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Miguel de Cervantes and Edward Saïd

Reader comment on item: Why Israelis Shy from Victory
in response to reader comment: Realpolitiks vs. The Truth (Or does it?)

Submitted by Martin J. Malliet (Belgium), Sep 11, 2018 at 18:36

Maybe I was trying to say too much in one comment to be correctly understood.

The main idea was: why urge Israelis to not shy away from victory, when the first thing we should do is to urge our (European) leaders to end their proxy war against Israel? I'm not against Realpolitik. But it will always be more effective when the reasons for it are convincingly explained by politicians who talk to people, and not simply about people (as political scientists do).

This then led to the second idea: I believe Edward Saïd was right about Western orientalism - not telling your neighbour that he is a criminal, when he is a criminal, clearly reveals that you're not really seeing him as your neighbour. That's also how I understand Raja Shehadah's response to Yossi Klein Halevi's book to his Palestinian neighbours.

PS: My particular interjection of facts reminds you of the great fiction of Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote? How am I to understand this? Firstly, Don Quixote was not simply fiction, but Miguel de Cervantes's demonstration of how 'second reality' (or fictional narratives, or ideology) works! Secondly, I don't think I was 'interjecting' facts into a 'narrative', I was pleading for going back to them and leave the narrative behind, taking the willingness to do that as the only proof of good faith that exists. That's no minor thing, to possess such a conclusive test of good faith. The Belgian philosopher Frank van Dun summarises it as follows: "If it were not for the fact that we ought to be reasonable, it would not be unreasonable to deny that something ought to be believed because it is a fact."

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