Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict
[ Palestinian families in villages ] [ Palestinian state not viable ]

Edward Said rejects Israel’s right to exist

Professor Said says the Arabs oppose Israel’s presence but not Israel's existence. Perhaps Said proposes that Israel be relocated in Uganda, as some suggested a century or so ago.

Edward Said’s appeal to some Palestinian right of re-settlement within the pre-1947 borders or to the U.N. resolutions on Israel is sham. Said says the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration should be a day of mourning for Palestinians. When Said criticizes Weizmann’s remark that Jews had no need to ask Arab permission to establish the State of Israel, he admits that Arabs would have granted no permission. That is more or less the position of most Palestinians. Why, then, should Israelis sympathize with the Palestinians?

If not for Balfour, there would have been no Palestinian state, because Jordan would have swallowed it. Yet Edward Said does not want Palestinians re-settled in Jordan. Indeed, the Palestinians have not tried to seize a chunk of Jordan for themselves, nor would Jordan offer it. The Palestinians support the partition resolution when it suits them and decry it when it suits the Israelis.

Edward Said argues against the U.N. resolution on the partition of Palestine into the Jewish and Arab states on the grounds that Jews bought less than seven percent of the Palestinian land at that time—though the Palestinians did not buy more, since most of the land in Palestine was fallow. If the size of the purchase is relevant, then Israelis today have indisputable right to the Palestinian territories, where they bought vast tracts. Palestinians say, however, that buying the land did not give Jews the right of statehood.