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On Edward Said

Reader comment on item: Columbia University Celebrates Edward Said

Submitted by Cotterall Adams (Canada), May 9, 2007 at 16:53

I don't agree with his perspective at all. Yasser Arafat was too radical for my tastes and I might need some convincing on Mahmoud Abbas. Personally, I am not against the political goal of a Palestinian homeland based on self-rule, and after a number of years once Israel's eastern border has been defined and peace agreements and security concerns are handled, eventually an independent republic. Defense issues will need approval from Israel and the States.

However, the threat of militancy against Israel has gotten in the way of the peace process. So has the demand for the right of return for the descendants of refugees from a foreign country that is not a country in reality but in theory on Israeli-owned soil from a war in the name of self-defense sixty years ago. It is the position of the government that land gained between '49 and '64 is compensation for this attack led by Arab aggressors (military and political leaders--not Arabs in general).

I agree. It is generally agreed-upon that it is dangerous to move back to the '49 border. I have always been the type to reject extremist views on both sides. I don't agree with the 'Greater Israel' and denial of the right of Palestinians to a homeland, either. Few Israelis outside Hasidic circles support that view. Most accept that some settlements will have to go and the rest can be taken care of through land swaps, moving borders, financial compensation and construction of houses for displaced Palestinians in Palestinian territory (note I am not referring to descendants of refugees outside Palestinian territory here). They know they will have to share Jerusalem, with East Jerusalem becoming an eventual capital of a Palestinian state. Their leaders have shortchanged them in the worst way. Now they do not even have aid, security, democratic rights and progress.


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