FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Edward Said

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

 

More articles by:

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

Weekend Edition
March 22, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Henry Giroux
The Ghost of Fascism in the Post-Truth Era
Gabriel Rockhill
Spectacular Violence as a Weapon of War Against the Yellow Vests
H. Bruce Franklin
Trump vs. McCain: an American Horror Story
Paul Street
A Pox on the Houses of Trump and McCain, Huxleyan Media, and the Myth of “The Vietnam War”
Andrew Levine
Why Not Impeach?
Bruce E. Levine
Right-Wing Psychiatry, Love-Me Liberals and the Anti-Authoritarian Left
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Darn That (American) Dream
Charles Pierson
Rick Perry, the Saudis and a Dangerous Nuclear Deal
Moshe Adler
American Workers Should Want to Transfer Technology to China
David Rosen
Trafficking or Commercial Sex? What Recent Exposés Reveal
Nick Pemberton
The Real Parallels Between Donald Trump and George Orwell
Binoy Kampmark
Reading Manifestos: Restricting Brenton Tarrant’s The Great Replacement
Brian Cloughley
NATO’s Expensive Anniversaries
Ron Jacobs
Donald Cox: Tale of a Panther
Joseph Grosso
New York’s Hudson Yards: The Revanchist City Lives On
REZA FIYOUZAT
Is It Really So Shocking?
Bob Lord
There’s Plenty of Wealth to Go Around, But It Doesn’t
John W. Whitehead
The Growing Epidemic of Cops Shooting Family Dogs
Jeff Cohen
Let’s Not Restore or Mythologize Obama 
Christy Rodgers
Achieving Escape Velocity
Monika Zgustova
The Masculinity of the Future
Jessicah Pierre
The Real College Admissions Scandal
Peter Mayo
US Higher Education Influence Takes a Different Turn
Martha Rosenberg
New Study Confirms That Eggs are a Stroke in a Shell
Ted Rall
The Greatest Projects I Never Mad
George Wuerthner
Saving the Big Wild: Why Aren’t More Conservationists Supporting NREPA?
Norman Solomon
Reinventing Beto: How a GOP Accessory Became a Top Democratic Contender for President
Ralph Nader
Greedy Boeing’s Avoidable Design and Software Time Bombs
Tracey L. Rogers
White Supremacy is a Global Threat
Nyla Ali Khan
Intersectionalities of Gender and Politics in Indian-Administered Kashmir
Karen J. Greenberg
Citizenship in the Age of Trump: Death by a Thousand Cuts
Jill Richardson
Getting It Right on What Stuff Costs
Matthew Stevenson
Pacific Odyssey: Puddle Jumping in New Britain
Matt Johnson
The Rich Are No Smarter Than You
Julian Vigo
College Scams and the Ills of Capitalist-Driven Education
Brian Wakamo
It’s March Madness, Unionize the NCAA!
Beth Porter
Paper Receipts Could be the Next Plastic Straws
Christopher Brauchli
Eric the Heartbroken
Louis Proyect
Rebuilding a Revolutionary Left in the USA
Sarah Piepenburg
Small Businesses Like Mine Need Paid Family and Medical Leave
Robert Koehler
Putting Our Better Angels to Work
Peter A. Coclanis
The Gray Lady is Increasingly Tone-Deaf
David Yearsley
Bach-A-Doodle-Doo
Elliot Sperber
Aunt Anna’s Antenna
March 21, 2019
Daniel Warner
And Now Algeria
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail