Aruri Defends Said, Palestinian Rights; CAMERA Attacks Said, ADC

Naseer Aruri Defends Said, Palestinian Rights; CAMERA Attacks Said, ADC
The following letters appear in today‘s issue of the Boston Globe. Distinguished school Nasser Aruri joins in the defense of Edward Said and the human and national rights of the Palestinian people:
Right-wing attack on rights of Palestinians In his scurrilous attack against professor Edward Said (“Professor Said’s Untrue Story,” op-ed, Aug. 30), Jeff Jacoby joins a chorus of right-wing Likudists bent not only on smearing Said, but also on trying to undermine the internationally guaranteed rights of the Palestinian people, which Edward Said has come to symbolize.
The right of return, which is guaranteed by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 (III), Security Council Resolution 237, and countless other instruments, is the real target of this campaign, spearheaded by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and by the magazine Commentary, the voice of the American Jewish Committee. Ironically, Jacoby has not bothered to scrutinize their standards of truth and accuracy.
The right of return will be on top of the agenda of the approaching final status negotiations of the Oslo process. That issue has been raised not only by Palestinians, most of whose 7 million are classified as refugees, but also by revisionist Israeli historians whose documentation of Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in 1948 is beginning to penetrate through the thick walls of self-censorship practiced by much of the US media.
NASEER H. ARURI North Dartmouth
The writer is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.
And Andrea Levin, director of the right-wing Zionist propaganda outfit “CAMERA,” attacks ADC‘s defense of Said and Palestinian rights, repeating the outrageous slanders:
Writer ducks the facts, skirts the findings Hussein Ibish would like to dismiss the recent damaging revelations about Palestinian spokesman Edward Said’s falsification of his own past by ducking the facts (“They can’t will the Palestinians out of existence,” op ed, Sept. 1). Thus, he skirts the devastating findings in
September’s Commentary magazine: Edward Said has claimed that he spent the first dozen years of his life in Jerusalem in a particular house and was driven out by the Israelis in 1947. For example, the opening paragraph of an article by Said in Harper’s Magazine (December 1992) reads, “I was born, in November 1935, in Talbiya, then a mostly new and prosperous Arab quarter of Jerusalem. By the end of 1947, just months before Talbiya fell to Jewish forces, I’d left with my family for Cairo.”
The reality, it turns out, is otherwise. Said’s family had long lived in Cairo, and he spent his privileged childhood and youth there, not in Jerusalem. The Jews did not evict him, nor did they harm his father’s flourishing business, which was located in Cairo and was, in fact, sacked by an Egyptian mob because the elder Said held an American passport. But Said has exploited to great effect an image of himself as a personal exile from “Palestine,” who lost a particular dwelling in Jerusalem, one he described yet again in a March 1999 article in the Jerusalem Times as “my beautiful old house.”
Regrettably, Said’s deceptions about his own past are a mirror of his polemical falsehoods about Israel and America. He declared in a March lecture in Gaza, for example, that “American history [ and] society is based on the annihilation of nations.” His many utterances about Israel have been similarly vituperative and inaccurate. The same goes for his defender, Hussein Ibish, whose column written as a UMass graduate student attacking the assassinated Itzhak Rabin was publicly denounced by Chancellor David Scott for spreading “hatred.”
ANDREA LEVIN Executive Director
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America Boston Letters to the Boston Globe can be sent by snail mail to Letters to the Editor, The Boston Globe, P.O. Box 2378, Boston, MA
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