K finds himself in front of another door of the Law. […] There is nothing behind this mask of simulation, nothing but a certain glutinous, filthy jouissance.
In traditional perspective [the Law] is a pure and neutral universality. In Kafka it assumes the features of an inconsistent bricolage penetrated with jouissance.
[on the Law and it’s underside, which never tells one what one has to do, forever leaving the subject uncertain about itself, creating a sense of guilt from not knowing what one is guilty of. - Andre Vantino]
Gaza…will be populated by Jews. This will also serve to ease the housing crisis in Israel.
it is not essential that people actively […] believe […]. The crucial thing is that people do not express their disbelief. For them to abide by the majority opinion, all that matters is that they believe it to be true that most of the people around them believe. Ideologies thus thrive on ‘belief in the belief of others’.
Israeli security officials sardonically call these operations “mowing the lawn” because well-informed observers know that Hamas cannot be uprooted and is capable of rebuilding its military capacity. There is no long-term strategy, except, as Gideon Levy put it, to kill Palestinians. Major General (res.) Oren Shachor elaborated, “If we kill their families, that will frighten them.” And what might deter Israel?
obedience […] disguises itself as […] rebellion, radicality, and difference [when it helps them in] sustaining their […] identity [and] status within the prevailing social order
The Hegelian spiritual substance exists only insofar as subjects act as if it exists. … Hegel’s key insight is: Reconciliation cannot be direct, it has first to generate (appear in) a monster.
With the advent of modernity, the magic of the enchanted universe is forever lost. … The only solution is […] the insight into how my alienation from the Absolute overlaps with the Absolute’s self-alienation
Israel…will accept only a Palestinian “state” that is stripped of all the attributes of a real state: control over security, borders, airspace, maritime limits…This is all Israel is offering, with the full approval of Washington…The Palestinians have resisted that pathetic fate (as any nation would).
Why “the Other” with a capital O? […] What creates the founding value of […] words is that what is aimed at in the message, as well as what is manifest in the pretence, is that the other is there qua absolute Other. Absolute, that is to say he is recognized, but is not known. In the same way, what constitutes pretence is that, in the end you don’t know wether it’s a pretence or not. Essentially it is this unknown element in the alterity of the other which characterizes the speech relation
near the end of the Second Lebanon War, … Amos Oz … and David Grossman held a press conference in which they urged the government to reach an immediate ceasefire. I was in a taxi and heard the report on the radio. The driver said, “What do those pieces of shit want, huh? They don’t like the Hezbollah suffering? These assholes want nothing more than to hate our country.” Five days later, David Grossman buried his son in the military plot at the Mount Herzl cemetery. Apparently that “piece of shit” wanted a few other things than to hate this country. Most importantly, he wanted his son, like so many other young men who were killed in those last, superfluous days of fighting, to come home alive.
The elementary gesture of justice is not to show respect for the face in front of me, to be open to its depth, but to abstract from it and refocus onto the faceless Thirds in the background.
such a shift of focus […] uproots justice, liberating it from the contingent […] link that renders it “embedded” in a particular situation.
When Levinas endeavors to ground ethics in the Other’s face, is he not still clinging to the ultimate root of the ethical commitment afraid to accept the abyss of the rootless Law as the only foundation of ethics?