FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Edward Said

by LENNI BRENNER

Only a few days ago, I sent out an e-mail flyer, announcing a November 25th New York panel discussion on CounterPunch’s forthcoming book, The Politics Of Anti-Semitism. One of the speakers was going to be Edward Said, one of the contributors. Now he is dead.

Will the event go on? Of course. That is what he would have wanted. Only now it will also have to be a memorial for him.

When someone of his stature dies, even his enemies must go on record. What will his home town paper, the rightwing Zionist Jerusalem Post, write of him? Whatever they say, who cares? What will the New York Times say of one of the best regarded literary scholars in their city? For years they refused to have him write critiques for their wretched Book Review because he was anti-Zionist. Will they acknowledge that shameful fact? What will Arafat say of the man whose books he banned?

There are now many Palestinians in the United States, writers like him, as devoted to their people’s rights. But they will all say that he did more to explain their cause to the American people than any of them. Yet he was not a politician.

We met in the early 80s. I’m a Jew who exposes Israeli Zionism, but I’m also deeply involved in American politics. One day we were discussing Democratic Party liberals. I warned him never to trust them until they are dead. I quoted examples, from personal conversations with them, of how cynical they are in their chase after Jewish campaign contributions and votes. He took it all in and then quietly said “Lenni, you have to understand that I’m a literary gent. I don’t understand politics at all. I’m only in politics because I’m a Palestinian and I feel morally obliged to stand up for my people.”

History and politics are my passions. Unfortunately that means that I’ve met endless numbers of intellectuals, of all political ideologies, including my own, who think they know more about politics than they do. But, if Edward made mistakes, I know it because he told me he did.

Frankly, I’m an activist who, out of self-defense, also became a bit of a literary type. Indeed I’ve tried to model myself on Plutarch and Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens, noted for his distrust of humanity. But, in the end, Edward’s modesty and honesty overwhelmed me. And, while he certainly learned much in subsequent years, he never lost those two rare qualities. If anything, he perfected them.

LENNI BRENNER is the editor of 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis and a contributor to The Politics of Anti-Semitism. He can be reached at BrennerL21@aol.com

 

Lenni Brenner is the author of Zionism In The Age Of The Dictators. He can be contacted at BrennerL21@aol.com.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
Ben Debney
The Swimsuit that Overthrew the State
Ashley Smith
Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution
Andrew Stewart
Did Gore Throw the 2000 Election?
Vincent Navarro
Is the Nation State and Its Welfare State Dead? a Critique of Varoufakis
John Wight
Syria’s Kurds and the Wages of Treachery
Lawrence Davidson
The New Anti-Semitism: the Case of Joy Karega
Mateo Pimentel
The Affordable Care Act: A Litmus Test for American Capitalism?
Roger Annis
In Northern Syria, Turkey Opens New Front in its War Against the Kurds
David Swanson
ABC Shifts Blame from US Wars to Doctors Without Borders
Norman Pollack
American Exceptionalism: A Pernicious Doctrine
Ralph Nader
Readers Think, Thinkers Read
Julia Morris
The Mythologies of the Nauruan Refugee Nation
George Wuerthner
Caving to Ranchers: the Misguided Decision to Kill the Profanity Wolf Pack
Ann Garrison
Unworthy Victims: Houthis and Hutus
Julian Vigo
Britain’s Slavery Legacy
John Stanton
Brzezinski Vision for a Power Sharing World Stymied by Ignorant Americans Leaders, Citizens
Philip Doe
Colorado: 300 Days of Sunshine Annually, Yet There’s No Sunny Side of the Street
Joseph White
Homage to EP Thompson
Dan Bacher
The Big Corporate Money Behind Jerry Brown
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
DNC Playing Dirty Tricks on WikiLeaks
Ron Jacobs
Education for Liberation
Jim Smith
Socialism Revived: In Spite of Bernie, Donald and Hillary
David Macaray
Organized Labor’s Inferiority Complex
David Cortright
Alternatives to Military Intervention in Syria
Binoy Kampmark
The Terrors of Free Speech: Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act
Cesar Chelala
Guantánamo’s Quagmire
Nyla Ali Khan
Hoping Against Hope in Kashmir
William Hughes
From Sam Spade to the Red Scare: Dashiell Hammett’s War Against Rightwing Creeps
Raouf Halaby
Dear Barack Obama, Please Keep it at 3 for 3
Charles R. Larson
Review: Paulina Chiziane’s “The First Wife: a Tale of Polygamy”
David Yearsley
The Widow Bach: Anna Magdalena Rediscovered
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail