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

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

May 25, 2017
Jennifer Matsui
The Rise of the Alt-Center
Michael Hudson
Another Housing Bubble?
Robert Fisk
Trump Meets the New Leader of the Secular World, Pope Francis
John Laforge
Draft Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Unveiled
Benjamin Dangl
Trump’s Budget Expands War on the Backs of America’s Poor
Alice Donovan
US-Led Air Strikes Killed Record Number of Civilians in Syria
Andrew Moss
The Meaning of Trump’s Wall
Leslie Scott
Trump in the Middle East: New Ideas, Old Politics
George Wuerthner
Environmental Groups as Climate Deniers
Pauline Murphy
The Irish Dead: Fighting Fascism in Spain, 1937
Brian Trautman
Veterans on the March
Eric Sommer
Trumps Attack on Social Spending Escalates Long-term Massive Robbery of American Work
Binoy Kampmark
Twenty-Seven Hours: Donald Trump in Israel
Christian Hillegas
Trump’s Islamophobia: the Persistence of Orientalism in Western Rhetoric and Media
Michael J. Sainato
Russiagate: Clintonites Spread the Weiner Conspiracy
Walter Clemens
What the President Could Learn from Our Shih-Tzu Eddie
May 24, 2017
Paul Street
Beyond Neoliberal Identity Politics
Daniel Read
Powder Keg: Manchester Terror Attack Could Lead to Yet Another Resurgence in Nationalist Hate
Robert Fisk
When Peace is a Commodity: Trump in the Middle East
Kenneth Surin
The UK’s Epochal Election
Jeff Berg
Lessons From a Modern Greek Tragedy
Steve Cooper
A Concrete Agenda for Progressives
Michael McKinley
Australia-as-Concierge: the Need for a Change of Occupation
William Hawes
Where Are Your Minds? An Open Letter to Thomas de Maiziere and the CDU
Steve Early
“Corporate Free” Candidates Move Up
Fariborz Saremi
Presidential Elections in Iran and the Outcomes
Dan Bacher
The Dark Heart of California’s Water Politics
Alessandra Bajec
Never Ending Injustice for Pinar Selek
Rob Seimetz
Death By Demigod
Jesse Jackson
Venezuela Needs Helping Hand, Not a Hammer Blow 
Binoy Kampmark
Return to Realpolitik: Trump in Saudi Arabia
Vern Loomis
The NRA: the Dragon in Our Midst
May 23, 2017
John Wight
Manchester Attacks: What Price Hypocrisy?
Patrick Cockburn
A Gathering of Autocrats: Trump Puts US on Sunni Muslim Side of Bitter Sectarian War with Shias
Shamus Cooke
Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War?
Thomas S. Harrington
“Risk”: a Sad Comedown for Laura Poitras
Josh White
Towards the Corbyn Doctrine
Mike Whitney
Rosenstein and Mueller: the Regime Change Tag-Team
Jan Oberg
Trump in Riyadh: an Arab NATO Against Syria and Iran
Susan Babbitt
The Most Dangerous Spy You’ve Never Heard Of: Ana Belén Montes
Rannie Amiri
Al-Awamiya: City of Resistance
Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
The European Left and the Greek Tragedy
Laura Leigh
This Land is Your Land, Except If You’re a Wild Horse Advocate
Hervé Kempf
Macron, Old World President
Michael J. Sainato
Devos Takes Out Her Hatchet
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail