiming” which so exercises “queer theorist” Jasbir Puar. She condemns a policy that is deserving of praise, because it deliberately minimizes shooting to kill when other methods will halt a menacing mob.
The summary of Puar’s book book continues:
“The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have shown a demonstrable pattern over decades of sparing life, of shooting to maim rather than to kill. This is ostensibly a humanitarian practice, leaving many civilians ‘permanently disabled’ in an occupied territory of destroyed hospitals, rationed medical supplies, and scarce resources,” adding the policy shows how debility, disability, and capacity together constitute an assemblage that states use to control populations.
Yes, she admits that the IDF does spare Palestinian lives. Yet Puar manages to turn that “ostensibly humanitarian practice” into something sinister. The Israelis can’t win. If they shoot to kill those who have tried to, or succeeded in, killing some of them, they are murderers. And if they only shoot to cause them to halt, they are deliberately “maiming” Palestinians, and deserve, Puar insists, the world’s condemnation. She mentions, by the way, that the Palestinians exist “in an occupied territory of destroyed hospitals, rationed medical supplies and scarce resources.” She is talking about Gaza, which has not been “occupied” by a single Israeli since 2005. She mentions “destroyed hospitals,” but fails to note that Hamas uses hospitals to hide its weapons and fighters, and to that extent they have become legitimate targets. As always, however, before launching an attack on a building, the IDF warns anyone in the vicinity, by telephoning, emailing, and using the “knock-on-the-roof” technique, to move away from the building that is about to be hit. Pace Puar, no medical supplies are kept out of Gaza or in the PA-ruled parts of Judea and Samaria by the Israelis. She has simply made up the charge, and hopes that no one will call her to account.
The book caused controversy when it was released in 2017, and its author, Prof. Jasbir Puar, who serves as the head of the Gender Studies program at Rutgers University in New Jersey, has continuously accused Israel of ethnic cleansing Palestinians during her lectures to students around the country.
What “ethnic cleansing” does she have in mind? Where has Israel cleared an area of Palestinians? There are more than two million Arabs living with full civil rights in Israel, whom the Israelis have no intention of driving out. But the Palestinians in Gaza insisted in 2005 that every last Jew had to leave the Strip. The Palestinians in the PA have made clear that their hoped-for Palestinian state, should it come into being, will be made Judenrein — with every last Jew expelled. That is the only “ethnic cleansing” that has been, or will be, undertaken “from the river to the sea.”
She also claimed that the bodies of Palestinian children “were mined for organs for scientific research,” by the military, and said that during her research on the effects of “maiming” in Gaza, many Palestinians believed the bodies of children who died during the conflict were used for that purpose by the IDF.
This is odious nonsense on stilts. There are no cases of Israelis “mining” the bodies of Palestinian children for organs.” But the charge of Jews killing non-Jewish children for their own wicked purposes goes back to the blood libels of medieval Europe, back to the tales about William of Norwich and Hugh of Lincoln (whose murder “by Jewes” is mentioned by Chaucer in “The Prioress’s Tale”) and other Christian children found dead, with Jews conveniently accused of killing them to use their blood in making Passover matzohs. It’s quite something to see that medieval antisemitism of the cruelest and most idiotic kind lives on in the “pathbreaking” work of “queer theorist” Professor Jasbir Puar, that will now be fed to credulous students at Princeton.
Several scholars have been tracing maiming as a deliberate biopolitical tactic on the part of Israel in the occupation of Palestine,” Puar said during her talk on ecological feminism in a panel at Dartmouth University.
“Several scholars”? Could she name a few? Could she name even one, other than herself, who claims that “maiming” is a “deliberate biopolitical tactic on the part of Israel”?
“Medical personnel in both Gaza and the West Bank reported mounting evidence of shoot-to-cripple practices of the IDF, more accurately called the Israeli Occupation Forces, noting an increasing shift from using traditional means such as tear gas and rubber bullets, rubber-coated metal to disperse crowds to firing at knees, femurs or aiming for their vital organs,” she added.
The Palestinian “medical personnel in Gaza and the West Bank” will of course repeat any lie to bring the IDF into disrepute. Israeli soldiers do not “shoot to maim,” but “shoot to halt.” Sometimes that leads to a permanent disability; more often it does not. The IDF soldiers do not aim at “vital organs” except when facing the threat of imminent death themselves.
Princeton University’s course is taught by anthropologist Satyel Larson from the university’s Near Eastern Studies Department, and its reading materials were carefully reviewed and approved by the faculty.
The appalling “reading materials” for this godawful course were “carefully reviewed and approved by the faculty”? Which faculty members? Tell us their names. Who in his right mind could approve of a book that claims the Israelis deliberately kill Palestinian children and “harvest their organs”? Who could approve of a book that attacks, rather than praises, the IDF soldiers for aiming not at the heart or head, but at the “femurs and knees” of those Palestinians who are threatening them? How many members of the Princeton faculty have played a part in this sinister farce?
Academics criticized the course content and said that it provided “zero educational value.” “It just gives a lot of third-rate professors a platform from which to indoctrinate students into left-wing ideologies,” said Professor Jason Hill from the University of DePaul in Chicago.
Right on, Professor Hill. And now which members of the Princeton faculty will do the right thing and denounce the whole ghastly business?