David Ewick

Truth to Power: A Bibliography of Edward Said On-line (2/9)

1.1.2. Primary / E-texts: Articles, 2001~2000

Links on this page have been verified June 25, 2005

Israel’s Dead End, Al-Ahram, 20~26 December 2001. Appears also at AMIN, 20 December 2001, and as Is Israel More Secure Now? London Review of Books, 3 January 2002, and Counterpunch, 4 January 2002. ‘The crucial point . . . is that Israel has been in illegal military occupation since 1967; it is the longest such occupation in history, and the only one anywhere in the world today: this is the original and continuing violence against which all the Palestinian acts of violence have been directed.’

Cruelty of Memory, Al-Ahram, 13~19 December 2001. Appears also as Naguib Mahfouz and the Cruelty of Memory, Counterpunch, 16 December 2001. ‘Mahfouz has been characterised since he became a recognised world celebrity as either a social realist . . . or a fabulist straight out of the Arabian Nights . . . . It is closer to the truth to see him . . . as providing in his novels a kind of history of the novel form . . . .’

My Guru, London Review of Books, 13 December 2001. Appears also in slightly different form as ‘A Living Idea’, Al-Ahram, 27 December 2001~2 January 2002, and AMIN, December 2001. Remembrance of Ibrahim Abu-Lughod. ‘In all sorts of ways, Ibrahim’s rich life and his death both reflected and clarified the turbulence and suffering that have been at the core of the Palestinian experience: this is why his life bears scrutiny.’

Suicidal Ignorance, Al-Ahram, 15~21 November 2001. Appears also at AMIN, 15 November 2001, Counterpunch, 18 November 2001, and as Ignoranza suicida, Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore, 23 November 2001. ‘The extraordinary turbulence of the present moment during the US military campaign against Afghanistan, now in the middle of its second month, has crystallised a number of themes and counter themes that deserve some clarification . . . .’

A Vision to Lift the Spirit, Al-Ahram, 25~31 October 2001. Appears also at AMIN, 25 October 2001, and as A Way Out of the Middle East Impasse, Counterpunch, 26 October 2001. ‘We are now in an intolerable impasse, requiring more than ever a genuine return to the all-but-abandoned bases of peace that were proclaimed at Madrid in 1991: UN Resolutions 242 and 332, land for peace.’

Adrift in Similarity, Al-Ahram, 11~17 October 2001. Appears also at AMIN, 11 October 2001, and as The Clash of Ignorance, The Nation, 22 October 2001, and Confini incerti, Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore, 30 September 2001. On Samuel Huntington’s ‘Clash of Civilizations.’ ‘These are tense times, but it is better to think in terms of powerful and powerless communities, the secular politics of reason and ignorance, and universal principles of justice and injustice, than to wander off in search of vast abstractions that may give momentary satisfaction but little self-knowledge or informed analysis.’

The Desertion of Arafat, AMIN, September~October 2001. Reprinted from New Left Review, September~October 2001. ‘As the Israeli noose tightens around the Palestinians, Arafat is still hoping that the Americans will rescue him and his crumbling regime. . . . The Palestinian people deserve better. We have to say clearly that with Arafat and company in command, there is no hope.’

Backlash and Backtrack, Al-Ahram, 27 September~3 October 2001. Appears also at AMIN, 27 September 2001. ‘For the seven million Americans who are Muslims (only two million of them Arab) and have lived through the catastrophe and backlash of 11 September, it’s been a harrowing, especially unpleasant time.’

Islam and the West are Inadequate Banners, Observer, 16 September 2001, Appears also as There are Many Islams, Counterpunch, 16 September 2001, and as ‘Collective Passion’, Al-Ahram, 20~26 September 2001, and AMIN, 20 September 2001. ‘Most commentary has stressed, indeed magnified, the expected and the predictable in what most Americans feel [in response to the attacks of 11 September]: terrible loss, anger, outrage, a sense of violated vulnerability, a desire for vengeance and un-restrained retribution. . . . This is a war against terrorism, everyone says, but where, on what fronts, for what concrete ends? No answers are provided, except the vague suggestion that the Middle East and Islam are what “we” are up against, and that terrorism must be destroyed.’

Propaganda and War, Al-Ahram, 30 August~5 September 2001. ‘Never have the media been so influential in determining the course of war as during the Al-Aqsa Intifada, which, as far as the Western media are concerned, has essentially become a battle over images and ideas.’

Occupation is the Atrocity, Al-Ahram, 16~22 August 2001. ‘In the United States, where Israel has its main political base and from which it has received over $92 billion in aid since 1967, the terrible human cost of Thursday’s Jerusalem restaurant bombing and Monday’s Haifa disaster settles quickly into a familiar explanatory framework.’

