I don’t use Twitter, so one-line (or so) posts from the hotel computer at the Jerusalem Hotel will have to suffice for now. Today’s object-lesson one-liner: selling Lockean political philosophy to Palestinans in East Jerusalem is an uphill battle. But I think I’m getting some cardio out of it.
Had a long, intense conversation about Locke on initial appropriation last night over dinner with a small group of Sari Nusseibeh‘s colleagues. A great time, but intense disagreement about whether Locke is friend or foe to the downtrodden. On their nearly unanimous view, Locke is friend to “the colonizer,” as the history of Native American (or “first peoples) in North American would suggest. There’s something to this (read Locke on slavery, Second Treatise 4) but ultimately I don’t buy it, and made the case of revisionary correction of Locke by way of the best in him. Also made the case that Locke raises questions that no appeal to “collective property” genuinely addresses or resolves. Lots of anger here about what they call the de facto expulsion of East Jerusalemite Palestinians into the West Bank by revoking their East Jerusalem ID cards. I hadn’t seen the story in The New York Times, so it hadn’t previously made it into my political ontology. (One’s parochialisms are well exposed while traveling abroad.)
I’m waiting for my ride to Abu Dis where I’m going to try to persuade a larger group–described to me as a mixed group of faculty, students, and activists–of all this. Let’s see if three espressos, a couple of handouts, and a Jersey accent manage to placate this not-easily-mollified crowd.
I spent four hours in security questioning at the airport, suspicions aroused because of my Pakistani and UAE visa stamps (which I expected). One guy in the holding room said that his record was eight hours. Meanwhile, some guy in an Atlas Shrugged T shirt trotted right past me and through security in five minutes. Next time I’ll know what to wear.
PS. Got the name of the hotel wrong the first time around–Jerusalem Hotel, not Palestine Hotel.