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Edward Said and Intellectual Resistance

Refusing the Politics of Accommodation
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Abstract

In an interview in the summer of 2000 concerning the 1947–1948 Palestinian dispossession at the hands of the yet-to-be-formed Israeli Defense Forces in the form of the Haganah and the Irgun (IZL), Ha’aretz’s Ari Shavit and the famed cultural critic Edward Said reflected on the possibilities of an Israeli-Palestinian binational state, something Said had advocated for quite some time— long before the failure of the Oslo Accords and Camp David II. This interview took place just a few months before the outbreak of violence that began the Second Intifada in the occupied territories, a possible reaction to the failure of Camp David II talks where, brought together by then-president Bill Clinton, Ehud Barak had supposedly offered Arafat (in exchange for the Palestinian recognition of “Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state”) nearly 80 percent of the West Bank for a viable Palestinian state, a deal of a lifetime. Many, however, considered the offer a call for Palestinian submission to a Bantustan arrangement reminiscent of the South African national territories.1 As he came to fully understand Said’s nuanced position, which clearly placed reconciliation between the Israelis and the Palestinians ahead of revenge or retribution for either group’s historical grievances and the identification of a mutual interest in peace and coexistence in a future binational state before the assignment of blame, Shavit proclaimed, “You sound very Jewish.”

Keywords

Central Intelligence Agency National Liberation Jewish Question Palestine Liberation Organization Israeli Occupation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 2.
    Gauri Viswanathan, ed., Power, Politics, and Culture: Interviews with Edward W. Said (New York: Pantheons, 2001), p. 458.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Vintage, 1979), p. 28.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    See Mark Krupnick’s “Edward Said and the Discourse of Palestinian Rage,” Tikkun 4.6 (November–December 1989), pp. 21–24,Google Scholar
  4. and Michael Walzer’s “An Exchange: Michael Walzer and Edward Said,” Grand Street 5.4 (1986), pp. 246–52 (1986,CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. rpt. in William Hart’s Edward Said and the Religious Effect of Culture [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000]).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 7.
    Hannah Arendt, The Jew as Pariah: Jewish Identity and Politics in the Modern Age, ed. Ron Feldman (New York: Grove Press, 1978), p. 20.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    Edward Said, The Politics of Dispossession: The Struggle for Palestinian Self-Determination, 1969–1994 (New York: Vintage Books, 1995), p. 175.Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    See Baruch Kimmerling’s Politicide: Ariel Sharon’s War against the Palestinians (London: Verso, 2003).Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    Edward Said, Out of Place: Out of Memoir (New York: Vintage, 1999), p. 3.Google Scholar
  10. 12.
    See Joseph Massad’s “The Persistence of the Palestinian Question,” Cultural Critique 59 (Winter 2005), pp. 1–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 13.
    Moustapha Marrouchi, Edward Said and the Politics of the Limit (New York: SUNY, 2003), p. 43.Google Scholar
  12. 14.
    Irving Howe, Decline of the New (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1963), p. 212.Google Scholar
  13. 17.
    Edward Said, Reflections on Exile (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), pp. 527–28.Google Scholar
  14. 20.
    Irving Howe, World of Our Fathers: The Journey of the East European Jews to America (New York: Harcourt, 1989), p. 599.Google Scholar
  15. 21.
    Edward Said and Christopher Hitchens, eds., Blaming the Victims: Spurious Scholarship and the Palestinian Question (London: Verso, 2001), pp. 172–73.Google Scholar
  16. 30.
    Edward Said, The World, the Text, and the Critic (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983), p. 24.Google Scholar
  17. 33.
    Abdirahman Hussein, Edward Said: Criticism and Society (London: Verso, 2002).Google Scholar
  18. 34.
    Frances Stone Saunders, Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War (New York: Granta, 2002), p. 3.Google Scholar
  19. 35.
    Alan Wald, The New York Intellectuals (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1987), p. 9.Google Scholar
  20. 39.
    Edward Said, Representations of the Intellectual (New York: Vintage, 1994), p. 11.Google Scholar
  21. 49.
    Noam Chomsky, “The Peace for Galilee,” in The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians (Boston: South End, 1983).Google Scholar
  22. 51.
    Paul Bové, “Hope and Reconciliation: A Review of Edward W. Said,” boundary 2 20.2 (Summer 1993), p. 266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Matthew Abraham 2014

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