Bastardization of black feminist theory propels Israel-bashing on campus

by Matt Lebovic
October 27, 2014

Using the theory of ‘intersectionality’ first pioneered 25 years ago, Israel is condemned at universities amid a rise in anti-Semitism for imposing an ‘interlocking matrix of oppression’

Two national student organization’s gatherings were held on Boston university campuses this month to expose what they call the “intersectionality” of Zionism with other forms of oppression. During both early October’s Open Hillel conference at Harvard University, and the just-concluded Students for Justice in Palestine gathering at Tufts University, Israel was condemned for imposing an “interlocking matrix of oppression” onto Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Jews, women, children, gays, the disabled, and others.

Coined in 1989, the feminist sociological theory of intersectionality has often been applied to studies of black women, who – so goes the theory – derive their most potent sense of identity from the intersection of being female and black, as opposed to one characteristic over the other. More recently, anti-Israel groups have adopted intersectionality to denounce Zionism’s alleged subjugation and silencing of its many critics, including Jews. “Our very bodies disrupt Zionist narratives,” said Sa’ed Atshan, a Tufts lecturer in peace and justice studies, who also advises the campus SJP chapter.


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