Barenboim and the Wagner Taboo, Al-Ahram, 16~22 August 2001. Appears also as Barenboïm brise le tabou Wagner, Le Monde diplomatique, October 2001. ‘A furore has erupted in Israel which deserves very close attention. I refer to the case of the remarkable pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim . . . and a performance he gave on 7 July in Israel of an orchestral extract from one of Richard Wagner’s operas.’

Innocents Face Endless Cruelty Without End, Observer, 12 August 2001. Appears also as Des innocents affrontent sans fin
une insondable cruauté
, Solidaires du peuple palestinien, 12 August 2001. ‘The appallingly, unbroken history of Israel’s 34-year-old military occupation (the second longest in modern history) of illegally conquered Palestinian land has been obliterated from public memory, as has been the destruction of Palestinian society in 1948 and the expulsion of 68 per cent of its native people, of whom 4.5 million remain refugees today.’

The Price of Camp David, Al-Ahram, 19~25 July 2001. ‘Once the Palestinian leadership had forsaken its principles and pretended that it was a great power capable of playing the game of nations, it brought on itself the fate of a weak nation, with neither the sovereignty nor the power to reinforce its gestures or its tactics.’

Cosmic Ambition, London Review of Books, 19 July 2001. Review of Johann Sebastian Bach, by Christopher Wolff. ‘Wolff has amassed so much in the way of facts and quasi-facts about Bach’s life as a working musician that one begins to feel he is not so much trying to understand Bach from within (in the memorable phrase Ortega y Gasset applied to a study of Goethe), as compiling a book designed to pre-empt any other biography any time soon.’

Sharpening the Axe, Al-Ahram, 5~11 July 2001. Appears also as Israel Sharpens its Axe, Counterpunch, 13 July 2001. ‘An ominous air is overtaking the Middle East, now that Ariel Sharon has come to and gone from the United States.’

Enemies of the State, Al-Ahram, 21~27 June 2001. ‘I do not think it is an exaggeration to say . . . that once we start to look at what obtains in the Arab world most [Arabs] are fairly appalled by the over-all condition of mediocrity and galloping degeneration that seem to have become our lot.’

The Public Role of Writers and Intellectuals, the Alfred Deacon Lectures, ABC.net.au, 19 May 2001. Appears in slightly different form at The Nation, 17 September 2001. ‘[T]he writer has taken on more and more of the intellectual’s adversarial attributes in such activities as speaking the truth to power, being a witness to persecution and suffering, and supplying a dissenting voice in conflicts with authority.’

Defiance, Dignity, and the Rule of Dogma, Al-Ahram, 17~23 May 2001. ‘There can be no military solution to what ails us, Arabs and Jews alike. This truth leaves only the power of mind and education to do the job that armies have been unable to accomplish for over half a century. . . . [A]s citizens, we must take responsibility and try first of all to release ourselves from the jejune clichés and unthinking formulas that clutter our writing and speaking.’

Thinking about Israel, Al-Ahram, 3~9 May 2001. Appears also as Knowing Israel for What it Really Is, Z Magazine, 2001. ‘The word “Israel” has a quite unusual resonance in English, especially in the United States. To hear politicians repeat the familiar mantra about supporting Israel and keeping it strong is to realize that an actual country or state is not at issue, but rather an idea or talisman of some sort, one that far transcends the status of every other state or country in the world.’

These are the Realities, Al-Ahram, 19~25 April 2001. Appears also as Palestine: Present and Clear Reality, Z Magazine, 2000. ‘Now in its seventh month, the Intifada has reached the most cruel and, for Palestinians, the most suffocating stage.’

Time to Turn to the Other Front, Al-Ahram, 29 March~4 April 2001. ‘Even as it besieges Palestinian towns . .. [Israel] can do so with the aura of a besieged victim of dangerous, exterminationist violence . . . while maintaining the image of a poor, defenceless and terribly threatened people. How? By a concerted international, especially American, public relations campaign, as cynical as it is effective.’

Freud, Zionism, and Vienna, Al-Ahram, 15~21 March 2001. On the ‘rock-throwing incident’, Justus Weiner’s article on Said, and the cancellation of Said’s invitation to deliver the annual lecture at the Freud Institute and Museum in Vienna.

The Only Alternative, Al-Ahram, 1~7 March 2001. ‘The liberation struggle that ended Apartheid and instituted the first democratically elected government on 27 April 1994, remains one of the great human achievements in recorded history. Despite the problems of the present, South Africa . . . has a lot to teach us about struggle, originality, and perseverance.’

