Got this from a highly trusted friend. Edward Said had a fiery speech at UC Berkeley. Andak01, takeo and others who think there is no existential threat to Israel: this is just one example of Islamist anti-Israel propaganda going on today in many US univ. campuses.
Said, who is an academic fraud, was greeted like a hero at UC Berkeley. He spent two hours claiming Israel intentionally denies the "Palestinians" their normal human rights, detailing everything from "torture" to assassinations to "checkpoints", home demolitions, the usual diatribe. In the entire two hours nowhere did he mention the suicide bombing attacks or the average twenty-one daily terror attacks common Israelis endure which brings this about. He maintained the "victimhood" the Jews experienced did not excuse their making the Palestinians their "victims". Even Oslo did not escape his wrath. It was all a plan to further take advantage of the Palestinians by Israel.
He maintained Jews held no sovreignty over the region as "Divine" giving of the Land of Israel has no place in Said's concept of historical incident and that the land belonged to many peoples including Moabites, Philistines, Jebusites, etc, then went on to accuse Israel of destroying archaeological artifacts of "Palestinian" culture to foster the idea of Jewish hegemony of the region. In fact, everything the Arabs do in their propaganda campaign became twisted by doublespeak. The Israelis deny Arabs civil rights and even freedom of religion inside Israel! No mention of the 14 Arab Knesset leaders who openly advocate destroying Israel or Israel's giving the Muslim Wakf control over the Temple Mount. Said objected to US intervention in Iraq and this too is being in power and "imperialism".
During two hours he made one brief sentence that terrorism is wrong, but made no comment it should stop (in his real actions Said has condoned terrorism).
Jonathon Cruel's article is inaccurate in saying Said condemned Arafat. Arafat wasn't mentioned once in the entire speech. Any mistreatment of the "Palestinians" is the result of Israel and any attempts by Israel to seek peace are just plots to deny the Palestinians their rights. He further condemned the war on Iraq as imperialism and claimed the US government was only after oil and that "war never produced democracy", an historically
disingenuous statement given Germany and Japan after World War 2.
I sat next to an NPR correspondent and in front of one from France's Le Monde who gave vociferous applause along with a crowd that gave him a standing ovation at the end of the speech. Anyone who has no knowledge of the history of the PLO or even current events in the Middle East would perceive the PLO as a human rights movement that seeks democracy for women and the Arab masses against "imperialism".
And that's exactly what happened. A Jewish student outside the speech told me how impressed he was by Said. When I told him the PA has children's tv shows where 4 year olds are taught to murder Jews, programs offically sanctioned by the PA, he asked "Well, don't the Israelis have the same thing?" (They don't.). Even Jews get duped by Said.
Outside the event there was no ProIsrael presence, not even flyering about Said's throwing rocks at Israelis or lying about being a Palestinian and having had a home in Jerusalem. Only signs calling for divestment from Israel. Where was the JCRC? The man received no criticism and questions were not allowed from the sudience. He left a hero and to that crowd was offering
a demand for human rights against Israeli and US mistreatment . Like Said has always said, facts don't matter, only to mold history to one's own perspective and opinion.
It was an obscenity to this writer but a great "scholar" to the crowd who clamored outside to buy his books. Of note also, the head of the Middle East Department at Cal who sponosred this speech along with Chancellor Berdhal (who did not sponsor Barak earlier, that was done by Jewish groups) is a professor of architecture and urban planning, not a political scientist or
history professor. This to me suggests a plant by PASSIA to manipulate public opinion against Israel on our campuses and given Said's reception, I'd say it is working.
Much of the history mentioned and events were all exclusionary of any objective thought and the audience instead of feeling cheated, left thinking they heard a great intellectual advocating human rights when he in fact spoke for one of the worst fascist movements in the world. He spoke of the Palestinians as great seekers of democratic rights and even, laughably, women's rights (with 43 unprosecuted "honor killings" this year alone). The earlier session with reporters where his statements might have been questioned was canceled and no inquiries were allowed at the evening speech. Even Barak fielded questions from the opposition who even tried to interrupt him. Not so Said.
Said further called for divestment from Israel to roaring applause from the crowd nd urged this continue on our campuses and by direct action.
Anyone who thinks this isn't important enough for our Jewish community leaders to take action against is living in a dream world.