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Ron Radosh

As for the late Edward Said, his critique of “Orientalism” became the favored paradigm to explain U.S. policy in the Middle East, and influenced scores of leftist professors of Middle Eastern politics. As for his supposed standing up to the late Yasser Arafat, anyone who recalls what Said’s complaint about Arafat really was will remember that he was angry that Arafat appeared to play the game of engaging in negotiation with his enemies, rather than reject such posturing and commit himself exclusively to armed struggle against Palestine’s supposed oppressors. His former friend Christopher Hitchens pointed out in his own memoir that Said’s “low point was an almost uncritical profile of Yasser Arafat that he contributed to Interview magazine in the late 1980s.”

One might also recall Said’s trip to the West Bank during the first intifada, when he and his young son joined the mob in throwing rocks at Israelis, something of which he was quite proud. To Said, any action taken by Palestinians, no matter how violent, was “resistance.” Again, Hitch well summed up what Said believed, which was that “if the United States was doing something, then that thing could not by definition be a moral or ethical action.” And that is why Said eventually rejected Arafat. He thought that the PLO leader was heeding the agenda of the U.S., by his very action of negotiating with its leaders.

To equate those who are truly courageous, like the brave Chinese dissidents who risk their lives to speak up for democracy, or critics of radical Islam who speak up knowing what their future is likely to be if they live under the rule of Islamic regimes, with critics of U.S. policy who live in our democratic republic, is more than preposterous. It is the opposite of moral courage. A man of words and letters, Salman Rushdie should by this time be able to know the difference.

*****

Cross-posted at PJ Lifestyle

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As for the knee jerk need to find a moral equivalence between US and its enemies, Martin Amis wrote eloquently about it here:

""We are drowsily accustomed, by now, to the fetishization of "balance,"
the ground rule of "moral equivalence" in all conflicts between West and
East, the 100 percent and 360-degree inability to pass judgment on any
ethnicity other than our own (except in the case of Israel)."

Martin Amis,, The Second Plane, September 11: Terror and Boredom_ (2008)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The incident of the rock throwing professor did not take place on a " trip to the West Bank during the first intifada" but rather, on the Israeli-Lebanese border AFTER Israel withdrew from south Lebanon in 2000, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 425, passed in 1978.

Here is a relatively impartial account of the incident, including Said's craven justifications for what was symbolically if not practically, a violent act:

http://www.columbiaspectator.com/2000/07/19/edward-said-accused-stoning-south-lebanon

And here is an image of the elegant rock thrower in the act: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_k_iwfcIHYTU/TKJnPRizrLI/AAAAAAAAByw/M4PdfS6_n94/s1600/SaidRock.jpg
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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