Where is Israel Going? Al-Ahram, 8~14 February 2001. ‘[F]or most Israelis, their country is invisible. Being in it means a certain blindness or inability to see what it is and what has been happening to it and, just as remarkably, an unwillingness to understand what it has meant for others in the world, and especially in the Middle East.’

Too Much Work, Al-Ahram, 1~7 February 2001. On the nature of genius: ‘Rather than thinking of genius as the triumph of divine will power over fate and average gifts, we would be more accurate in seeing it poignantly as an everlasting effort to get the work right, always leaving room for the nagging doubt that it never was right, never actually made it, didn’t in the end succeed.’

Trying Again and Again, Al-Ahram, 11~17 January 2001. ‘The last-ditch American effort to make Yasser Arafat terminate his own people’s sovereign existence bears the heavy imprint not only of the US-Israeli lobby but of Bill Clinton's political style.’

American Elections: System or Farce, Al-Ahram, 21~27 December, 2000. ‘What first emerged from the sound and fury of the struggle . . . is that the US is less a society of laws than it is a society of lawyers. This is the most litigious country on earth, where if you have enough money and power you can do virtually anything, even win an election when it is clear that you have lost it. Over $3 billion were spent on the campaign, enough to rebuild and run an entire school system in a medium sized American town.’

Palestinians Under Siege, London Review of Books, 14 December 2000. Appears also as Les Palestiniens assiégés, Solidaires du peuple palestinien, 14 December 2000. ‘On 29 September, the day after Ariel Sharon, guarded by about a thousand Israeli police and soldiers strode into Jerusalem’s Haram al-Sharif (the “Noble Sanctuary”) in a gesture designed to assert his right as an Israeli to visit the Muslim holy place, a conflagration started which continues as I write in late November.’

The Tragedy Deepens, Al-Ahram, 7~13 December 2000. ‘Isn’t it now clear that old slogans like “a Palestinian state” or “Jerusalem our capital” have brought us to this impasse? Shouldn’t we expect a real leader to speak to all Palestinians, honestly, fearlessly, without duplicity or winks at the US and Israel, and to chart a course forward that links together opposition to occupation, to exile, and to racial discrimination?’

American Zionism (3), Al-Ahram, 2~8 November 2000. ‘The events of the past four weeks in Palestine have been a near-total triumph for Zionism in the United States for the first time since the modern re-emergence of the Palestinian national movement in the late 1960s. Political as well as public discourse has so definitively transformed Israel into the victim during the recent clashes, that even though 140 Palestinian lives were lost and close to 5,000 casualties have been reported, it is still something called “Palestinian violence” that has disrupted the smooth and orderly flow of the “peace process.”’

Albert Camus, ou l’inconscient colonial, Le Monde diplomatique, November 2000. ‘Albert Camus est le seul auteur de l’Algérie française qui peut, avec quelque justification, être considéré comme d’envergure mondiale.’

Nothing Left to Offer, Frankfurter Allgemaine, 11 October 2000. Appears also as Double Standards, Guardian, 12 October 2000, and ‘The End of Oslo’, Al-Ahram, 12~18 October 2000, The Nation, 30 October 2000. ‘Misreported and flawed from the start, the Oslo peace process has entered its terminal phase of violent confrontation, disproportionately massive Israeli repression, widespread Palestinian rebellion and great loss of life, mainly Palestinian.’

More on American Zionism (2), Al-Ahram, 5~11 October, 2000. ‘American Zionism has now reached the level of almost pure fantasy in which what is good for American Zionists in their fiefdom and their mostly fictional discourse is good for America and Israel, and certainly for the Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians, who seem to be little more than a collection of negligible nuisances.’

American Zionism—The Real Problem (1), Al-Ahram, 21~27 September 2000. ‘[T]he role of organised Zionist groups and activities in the United States has not been sufficiently addressed during the period of the “peace process,” a neglect that I find absolutely astonishing, given that Palestinian policy has been essentially to throw our fate as a people in the lap of the United States without any strategic awareness of how US policy is in effect dominated . . . by a small minority of people whose views about Middle East peace are in some way more extreme than even those of the Israeli Likud.’

Problems of Neoliberalism, Al-Ahram, 7~13 September 2000. ‘In the decade after the fall of the Soviet Union, most of the world is in the grip of an ideology whose most dramatic embodiment is currently to be found in the race between the two main candidates for the American presidency. Without wishing to list the various issues that divide them, I should like very quickly therefore to note what it is that unites them and in many ways makes them mirror images of each other.’

A Voice Crying in the Wilderness, Al-Ahram, 24~30 August 2000. ‘[Ralph] Nader, to begin with his positions on the Middle East, has said in a CNN interview that he would cut off all aid to Israel and immediately end the sanctions on Iraq. No other candidate has so bravely tackled the glaring inequities in American society, from the corporate greed that has robbed the people of their sovereign control of health, the air waves, the environment, the market and the future, to the whole issue of the destiny of the working people whose belief in “the American dream” has cost them so dearly.’

