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Edward Said

Edward W. Said, is a Christian Palestinian born in Jerusalem. His family became refugees through the establishment of Israel, and he was therefore raised in Cairo, Egypt.

Said received his B.A. from Princeton University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is a professor of English and Comparative literature at Columbia University.

Said created a school of thought that he terms Orientalism, which aims to be a critical view of the Western attitude about the Middle East. His book of that name, Orientalism 1978, promotes Anti-Zionism, and claims that there has been a pervasive destructive influence on all Arabs due to European imperialism. In Said's view, all previous criticisms of the West were far too mild. His books argue for the rights of Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories. He holds that millions of Palestinian Arabs have a non-negotiatable right to move into pre-1967 Israel, and that any attempt at compromise on this issue is an attack on the rights of all Palestinians. He thus opposed the Oslo peace accords, and opposes all current attempts by both Palestinians and Israelis to negotiate any peace treaty.

His books include The Question of Palestine (1979) and The Politics of Dispossession (1994). Said holds that the State of Israel must be removed (a position which most Israelies hold to be a virtual declaration of war) and replaced with one state, with a large Arab majority, in which both Arabs and Jews would have equal rights. He is a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia university in New York. He has also taught at Harvard, Johns Hopkins and Yale universities in the United States.'*[1] (http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,203150,00)

Dr. Said is controversial amongst many Christian and Jewish writers whom authored essays holding that Dr. Said's writings contain many deliberate deceptions about his biography. Dr. Said's supporters have challenged all of these criticisms, but Said himself has not refuted any of the specific charges that were recently raised about his life.

Said's orientalism and related academic beliefs are not accepted by most historians of he region. Many scholars on this subject, such as Bernard Lewis, Hillel Halkin and Martin Kramer hold that Said's views have exaggerated the effects of European colonial tendencies beyond reason. Halkin holds that Said's work is “a crass and politically motivated attack on the entire tradition of Arabic studies in the West.”

At one time Said was a member of the Palestinian National Council, but he broke with Yassir Arafat, accusing him of being too moderate.

The Rock Throwing Incident

In July 2000 Said travelled to Lebanon, where along with other Arabs he began hurling large rocks into Israel towards a group of Israeli soldiers. Agence France Press released a photograph showing him during this attack. When asked about this event, Said told reporters that this was "a symbolic gesture of joy", and aimed at an empty place. Eyewitnesses claim that Said was lying; The London Daily Post reported that Said was observed hurling stones, in a group, at Israel soldiers in an Israeli watchtower.

Dr. Said was criticised for this action by the moderate Arab Press. A report in the Beirut Daily Star stated that they were disappointed that a scholar "who has labored . . . to dispel stereotypes about Arabs being 'violent'" reversed couse, and let himself "be swayed by a crowd into picking up a stone and lofting it across the international border." The student newspaper of his alma mata, the Columbia Daily Spectator, commented that Said's “hypocritical violent action” was “alien to this or any other institution of higher learning.”

Several months later, in an interview with an Israeli newspaper (Haaretz English Edition, Aug. 18, 2000) Said reversed his story, and denied his previous description. He now claims "in fact what happened was that my son and some of the other young men were trying to see who could throw stones furthest. And since my son is a rather big fellow - he is an American who plays baseball - he threw furthest. My daughter said to me, 'Daddy can you throw a stone as far as Wadia?' and that of course stirred the usual kind of oedipal competition. So I picked up a stone and threw it." This latest revision is commonly held to be facetious.

Books by Edward Said

  • After the Last Sky (1986)
  • Beginnings (1975)
  • Blaming the Victims (1988)
  • Covering Islam (1981)
  • Criticism in Society
  • Culture and Imperialism
  • Edward Said: A Critical Reader
  • Jewish Religion, Jewish History (Introduction)
  • Joseph Conrad and the Fiction of Autobiography (1966)
  • Literature and Society (1980)
  • Musical Elaborations (1991)
  • Nationalism, Colonialism, and Literature
  • Orientalism (1978)
  • Orientalisme (1980)
  • Out of Place (1999)
  • The Pen and the Sword (1994)
  • The Politics of Dispossession (1994)
  • The Question of Palestine (1979)
  • Reflections on Exile (2000)
  • Representations of the Intellectual (1994)
  • The World, the Text and the Critic (1983)

External Links

Links which aim to debunk Justus Reid Weiner's allegations:

Links to essays which allege that they expose apparent deliberate falsehoods Dr. Edward Said:



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