28. August 2012

B'nai B'rith: Reconsider presenting Judith Butler with the Adorno Prize

B'nai B'rith International is deeply troubled to learn the city government of Frankfurt, Germany, will award University of California, Berkeley, professor Judith Butler with the Theodor Adorno Prize on Sept. 11. Butler is a virulent critic of Israel and has contributed to the demonization and delegitimization of the Jewish state. Because of this, she is thoroughly undeserving of the award and its monetary prize.

The Theodor Adorno Prize is named for the Jewish philosopher and art critic who fled Germany under Nazi rule and returned to Frankfurt after World War II. According to the city of Frankfurt's website the triennial award is given to "acknowledge outstanding performances in the fields of philosophy, music, theatre and film."

Butler's anti-Israel actions include endorsing the United States Campaign for an Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI), a boycott that was actively promoted by the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Butler was also an active participant in Toronto's Israel Apartheid Week in 2011 and has publically referred to terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah as progressive social movements.

The aim of the BDS movement, and those that use the term "apartheid" when describing Israel, is to stigmatize and gravely undermine the Jewish state. It is wrong to give the Adorno Prize, named in honor of a Jewish intellectual, to anyone who shares these goals.

It is our hope that the city of Frankfurt, a sister-city of Tel Aviv, will reconsider presenting Butler with the Adorno Prize given her lamentable anti-Israel track record.