One More Chance, Al-Ahram, 3~9 August 2000. ‘After all, Clinton might well have asked himself why it is that even so pliant a man as Yasser Arafat has hesitated so long in agreeing to Israeli terms for the final status. Could it be that there is a genuine people here with a genuine grievance, one that can’t go away simply by bringing a couple of leaders to Camp David and making them sign an agreement that effectively obliterates one people’s rights so that the other would . . . get off with the whole pie and no responsibility for anything that happened?’

A Final Summit? Al-Ahram, 20~26 July 2000. ‘[T]he existence of a demilitarised and necessarily truncated Palestinian state, no matter how disadvantaged territorially, economically, or politically, is going to be designed, constituted, founded, and built out of a negation of the past.’

Magic Thought and Wishful Thinking, Al-Ahram, 29 June~5 July 2000. On two kinds of ‘magical thought’, one ‘a style of reasoning that blurs the distinction between truth and fiction so as to make a man-made, deliberately constructed disaster seem like a necessary or at least an acceptable thing’, and another ‘common to those whose position of great power allows them to be insulated from the facts, to impose on those facts a reading that is at total odds with what anyone else using common sense would see there.’

The Landscape of Opposition, Al-Ahram, 8~14 June 2000. ‘Israel’s defeat in south Lebanon, its hasty withdrawal, and the still turbulent situation created after almost twenty years of a wasteful, incredibly destructive and, in the end, useless display of military power requires sober analysis free of the distortions imposed by the US media.’

A New Kind of Thriller, Dawn, 24 May 2000. Appears also at Al-Ahram, 22~28 June 2000. Review of One Day in September, directed by Kevin MacDonald. ‘To make of the awful Munich episode “a new kind of thriller” is in the first instance to eliminate the Palestinian narrative that antecedes and in some way illuminates if not the idiocy of the outrage but the desperation and horror that gave it inception and nourishment.’

Jean-Paul Sartre and the Arabs, Dawn, 14 May 2000. Appears considerably expanded as Sartre and the Arabs: A Footnote, Al-Ahram, 18~24 May, 2000, and as My Encounter with Sartre, London Review of Books, 1 June 2000. ‘My own rather forlorn experience with Sartre was a very minor episode in a very grand life, but it is worth recalling both for its ironies and for its poignancy.’

Cultural Politics, Al-Ahram, 4~10 May 2000. ‘For the first time since the Second World War and thanks to an exceptionally talented, if still somewhat underpopulated, new generation of artists in their forties, there are Arab names and accomplishment on the international stage.’ Addresses particularly the work of Egyptian director Youssri Nasrallah.

Law and Order, Al-Ahram, 6~12 April 2000. ‘In the American context . . . “law and order” has to do with an interpretation of law and order that favours the strong, the wealthy, the conservative currents in sociiety . . . .’

A Truly Fragile Identity, Al-Ahram, 23~29 March 2000. ‘The Knesset debate over whether or not to include a poem by Mahmoud Darwish as an option (not a requirement) in the Israeli Hebrew school curriculum was about as peculiar and unreal an occasion as can be imagined.’

The Gap Grows Wider, Al-Ahram, 2~8 March 2000. On the ‘bad faith and duplicity of the European Left’, particularly Lionel Jospin, and ‘the gap between the interests of the preponderant majority of the people and the ruling juntas (Arab as well as Israeli)’.

Reflections on American Injustice, Al-Ahram, 24 February~1 March 2000. ‘So terrible are the results of the US-maintained sanctions against [Iraq’s] civilian population and infrastructure that not even a seasoned international humanitarian official can tolerate the agony of what those sanctions have wrought.’

The Right of Return, at Last, Al-Ahram, 10~16 February 2000. ‘For the past several weeks, two contradictory sets of happenings have occurred which, in their stark, irreconcilable antithesis, tell almost the whole story of what is wrong with an unevolved Zionism on the one hand, and what is just as seriously wrong with the peace process on the other.’

How Long Can Waiting Work? Al-Ahram, 27 January~2 February 2000. ‘Waiting can be [seen as] a kind of solution to the problems that we don’t deal with while we wait’, but ‘the only policy to combat failure is one of developing a counter-hegemony against the ruling hegemonic powers’.

Heroism and Humanism, Al-Ahram, 6~12 January 2000. ‘Millennial reflections’ and a defense of humanism as a ‘mode of rational investigation’. ‘Would that our critical models for the years ahead can combine the richness of the past with the sceptical excitement of the new. One must not only hope, but also do.

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